There’s been a lot of talk recently about rugging; a vets released a table showing temperatures and appropriate rug rates.  It prompted The Scottish Rider to write this blog post too.

I whole heartily agree with her statements and as I am going to clip Abbey I thought I’d draft a post to add to the discussion.

While other liveries have clipped their ponies, I’ve held off for nearly a month.  Why? Because Abbey didn’t need to be clipped.

However, twice last week Abbey worked up a sweat, not just under the saddle but neck and stifles too.  To prevent rubs I had to rinse her off (being the softie than I am, this involved boiling numerous kettles), which meant that Abbey was soaked to the skin.

Fortunately the weather is still reasonably warm but it won’t stay that way and, if I don’t clip Abbey very soon, she’ll be regularly getting soaked to the skin and turned out into a cold wind.  So for her well being, Abbey will be clipped (with Heiniger Progress clippers which I can recommend, see my review here) and rugged.

Even then, with night time temperatures often still more than 10C, Abbey with be out in no more than a 100g (without a neck), maybe even a 50g, depending on how she feels after the first couple of nights. (Abbey is out at night and in during the day.)

It’s important to consider breed and availability of shelter. Abbey’s a Connemara pony bred to withstand much harsher weather then we get in the Midlands and her field has a thick hedge, which her and her fieldmate regularly use as a wind/rain break.

Most of all it’s important to ‘listen’ to the individual pony – myself and the YO who look after her will put our hands under her rug daily  to assess how warm she is and vary the rug weight accordingly.

Abbey’s outdoor wardrobe consists of a Rambo duo which is 100g and comes with 100g and 300g liners, as well as a 50g Amigo rainsheet and an unlined rainsheet.  This seems to do her for most conditions. In the stable she’s a mis-match of all sorts of cotton sheets and fleeces, a couple of Mark Todd stable rugs, a 50g Bucas Irish stable rug and, for post bath, a thermatex.