Types Of Horse Rugs and When to Use Them

3 min read

From synthetics to canvas, here’s all you need to know to find the perfect rug for your horse.


It can be overwhelming looking at all the different types of rugs available. Here we’ll take you through the different types commonly used and the weather conditions for when you should use them.


Summer Sheet

This type of rug is exactly as it sounds… made for summer! Our summer sheets are designed to keep your horse comfortable and protected throughout the year. They are great for keeping your horse’s coat in tip-top condition and not allowing the sun to bleach the colour. During the summer months, they offer specific features made to protect your horse from the heat, sun and insects. Summer sheets provide high UV protection from the sun, while being lightweight and breathable. They’re also extremely popular to layer under rugs throughout winter, so you can keep your turnout rug nice and clean. An important point to note about summer sheets is that they shouldn’t be worn out in the rain. These rugs aren’t waterproof and will actually absorb water and moisture from the air, making it difficult for your horse to stay comfortable with a wet summer sheet on their back.


Mesh Rug

This rug has been designed for the warm summer months to keep your horse protected from the harsh UV rays, insects and allow maximum air flow to help keep your horse cool. They are great for skin allergies as they offer protection from fly and bugs bites and even some types of plants which can cause skin reactions. Horses, just like humans, need protection from harmful UV rays and mesh rugs not only provide protection but also decrease sun bleaching of your horse’s coat. Mesh rugs are super convenient for unpredictable showers as they don’t hold any water and allow your horse to dry under the rug. Our mesh rug range is made from a variety of different mesh fabrics so you can find the best rug for your horse. Softer mesh is better for your more sensitive horses while a more durable mesh is best for a rug wrecker.


Show Sheet

Worn pre-show or competition, this type of rug has been designed to keep your horse as clean as possible, protect plaits and keep the tail clean. We currently sell two types of show sheets: a cotton show sheet and a wool show sheet. Cotton show sheets can be used all year round, while wool show sheets are mostly used in the colder months.


Canvas Rug

A rug made from canvas material which if you’re looking at our WeatherBeeta Canvas, is made from 60% cotton blend canvas. These are waterproof rugs, and most commonly used in between seasons when whether conditions are not as harsh. The best thing about canvas rugs is they’re extremely breathable, due to using natural fibre in the outer as well as the wool lining on the inside.


Synthetic Turnout Rug

These are the best rugs for winter as they hold up well in lots of rain, along with being breathable to allow excess sweat and moisture to escape. Synthetic rugs are lightweight compared to tradition canvas rugs, which makes them easier to use. Turnout rugs offer protection from rain, wind and hail. They are used to keep your horse warm and dry, so there is no excess energy used in the cold, rainy winter months. When a horse uses excess energy keeping themselves warm, it can lead to weight loss. Turnout rugs keep your horse clean and their coat shorter, which is important when keeping a horse in work during winter.


There are many different features and levels of our turnout rugs designed to suit any horse or owners needs. Our range varies from Lite (0g polyfill) which is perfect for in between seasons, Lite Plus (50g) and Medium (100-220g) which are great for horses that don’t need as much warmth in winter and Heavy (200g+) which suit horses that need a little bit of extra warmth. It’s important to remember the higher the denier does not mean the rug is more waterproof. It’s the strength of the fabric and how tightly it’s woven. We test all our waterproof turnout rugs to Hydrostatic Pressure tested 2000 plus and Moisture Vapour Tested 3000 plus.


Cooler Rugs

This type of rug works to help keep your horse warm whilst cooling them down. Cooler rugs work by using a highly wickable material that helps wick the moisture away from a wet coat while also containing your horse’s body warmth. They slowly bringing your horse’s body temperature back down after work and the wicking properties in the fabric stop your horse from catching a chill. But they are also handy to use after bath as we have specific cooler rugs in the range that speed up the drying process. These are fantastic rugs to use after a ride all year round. But they are also handy to use after bath as we have specific cooler rugs in the range that speed up the drying process.


Fleece Rugs

A type of cooler rug, these rugs are typically made from polar fleece material and can be used to layer under other rugs for extra warmth or worn pre-ride to keep your horse warm. A fleece rug is always super handy to have when your horse is standing around in cold conditions, but they should not be worn as a turnout rug (by themselves).


Stable Rugs

This type of rug is mostly used on horses who are stabled and give a large amount of warmth without having to put multiple layers on. They are normally made from a non-waterproof material and soft outer. Horses cannot move around as freely in the stable as they can in the paddock, which means they cannot generate the same amount of body heat to keep warm. Stable rugs can also be used to layer under lighter turnout rugs but should not be worn by themselves in the paddock as they’re not waterproof.


At Horseland we’re here to help care for your horse’s wellbeing. We’re proud to offer the largest variety of horse rugs in Australia to keep your horse happy and protected all year round. Head into your local Horseland store or browse our full range of rugs online.