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How To Fit A Horse Rug Blog

How To Fit A Horse Rug

Are you unsure if your horses’ rug is fitting correctly? Or worrying about which size rug would be best to buy?

There are hundreds of rugs out there, which have all been ergonomically designed and made to fit your horse. From different rug weights, neck types, materials and features there is something for every horse. However, we have to be careful as picking the right size rug for your horse could lead to other problems such as rubbing, or a horse’s leg caught. 

Horse Rug Example

Where do I start? 

Robinsons Equestrian is here to help advice our customers on how to measure your horse. Below is our guide on how to measure and fit a horse rug. 


-         Horses and ponies’ rugs are sized in feet and inches, for example 6’3, you will see this in a lot of brand sizing charts.

-         Each brand will have their own size chart for their own rugs for example Horseware, Requisite, WeatherBeeta and Shires. As all are made and designed differently.

-          If you have a rug already that you think fits well and are just curious you can lay this rug out on the ground and measure from the centre of the chest to the end of the rug.

You will need:

-          A soft measuring tape.

-          A friend/groom to help.

-          Maybe a haynet to keep your horse distracted.



How To Fit A Horse Rug


Measuring your horse:

You have your horse ready and the measurement tape. Start with measuring from the centre of the chest horizontally to the horse’s rump. If you’re measuring your horse for a rug in European sizing (cm) this will be done differently to the UK. This is done from the withers, along the horses back to the very top of the tail.

Once you have this measurement you can then start thinking about what type of rug you are looking at buying, whether it is a turnout, stable rug or cooler.

Is your horse in-between sizes?

This does happen as we know all horses a different due to their breed and age. It is always better to go bigger rather than smaller though as going smaller could cause rubs and sores.

Fitting Your New Rug

It’s arrived! Your brand-new rug, now before you just throw it on your horse and carry on with your day there is a few things that need to be checked to see if it fits your horse correctly. 

Front of the rug

Grab yourself a clean bed sheet or a summer sheet, place this over your horse and make sure you leave your tags on the rug as if this does not fit you will need to swap it. Place your new rug over your horse and fasten the front closures, to secure the rug. Make sure you can fit your hand down the front of your horse. If you cannot it will be too tight and restrict movement.

Body of the rug

Adjust the rest of the rug, when your horse is in a grazing position with its head down, your rug should reach the top on your horse’s tail. This is necessary as turnout rugs protect your horse from bad weather. If the rug is too short it will not provide the protection needed and if it is down past your horses tail it will flap around and could get caught.

Filet string, surcingle’s and leg straps

Fasten the filet string, adjust if needed. Then move onto fastening the surcingle’s, this is where you need to check if you can fit a vertical hand’s width from your horses’ belly to the straps. If the straps are too long your horse could get a leg trapped from lying down or playing in the field. Too short and the straps could rub your horses’ belly, making it uncomfortable and restrict lying down.

Leg straps can often be confusing, you should always allow a hands width between the straps and your horses thigh. Start by fastening one strap up first, then with the second loop this around your horses’ leg but feed it through the other strap. It should look like a figure of 8 and will naturally pull the straps away from your horses’ thighs. 

How to check a well fitted rug?

-          Room to slide a flat hand inside the rug around your horses’ neck and shoulder.

-    Check the point of your horses’ shoulder as this should line up with the front fastenings. 

Fitting Your Horses Rug


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