Winter can be tough on horses, especially if they are clipped during the winter to prevent them from sweating during a workout, or if they are skinny or older, making it more difficult for them to keep themselves warm enough. Here are the top 10 equestrian winter tips.

1) Decide Whether to Use a Rug

The first and most important of the top 10 equestrian winter tips is to decide whether to use a rug during the winter. Although horses can survive colder temperatures, they burn calories in order to do, which costs you more money in feed. Furthermore, if your horse is skinny, elderly, or clipped, he may not be keep himself warm in cold weather.

2) Determine Proper Fit

An ill-fitting rug will wear more quickly and become damaged more easily. To determine your horse's size, measure your horse from the centre of the chest, along the widest parts of the shoulder and belly, and around to the side of the tail. Your horse's rug should have enough room in the shoulders for the horse to move freely, but the neck should still fit snugly. For your horse's comfort, this is among the most important of the top 10 equestrian winter tips.

3) Choose the Right Weight

Rugs come in different weights, and the proper weight for your horse will depend on whether he is clipped, skinny, old, or has any health problems. Many horse owners prefer to have rugs in several different weights so they are always prepared for any sort of

4) Check the Waterproofing

If a rug is to be used for turnout, it will need to be waterproofed. You can buy waterproof rugs, or waterproof a rug you already have. Be sure to also check the waterproofing every year. When waterproofing or retouching, always use products designed specifically for horse rugs.

5) Consider Other Weather Factors

Weather factors such as wind chill, humidity, and precipitation can also help to make your horse cold. A horse stays warm by fluffing up his hair, so if the wind cuts right through it or precipitation flattens it down, he will be more vulnerable to the cold and may require a blanket.

6) Groom Your Horse

Grooming your horse before you put his rug on will remove sweat and debris that would otherwise make the rug dirty, requiring it to be washed sooner. Washing your rug too often will remove the waterproofing, so grooming your horse first will ultimately make your rug last longer.

7) Wash Your Rugs Regularly

That being said, a horse's rug will still need to be washed periodically throughout the winter. Buildup of sweat and dirt will cause the rug to wear out faster than it would otherwise. Be sure to wash your horse's rug with a detergent that is gentle enough not to remove the waterproofing.

8) Prevent Rubs

To prevent your horse from getting rubs or sores from his rug, make sure the rug fits properly, and always groom him first. You can buy a stretchy nylon layer to go underneath the blanket and protect your horse from rubs, but this should never be a substitute for proper fit and grooming.

9) Layer for Additional Warmth

If you don't have a rug that is thick enough, you can always layer, usually putting one or more warm layers underneath a waterproof layer. Layering may save money by ensuring you are always prepared for all types of weather, without the expense of buying a rug in each weight.

10) Store Rugs Properly

Rugs should be hung or folded when not in use. At the end of the season, wash all rugs before folding them and storing them away for the summer. Keeping your horse warm in the winter doesn't have to be an expensive endeavour. By following these top 10 equestrian winter tips, you can affordably keep your horse warm all winter long. As you know, rugs play the most crucial role for protecting your equine from the bad effects of winter, therefore, buying a horse rug from a reliable place such as Robinsons is imperative.