For many of us, autumn is a favourite season – it’s the tail end of the horsey competition season, perhaps meaning time at home to train and practice, after some months ‘on the road’, competing.
Also, it’s a very pretty time to be involved in equestrianism - beautiful colours in nature, mild days, and sunny, crisp mornings where the sunlight is striking – perfect for a hack in the countryside!
Changeability of the temperatures
One downside of autumn for horsey folks is the changeability of the temperatures. As we mentioned in our recent blog on autumn grooming, many of us do the first horse clip in the autumn months, which means that choosing when to rug our horses and ponies with a turnout rug can be tricky. In early Autumn, the nights are chilly, but the days can still be warm – so, what if you can’t get up to the yard to take a turnout rug off, in the sunshine?
Mild days and chilly nights
In the UK, the average autumn temperatures are 9-15 celcius, which of course is fairly mild. However, many of us get caught out at the end of October and in November, when temperatures often sharply drop, and rain-fall is prevalent. When combined with a clipped horse, this means we are often unprepared for the colder temperatures.
Rugging horses and ponies in autumn
To help keep the horse clean, it certainly doesn’t hurt to put a lighter-weight turnout rug on in early autumn. And older or recovering horses and ponies will certain be grateful of that extra layer of warmth! But generally speaking, if the weather forecast is dry, it is often better to wait to start rugging, to allow the horse to adjust to the changing seasons naturally. (Other factors like how exposed the field is, what shelter is available, how much grass or forage the horse has access to etc, will also affect your ‘rugging’ decision).
We always think - would we be rugging the horse or pony in April, if the temperatures were comparable? It is usually best not to over rug! In general, if the temperature is between 5-25 degrees celcius, but dry, the horse or pony can comfortably maintain its body temperature without feeling excessively hot or cold.
A medium-weight horse rug
Therefore, the most popular weight of turnout rug at this time of year is the medium weight rug – around 200-250g filling.
The JHL Combo Medium-weight Turnout Rug at £69.99 is a perennial favourite of ours! This is a practical and stylish full neck rug for horses and ponies with a 600 denier ripstop, waterproof, breathable, polyester outer and inner nylon lining, with a snug, 250g filling.
The JHL Essential Medium-weight Turnout Rug at £44.99 is another super product – it’s a slightly lower-weight horse rug than the JHL Combo, with a 200g polyfill, and the outer material boasts a 600D waterproof breathable polyester outer. These two rugs are certainly ideal for rugging your horse or pony in milder autumn and winter months, or during the colder spring weather.
If you’re looking for a more lightweight option, why not consider the JHL Essential Lightweight Turnout Rug at £39.99?
Again, it has a 600 denier ripstop, waterproof, breathable, polyester outer, but there is no filling at all – making this turnout rug ideal for those wet days when the weather is still mild.