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Measuring your horse for a correct rug fit

We often buy our horses with rug sizing information. However, a horse’s shape is ever changing throughout the years, season, and work level. It is not to say that the sizing can change dramatically, a couple of centimetres can mean the difference in your horses’ comfort. 

An ill-fitting rug can cause issues such as patches of rubbing which can go from hairless patches and when left unchecked can turn very quickly to being very painful for the horse and unsightly to the owner.

So, if you are asking "how do I measure my horse for a correct rug fit?", please see below:

  • Measure along the spine from the wither to the top of the tail.
  • To measure your horse’s length, Start at the middle of the chest and end at the last point in the buttocks. (Generally, halfway from the tail to the start of the thigh) Repeat on the far side of the horse (right side)

Tips and Tricks

  • For accurate measurement ensure to do both sides of the horse as specified on our size card. Using the larger measurement for your rug fit.
  • Measure your horse at the change of every season they may not change dramatically however it is always best to check. Especially during winter or increases in workload.
  • Do not measure around the rump only to the point of the buttocks. If the rump is measured it will lead to an ill-fitting rug.
  • Check the sizing guide from the manufacturer. Although rugs do run on the same sizing schedule i.e 6ft 6’3 ect. Each manufacturer has their own measurements, some offer extra drop in their rugs or give an extra inch or so for a ‘better fit’. This is beneficial for some horses who are between sizes therefore beneficial to the purchaser to know the exact measurements of the rugs.

NOW let us get your horse rugged!!

We all have been taught that we must always secure from the back to the front when we rug our horses daily. However, in the exercise of fitting a rug let us start with the:


If you have been reading along with us as described in the measurement guide we should be measuring our horses from the middle of the chest to the longest point of their buttocks.

The chest strap or straps depending on the rug or your preference in rug should be fastened on the last hole or the second last hole. If the rug is unable to be fastened on the second last whole the rug is potentially too small.

Neck and Wither

The rug should follow the outline of the shoulders to meet at the chest. Once the buckle is secured slip your hand under the rug at the neck to ensure it is not to restrictive. This could cause significant discomfort to the horse.

The rug should sit in front of the wither (the highest point on top of the horses back where the neck meats the back.) If the rug slips back over this point the rug is too large and will cause rub marks on the horse’s shoulders and or wither.

If it is too high above the wither this means it is too small around the neck and therefore will not have the adequate reach for the rear.

horse grazing showing rug fit on shoulders

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