How Do I Measure My Horse for a Rug?

With any horse rug, getting the fit right is essential to ensuring the safety of your horse. A rug that doesn’t fit correctly can actually have an adverse impact on your horse; too tight and it will restrict movement and may cause chaffing, too big and it could get tangled in your horse’s legs and cause injury.

So we’ve put together a quick guide to help you ensure your horse is safe their rug, be it a stable rug, turnout rug or fly rug, this fitting guide should give you the tools to get the right fit.

How do I measure my horse for a rug?

  • Begin with getting some accurate measurements. The sizing for horse rugs is done in feet and inches with sizes going up in 3 inch increments.
  • The most effective way to measure your horse is to use a soft tape measure beginning at the middle of the chest, measuring along the side of the body in a straight line to the back of the rump, about where the tail naturally sits.
  • Alternatively if you already have a rug that’s a good fit, you could measure that by laying it flat and measuring from the middle of the chest lengthways down the rug to the opposite end.
  • Use your measurement to find a rug in the corresponding size.

What do I do if my horse is in between rug sizes?

Inevitably with the way rugs are sized, some horses fall in between sizes. If this is the case you should take the build of your horse into consideration. As a general rule it is usually advisable to get the larger size as opposed to the smaller. But if your horse is quite slight, smaller may be preferable. Similarly a very wide horse may need to go up a size to allow better freedom of movement.

Trying the rug on

  • When trying the rug on your horse for the first time it’s a good idea to try it over a clean sheet with the tags still on. That way if the fit is wrong and the rug needs to be returned or exchanged for a different size it will be in a suitable condition.
  • Run your hands over the horse’s chest, shoulders and withers to see if it is too tight or causing any other problems or distress. It should fit well over the withers and the shoulders allowing the horse to move freely but without the rug slipping back.
  • It’s really important that the fit is right, so if you’re not sure, seek the advice of someone experienced. And if it’s not right, exchange it for another size.