Q&A: Rugs and rubbed manes

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  • Q: My horse has a hunter clip in the winter, so I bought him a stable rug with a neck cover. However, the warmth of the neck cover caused his mane to fall out, so I now fold it back. Now his clipped coat on his neck grows back really quickly because he’s cold there. How can I keep him warm and keep his mane? He’s fine in his turnout rug.

    Carolyn Henderson replies: Presumably you’ve checked with your vet to make sure there is no other cause of your horse’s mane falling out and that it isn’t due to rubbing because of a skin problem. I know of one horse that lost a large chunk of mane when wearing a neck cover, and it was because of pressure on the neck at the seam where the neck cover joined the body of the rug.

    If you’re sure that your turnout rug is fine, why not either use that indoors as well as outdoors, or buy a separate one to use as a stable rug? They are breathable and you could choose the weight to suit him.

    Another option would be to change his clip. Most horses don’t actually need a hunter clip – in which all the hair on the neck and body, apart from a saddle patch, is taken off – and are comfortable and look smart with either a blanket or chaser clip. This way, you could choose the amount of hair you left on your horse’s neck.

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