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Getting rugging right: How to understand your horse’s body temperature *H&H Plus*

Understanding the body’s natural temperature mechanisms can help us get rugging just right, explains Rick Farr MRCVS

Autumn is approaching; the evenings are a little cooler and rain is starting to come in sideways, sending a chill down your spine.

With winter looming, it’s time to reach for that massive, all-in-one heavyweight rug to keep your horse nice and toasty. Or is it?

It is important to consider how nature has equipped different species to cope with changing seasons. The horse has developed some unique tolerances to cold and wet weather – conditions which may make us shudder but rarely bother our equine counterparts.

Horses are found throughout every climate on the planet, from the sub-zero north to the tropics and arid deserts. Their adaptations to remaining within their specific thermal neutral zone (TNZ) are impressive.