Summer Rugs and Fly Protection for your horse.

Summer Rugs and Fly Protection

With summer just around the corner it is time to consider how you will protect your horse from summer nasties including flies, biting insects and harmful UV rays. There are many options when considering summer rugs and fly protection for your horse. If you are anything like me the huge range of options just makes making a decision harder. When making your decision you need to determine why you are rugging your horse at this time of year. The three main reasons for rugging your horse in summer are:

1. Protection from flies and biting insects;
2. Protection from UV rays and preventing coat bleaching;
3. Protection from summer showers.

Focusing on the reason you are rugging your horse will go a long way to helping you decide which type of rug to choose.
The range of summer rugs from Horseware range is extensive, however the reason we stock Horseware rugs is because:

• They fit (there are a range of different styles that suit different horses);
• They do not slip;
• They are high quality;
• They are affordable;
• There is something to suit every budget and purpose.
• The majority of rugs have detachable neck rugs.
• NO BACK LEG STRAPS! So much more comfortable for the horse and easier to put on and off, but before you ask “No they do not
slip!.

First things to note with the Horseware rugs is that there are three distinct ranges. Rambo (top level rugs), Amigo (mid range) and Mio (budget level range). As always you get what you pay for. If you are looking at a Rambo rug you are getting the ultimate there is to offer, however the Amigo range is a fabulous mid point range that I really can’t fault.

GENERAL RAMBO FEATURES:

• 3 surcingles that allow for extra depth and belly protection;
• V- front closures for freedom to move whilst grazing and wither relief. The V-Front is also great for horses that are bigger in
the chest and shoulder area. Heavy breed crosses can sometimes go up a size in these rugs so be sure to check the size guide;
• Sure fit neck design for comfort;
• Front and hind leg arches for freedom of movement and comfort.

GENERAL AMIGO FEATURES:

• 2 surcingles;
• Front leg arches only (generally);
• Double classic (straight) front closures.

Summer rugs are generally fall into one of the following categories:

• polycotton
• mesh rugs
• hybrid rugs
• rain sheets

Polycotton:
Cotton for breathability and polyester for strength. These are the rugs most people associate with summer rugs. Great because they protect from insects, UV and can be used as an under rug. The Rambo V Front, Amigo Disc, Amigo Classic and Amigo Airflow are all 60/40 polyester cotton mix. The Amigo Aussie Allrounder is 100% polyester.


Rambo V-Front showing the V-Front Closure system.

Mesh:
Both the Rambo and Amigo Mesh Rugs from the Horseware range have the added bonus of being treated with patented Vamoose Technology. Vamoose is a powerful anti-insect technology. It is a synthethised form of Permethrin, a naturally occurring biocide found in the Chrysanthemum flower, and it works!! It really does keep the bugs and flies away. The Mio range has a mesh rug, however in my experience it is not strong enough for everyday use unless used in a stable. The mesh rugs will provide between 60 and 70% UV Protection.


Amigo Bugbuster

Hybrid:

Hybrid rugs offer the best of both worlds. Greater strength in the top and better breathability with the mesh. We also offer a hybrid made by Horseware that is water resistant on top with mesh sides. My absolute favourite “Rambo Summer Series”. Perfect for days when it could rain but it is still warm but you are not around to do the rugs on rugs off thing all day.

If you are not yet convinced about this rug, check out the footage of the Summer Series features:

Rambo-Summer-Series-Turnout

Rambo-Summer-Series-Turnout

Flag:

The flag rug is made of 60% cotton, making it very light weight and breathable. Ideal in the hottest of conditions or for hot horses. The downside of these rugs is that they are not particularly durable.


Amigo Flag rug

Rainsheets:
My absolute favourite rainsheet is the Rhino Plus Lite. Made with 1000D polypropylene outer, they are lightweight, breathable, waterproof, have a detachable neck, perfect for protection from summer showers and storms. By adding a Horseware liner for warmth you can use it as a turnout rug all year round. Fantastic value.

rhino_plus_lite

rhino_plus_lite

OTHER METHODS OF FLY PROTECTION FOR YOUR HORSE:

Masks:

There are many fly masks on the market, however in my experience Cashel masks are the best for comfort and protection. They are soft, don’t slip and offer great protection. Rambo does do a mask with the Vamoose technology which may be beneficial if your horse is particularly sensitive, however I find if they have a vamoose rug on this is generally enough and I like the fit and comfort of the Cashel mask better. The Cashel masks are available either as a standard mask or with the options of long nose and/or ears.

If flies and insects are an issue when you are riding, Cashel Quiet Ride mask is absolute gold. They are extremely lightweight and soft. Your horse won’t even know it’s on and can focus on their work rather than head tossing and getting increasing cranky. It also eliminates the need to put spray or cream repellent on their face which can run into their eyes when they sweat. Don’t be without one now the flies are starting to appear.

Crusader Standard Fly Mask

Crusader Standard Fly Mask

Crusader Fly Mask With Long Nose

Crusader Fly Mask With Long Nose

Quiet Ride Fly Mask - Standard

Quiet Ride Fly Mask - Standard

Flyboots:

Rambo flyboots airmesh with vamoose are perfect for protecting your horses legs. These are especially beneficial if your horse kicks out at flies etc to keep them comfortable and avoiding accidents that can occur when they strike. They have the vamoose technology and are very lightweight and comfortable. For $59.95 for a set of four they are a must have investment this summer (especially when the bot flies come calling).


Rambo Flyboots Airmesh Vamoose

My recommendations:

Cotton – you can’t go past the quality, fit and features of the Rambo V-Front .

Mesh – the Amigo Bugbuster is around $100 less than the Rambo equivalent. Unless your horse is particularly hard on rugs the Amigo Bugbuster busts the insects and is comfortable at an affordable price.

Hybrid – I love, love, love the Rambo Summer series for convenience and flexibility with changing weather conditions.

Rainsheet – whilst there are cheaper options than the Rhino Plus Lite, this rug can be used as a turnout rug all year around so for me this is a no brainer.

OVER TO YOU

If you need more information on your summer horse health needs please visit www.proactiveanimalhealth.com.au or email info@proactiveanimalhealth.com.au
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