The best summer sheets for horses are essentially very lightweight turnout rugs, even more so than a no-fill rain sheet. They are designed to be worn out in the field when the weather is warm and dry to protect your horse from the sun. Summer sheets are, therefore, designed to be highly breathable to prevent your horse overheating.
Using a summer sheet can help to protect your horse from coat bleaching, sunburn (most common in horses with lighter coats or pink skin) and other sun-related illnesses, offering more UV protection than most of the best fly rugs. In all cases of sun damage, prevention is better than cure – and while a faded coat is mostly cosmetic, sunburn can be extremely painful and illnesses are always best avoided.
When choosing a summer sheet, look for styles made from a lightweight material, such as polycotton. This material is also highly breathable, which will help to keep your horse cool in the sun. Some styles will also feature mesh sections to maximise airflow.
The best summer sheets are versatile and can also be used while travelling or in the stable in place of a travel rug, show rug or stable sheet. They are also really useful for protecting your horse’s coat from dust and dirt, which is handy prior to a competition.
Summer sheets aren’t suitable for use in wet weather – if it’s wet and warm, you’re better off protecting your horse with one of the best waterproof fly rugs.
Best summer sheets for horses
WeatherBeeta Breeze With Surcingle IV Combo Neck
Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft3in
This sheet has a polycotton upper that provides 95%+ UV protection, with polyester mesh panels for airflow. The back panel is shaped to fit the curve of the back and has a with relief pad for additional comfort. The shoulders, mane area and full-wrap tail flap are lined to prevent rubbing. The rug fastens with a twin buckle chest strap, has a hidden adjustable and elasticated, removable leg straps.
Gallop Air-Mesh Summer Sheet Combo
Sizes: 4ft9in – 7ft
This rug has lots of great features at a great price. It is made of a breathable and cool polycotton upper, which offers 95%+ UV block, with polyester mesh panels for increased airflow. It features a wither relief pad to help reduce rubbing and pressure in the wither area and has polyester-lined shoulders, mane and tail flap to prevent rubbing, while the traditional side gusset aids natural movement. The sheet also has a tail flap, twin buckle chest strap, a hidden adjustable surcingle, plus adjustable and removable web leg straps.
Horseware Rambo Optimo Supreme Summer Sheet
Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft3in
This UV-protective summer sheet is made from a polycotton outer fabric that offers superior breathability and exceptional comfort. The rug’s design is especially suitable for broader horses, with an elongated hood shape. It has a disc front closure, a very long shoulder gusset and dual leg arches for a greater freedom of movement.
The rug is one of only two in this guide with a detachable hood. It also has a smooth lining at the mane and shoulder to prevent rubbing, while the tail flap and easy-clean PVC tail strap provide extra security. Compatible with Horseware liners.
WeatherBeeta Kool Coat Airstream III Combo Summer Sheet
Sizes: 5ft – 7ft
This rug is made of a strong and lightweight polyester outer, and has polyester lined shoulders to help prevent rubbing . It offers 90%+ UV protection. It’s quite traditional in design, with traditional shoulder gussets, twin adjustable buckle front closure, low cross surcingles, a large tail flap and adjustable, removable leg straps.
DefenceX System ProteX Summer Sheet
Sizes: 5ft6in – 7ft
This summer sheet is made of a breathable and UV protective polyester material. It features sturdy twin T-bar chest fastenings, adjustable cross surcingles and a fillet string at the tail. The detachable neck cover, which fastens with touch-tape, adds to the versatility of this rug.
Weatherbeeta Summer Sheet Lite IV Combo Neck
Colours: White/navy/red or seahorse print
Sizes: 5ft – 7ft3in
This summer sheet is similar to the WeatherBeeta Breeze, but without the mesh panels. It is made of a breathable and cool polycotton and provides 95%+ UV protection. It’s shaped to fit your horse and has a wither relief pad for additional comfort.The shoulders, mane area and full-wrap tail flap are lined to prevent rubbing. The rug fastens with a twin buckle chest strap, has cross surcingles and elasticated, removable leg straps, plus two touch-tape tabs on the neck.
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