Choosing a summer rug for your horse can be confusing with all the options out there! Cotton? Mesh? Both? We put together this guide to help you choose the right rug for your horse this summer!
Cotton or Mesh or Hybrid Rugs
The first decision you should make when choosing a summer rug for your horse is between fabric types. While cotton is a great choice for most conditions, the addition of mesh can provide increased airflow to keep your horse cooler in hotter climates like northern NSW and QLD.
Cotton rugs provide the best protection for the dirty horse that likes to roll in everything! When you need to keep your horse clean the night before a show or event, mesh rugs will let dust through as well as air so a full cotton rug is a better choice here.
While mesh rugs do provide a good level of UV protection, cotton rugs provide the best UV protection for your horse. If you have a horse with a dark coat that is prone to bleaching (hello black and dark brown horse owners!) a cotton or hybrid rug that has cotton across the back will help to avoid bleached coats and uneven colour.
We suggest choosing a full mesh rug in climates with high humidity or on warmer days in the southern states. Mesh rugs provide the most air flow while reflecting heat from the sun away from your horses body. They are also fantastic to use in areas with lots of flies and bugs as they assist in keeping them off your horses body.
Hybrid rugs are a great all round choice. They provide a fantastic balance between keeping horses comfortable while allowing increased air flow via the mesh.
When to choose a Detach-a-neck rug
Detach-a-neck rugs are increasingly common on winter turnout rugs however they are a relatively new innovation on summer rugs.
Detach-a-neck rugs are a fantastic choice for horses that can be prone to mane rubbing and for riders that regularly use skinny hoods or cotton knit hoods as part of their show preparation.
For example you may use the rug as a combo most of the time but remove the detachable neck rug the night before a show when you have plaited your horse and have a tighter fitting skinny hood on to keep plaits tidy. This gives you more options with the one rug!
Detach-a-neck cotton rugs are also a great choice for travelling horses. Sometimes horses can become too hot in a combo rug when travelling but the simple removal of the combo neck can make a huge difference to the comfort of your horse.
When to choose a Hooded Combo Rug
Hooded combo rugs are a great choice for horses that are easily annoyed by flies. They provide more protection around the face and can be the best choice for horses that ordinary combo necks slip down on.
Can I use a cotton knit hood everyday?
We are often asked whether our cotton knit hoods can be used as a paddock rug. The answer is YES!
Cotton knit hoods are made from a stretchy fabric that is a little softer than an ordinary cotton hood. These can be a great solution for horses that are prone to rubbing by cotton hoods as the stretch fabric means they move with your horse more.
All in all they are a versatile hood that can be used in the paddock or the night before a show to keep manes tidy and help plaits stay put!