Common mistakes when choosing a rug

October 01, 2020

Common mistakes when choosing a rug

At Kentucky, we believe that rugs must offer comfort for your horse. As horses come in different sizes and colors, so do rugs. Therefore, it’s important to select the right type and size of rug for your horse. When you don’t choose the right size of rug, rubbing marks may appear. Rubbing marks often occur with horses that have sensitive skin. When rug season is arriving, we’ll tell you about the most common mistakes when choosing a rug.


How to measure the right size of rug

When choosing a rug, you have to keep different things in mind. For example, is your horse getting clipped, will he be standing in the rain, for what purpose do you want to use the rug. In a previous blog post, we already talked about the different types of rugs. When you chose the type of rug you want to buy, it’s essential to know which size to put on your horse. To measure the right rug size, you’ll only need a tape measure and your horse.

In European sizes, they measure the back of the horse, from the withers to the tail. In the UK, the USA and Australia, they measure the body length, so from the center of the chest to the center of the rump. At Kentucky, both measurements can be used to choose the right size of rug.


Common mistakes that cause rubbing marks.

Check if your horse and its rug are clean. If your horse has been muddy and you just put the rug on, the dirt will scrub between the rug and skin. This causes irritation all over the dirty spots. Cleaning and checking in on your horse regularly will prevent any early rubbing spots from growing bigger. If the rug is dirty, you can easily wash it at 30 degrees. At Kentucky, we advise washing your rugs at least once a month when it’s daily used.

Always make sure your horse is 100% dry before you put your rug on. Keep in mind that the rug also needs to be dry. Due to the wet skin, the rug sticks to the body of the horse and rubs when it’s moving. We advise using a cooler sheet instead, like the Fleece Rug heavy or the Towel rug, and change rugs when your horse is dry.


If the rug is too warm the horse starts sweating and makes the rug stick to the body too. In that case, try a lighter and more breathable rug to make sure the temperature is comfortable. Sweat that sticks in the lining of the rug also can cause serious rubs as it’s sticky. That’s why we advise you to wash your rugs once a month.

Take a look at the fabric of the rug, if the rug is made out of a flat and silky fabric, you’re all good. A flat and silky fabric lining has a shiny effect and hairs won’t stick to the rug. If you have a fleece lining you might consider another material. Even tough Fleece is warm, the material is not that comfortable. Hairs easily stick to it and it’s harder to keep clean because dirt and straw hold on to it. 80% of all the Kentucky Horsewear rugs have a rabbit skin lining in all their rugs which is super soft and avoids rubbing. All the other rugs that don’t have the rabbit skin lining have a flat and silky lining.

A rug that’s too small causes rubbing on the shoulders and blocks the movement of your horse. You could use a chest extender to make the front part a bit bigger. But the downside of the extender is that it adds extra seems that causes more rubbing and pressure. We at Kentucky Horsewear don’t make chest extenders as all our rugs fit your horses perfectly when you choose the correct size.

The most common mistake is a rug that’s too big. If the rug is too big, it will cause marks on the front chest because it’s constantly moving back and forth. Not only will it cause marks on the chest but also on the withers because it keeps sliding behind the withers. In this case, Our Horse Bib could be the solution to your problem. The BIB can be used for both the chest and the withers. You easily tuck one flap into your rug, while the other flap keeps the BIB in place.  Not only does the BIB prevents rubbing, but it will also equalize pressure. But if the rug is too big, there’s not much that you can do to avoid slipping. Therefore, always make sure you choose the correct size of rug.

How to put on the horse bib

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