Rug or not?(12 Posts)
I have a Fell pony X, who can exist on fresh air & ALWAYS looks ermm...a little rotund, shall we say . She lives out but with the option of going in a stable, if she chooses (barn in middle of field).
I have been told I need to be tough on her this winter & leave her un-rugged, especially as she had an annular ligament injury in the spring, so the least weight on that the better!!
I went to ride her this morning but couldn't, as she was caked all over in wet mud, so it's a bit of a catch 22 situation, as yes, she's un-rugged but potentially won't get as much riding, due to being covered in wet mud.
I don't want to put a summer sheet on her, as I'd worry she'd be colder with it on (am I being too soft again?). Would a lightweight turnout defeat the whole object? The other option would be to stable her overnight but our current arrangement seems to work really well for them.
I've got ds1 pony in a lightweight on the days he's going to ride her and she's in at night anyway. She's a new Forrest and is already a fully monster. She's also a mud magnet and it's such a bugger having to spend hours grooming wet mud before she can be ridden.
Hate this time of year, the early darkness is rubbish!
I'm similar in that I have a Connie X that if normally wait till much later in the year to rug. The mud had beaten me though! It SO much easier with the rug on, I'd try a v lightweight turnout first and possibly also bib clip and see how they go...
I just use a towel on the wet bits, a furminator on dry mud. Legs/tail/mane are coated in mudaway so I leave those be apart from once a week detangle.
Seems to work for dpony who is full on abominable snowman furry now
One of ours tends towards the roly poly. I have clipped him and put him in a lightweight turnout #mean
Our Dartmoor wears what in effect is a rain mac for most of the winter ,she still grows a lovely coat and the rug is really for the convenience of the lady who looks after her . She is stabled at night though .
I think it comes down to you honestly considering how much riding you're going to do over the Winter. Ours are already rugged and will be clipped (bib and tummy) this weekend and they come in at night. We're only putting medium weight rugs on though - they are chubby. This is because we plan to ride every Saturdays and Sundays - including decent hacks and jumping lessons - so want them reasonably clean and tidy. We don't put neck covers on them until the really bad weather hits in January.
I used to be anti clip because I'm anti rug.
As the year have passed I have gradually clipped more and more off and not rugged. I have a very good doer sec d.
Last year her last clip was a full clip with legs left on, this is a far cry from my original anti clip stance, and only had a very lightweight rug on. The ponies get no hay ( I have a lot if land and grass for 2) or hard feed for energy and yet still she didn't come out of winter slim.
So my anti rug and anti clip stance has changed. She currently got a low trace and is unrugged in a field with loads of protection and grass and has GAINED weight since summer as I can't effectively restrict grazing due to mud as we are on clay.
So for me, the next thing is to make her next clip a full clip and lightly rug. If I couldn't ride due to mud that's not good for her and makes the expense of keeping ponies less worth it.
Check out the blue cross leaflet on obesity in equines where they state that shivering is a natural and welcome response for fat horses. Very hard to take that stance though as the horseworld sees fat horses as normal. The vet advised my mate to have her horse blanket clipped and left naked and the whole of the competition yard she was on were up in arms and she was told she was cruel and her horse didn't need to lose weight. 140kg less now, those same people are complimenting her on how good he now looks completely forgetting how nasty they'd been in the past and how they thought the horse was fine as he was before!
In short, if you can't ride because of mud then rug so you can and also consider clipping for weight loss. Then prepare to have a thick skin from the yard experts who may declare you cruel!
Thanks for all the responses...very helpful!
So the general opinion is to go for a clip & lightweight rug, as Joysmum raises a good point that she's there to be ridden & if that takes a rug, so be it!
DDs pony had a full clip a couple of weeks ago, except legs & is rugged & has turned into a bucking bronco (sp?) when ridden, as a consequence but that's a whole other thread . Must admit it makes grooming a grey, mud magnet a doddle though!
Mine hunt and compete every weekend plus hacking and rallies in week so they can't be left unclipped. They'd be unrideable if they weren't clipped
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