Winter is coming here in the southern hemisphere, and clients are starting to ask more often whether their horse needs (or wants) to wear a rug or be covered. Does your horse need / want a rug?
It’s a complicated, and slightly controversial, topic! Lots of people have strong opinions over whether horses should be rugged or not. And, if you’re going to rug them, how do you decide which rugs, what thickness, how often to change them etc?!
Well, I can’t necessarily help you with all that, but I thought it would be interesting to ask a bunch of horses 2 questions:
- Does this horse NEED to be rugged this winter?
- Does this horse WANT to be rugged this winter?
Owners posted a photo of their horse in a thread on my Facebook page, and I used my trusty pendulum to ask the questions. This mini survey was on 54 horses.
The results were perhaps not too surprising:
The number of horses that NEED to wear a rug / cover this winter? 55%
The number that don’t = 45%.
If your horse is older, under condition or hard to keep weight on, or clipped, it might have given a yes to that question. Perhaps they don’t have trees in their paddock, or shelter of some kind.
The number of horses that WANT to be rugged / covered this winter… 40%
The number that don’t, 60%.
Looking at it a different way, there were 4 possible answer combinations:
YES, YES – only 15% of horses said yes, they need a rug, and yes, they want to be rugged.
YES, NO – 41% said yes they need to be rugged, but no, they don’t want to be rugged.
For those, it would be worth checking why they need to be rugged. Also, why doesn’t your horse want to be rugged? Check that your rugs fit well, don’t rub, are clean, and not too thick / heavy.
NO, YES – 24% of horses didn’t need to be rugged, but did want to be rugged!
Perhaps it’s all they’ve ever known? They like feeling pampered? Or, it gets them extra time with their owner? (Let me know in the comments if this is your horse; why does he want to be rugged?)
NO, NO – 20% didn’t need or want rugs.
They are likely the good doer’s, younger horses, those that don’t get clipped etc.
So, does your horse need, or want, a rug?
My main advice? If your horse needs to wear a rug, but doesn’t want to, try verbally explaining the reasons to him. That might be all he needs to understand and come around – let me know below if that helps!
Keep connecting with your horses,
If you’re wondering what’s going on with your horse, grab my free pdf, ‘What’s Wrong With My Horse?‘.
Or, cut to the chase and get all your burning questions answered in an Animal Communication session, (includes physical check, and energetic clearing and rebalancing).
Trisha Wren has been an equine professional for most of her adult life. She rode, competed, and taught Western Riding for 15 years in Scotland, then horse and rider bio-mechanics in New Zealand and Australia for 10 years. She’s been a full time horse communicator and healer since April 2016, and also runs regular Animal Communication online workshops. Find out more about Trisha here.