How can you tell if your horse is hot or cold under it's rug?

It can be difficult to know which and how many rugs you should put on your horse. It depends on both the horse and the weather. Determining whether the horse is too hot or too cold under its rug involves observing the horse's behavior and checking for specific physical signs. Here are som steps that I use to check my horse's comfort level:


Checking if the Horse is Too Hot

1. Feel the Horse's Skin and Look for Sweating: 

Slide your hand under the rug and feel the horse's skin, particularly around the shoulders, chest and flanks. If the horse feels to hot or is sweaty, I would recommend taking of or changing rug. 

2. Observe Behavior and Check the Horse's Breathing:

Overheated horses might exhibit signs of discomfort such as restlessness or trying to rub or bite the rug off. You can also observe the Horse's breathing. It the horse is breathing rapidly or heavily it, may indicate that the horse is too warm. 


Checking if the Horse is Too Cold

1. Feel the Ears:

The ears are a good indicator of a horse's temperature. Cold ears can suggest that the horse is feeling chilly.

2. Feel Under the Rug: 

Slide your hand under the rug. If the skin feels cool, the horse might be cold. 

3. Observere Behavior and check for Shivering: 

If the horse's hair stands on end and it shivers, it is a clear sign that your horse is cold. Additionally, you should look for signs such as the horse huddling with other horses, standing with its tail tucked, or appearing withdrawn and inactive.


Here are Some Other General tips

Layering Rugs:

  • Use layers that can be addes or removed as the temperature changes. This flexibility allows better temperature regulation.

Monitor Weather Conditions: 

  • Regularly check the weather forecast and adjust the horse's rugging accordingly.

Check Regularly:

  • Frequently check your horse, especially during changing weather conditions, to ensure they are comfortable. 

Consider the Horse's Condition:

  • Take into account factors such as age, health, coat thickness, and activity level, as these can affect how well your horse retains heat.


My best advice is to become well acquainted with your horse and its needs, ensuring it stays comfortable in its rug and does not become too hot or too cold.