Rugging Round-up

The guide to rugging your horse.
We’ll be adding to this guide as we discover more findings and Dr Marlin expands this research, but in the meantime, we hope that this information will help you decide on your rugging dilemmas – when, how and what with!


Remember, don’t rug your horse according to how you feel. Horses have a wider ‘thermal comfort zone’ than we do. For us, it’s generally between 15 and 25°C, whilst for a horse, it’s 5 to 25°C. Research has also shown that putting your hand under the rug to feel your horse’s temperature or feeling the ears are not reliable indicators of a horse’s thermal comfort.

The science:

What happens when you over-rug a horse? Read Here.
Read this article on a study with Lorna Cameron and Ella Bartlett at Sparsholt College to highlight the dangers of over rugging.

Rugging test results: Research and survey results! Read Here.
Dr Marlin’s short survey and results from his initial rug testing to determine how heat and the temperature in a rug can and will vary.

Rugging test results: Rugging – now we add a heat pad under the rug. Read Here.
A study following on from the one above. In the previous example, we didn’t use a horse or any heat. Now we are introducing a heat pad. 

Rug Rating Survey Read Here.
The results are in! 3000 people completed the rugging survey to help us determine the most popular and unpopular stable and turnout rugs on the market. 

Podcast – Rugging Your Horse. Listen Here.

Webinar– The Science of Rugging Horses. Watch Here.
Which horses need rugs? How can you tell if a horse is too warm? Is over-rugging a problem? What is a medium weight rug? Does rugging maintain condition? Do older horses need rugging? Does rugging affect Vitamin D levels? How much research is there on rugging? Are rugging apps of any value? Your questions are answered.

Is it time to start rugging our horses? Read Here.
When overnight temperatures start to dip in the autumn we start pulling out the fleeces and jumpers from our winter clothes drawers! Should we do the same for our horses? 


About Author

Dr David Marlin is a physiologist and biochemist who has worked in academia, research and professional sport. He has worked in the equestrian and veterinary world and in human sport, healthcare, medicine and exercise science. In 1989 David obtained his PhD from the UK’s leading sports university, Loughborough University following a four-year study on the responses of Thoroughbred racehorses to exercise and training, undertaken at the renowned Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. You can read David's full biography in the Our Website section.