It’s been a little while since I’ve looked at an Australian term that shows up in the Free Rein series and explained it for international readers! So let’s get back to it. Today I’d like to look at horse rugs.
When Jacqui and her friends are looking after their ponies, there are times when they want to keep them dry and warm. To be able to do this, they will place a rug on their ponies. This covering might otherwise be known as a horse blanket.
Rugs need to be attached securely to horses so that they won’t slide off as they move. This often happens via a buckle at the front and straps that loop through each other around the back legs of the horse. You can get rugs that cover the horse’s body as well as its neck, or you can get neck rugs that clip onto the body rug.
Rugs or horse blankets are a great way to keep a horse or pony clean, also. They are often used by people who compete. Using a rug allows them to protect their horse’s coat from the sun – and potentially fading. When this is a concern, just a light cotton rug may be used. Rugs can also help to keep off dirt and mud and lessen the amount of grooming that needs to be done before a show.
One way that is strongly encouraged to put a rug on includes doing up the back leg straps first. In this way, if the horse spooks and jumps forward, the idea is that the rug will slide off their body. If the front is done up first and a horse spooks, the rug can slip to the side and get trapped under the horse’s legs. This can result in tearing of the rug and potentially injury to the horse.