Wool Horse Rug – Product Review
Caribu Kersey Wool Horse Rug – Combo
Sometimes I will post reviews about products that I have purchased and didn’t like, in the hope of saving you from wasting your money, and possible heartache when you buy something that just doesn’t do what it says. But this isn’t one of those posts.
I purchased this rug about 18 months ago, with Australia coming into winter it will get its second season of use, and so far I love it.
Do I need to rug my horse?
Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those yes or no answers, because well it just depends!
Some anti-rug fanatics will say horses survived out in the wild without rugs, and yes they did but our domesticated horses live a very different lifestyle, generally they can’t move around as much to keep warm, they often didn’t live to a ripe old age and they were able to move to adequate shelter eg. strands of trees to block cold and rain.
Some horses do perfectly fine without rugs, usually your hardier breeds of horse but many of the thin-skinned horses we ride today have a very low tolerance to cold in particular, but also the sun, biting insects and rain.
You will need to watch your horse for signs of discomfort and decide if and when you will rug your horse. A little bit of trial and error may happen, just remember it is better to err on the side of the horse being a little cold than too hot and sweating under their rugs.
You also need to remove the rug(s) every day and give your horse a good brush before putting the rugs back on (if required). Imagine wearing a raincoat directly against your skin which is covered in dirt, wouldn’t be pleasant would it? Your horses’ coat needs to be clean before you put rugs over the top.
I try to have rugs off during the day whenever possible, but if it’s looking cold and rainy I might take them off, give the horse a thorough brush and put them straight back on.
My black Standy Bill does fine without a rug most of the time, on the other hand Jon shivers at the slightest cool breeze and if it’s raining well forget it, he’d rather be tucked up warm and dry in a soft doona.
Features & Benefits
- Quality material – as soon as you take this rug out of its packaging you can tell it’s quality. The material is thick but not stiff, the buckles feel solid and not tinny like some cheap rugs. After a full season of use all the clips are still easy to undo. I love the purple colour, it looks very regal.
- Good fit – my boys are in 6.0″ rugs across most brands and the Caribu is no exception. It is true to size, doesn’t gape or catch across the wither, and sits nice and low below the belly. The straps have plenty of adjustment, and are also good quality without any sharp edges.
- Easy wash – I have one of those orange bags I put my rugs in and then into my domestic washing machine. The bags catch all the hair and any hay but the rugs come out lovely and clean. I always use softener with wool rugs so they smell nice and feel soft.
- Very warm – this rug keeps my horses beautifully warm. If it is not forecast to rain but is getting cool I will put just this rug on, if it’s looking like rain I might throw a rain sheet or a thicker synthetic rug over the top. A light shower won’t wet through this rug (it’s wool) but any decent downpour and it is going to seep through eventually. This you DO NOT want, having a horse standing around in the cold with a wet to the skin rug on is asking for a very sick horse.
- Satin in shoulders and along mane line – the satin is good quality and hasn’t torn at all, like so many rugs do. Jon is quite thin-skinned and has a fine coat so if a rug is going to rub it’ll show overnight on him, and this one doesn’t.
- Neck rug or hood – again this is personal preference and what your horse likes. Bill will happily wear a hood, but Jon tends to rub his face against fences and hoods don’t last long so he gets a neck rug only.I don’t usually go for Combo rug/neck rugs I prefer to have the neck rug completely detachable from the body of the rug to give myself more options and this way tends not to pull over the wither as some combos do, which then puts pressure against the base of the mane which can rub out. But having used this combo for a season with no ill effects on the horses those things don’t seem to be an issue here.
- No stretch – after one season and quite a few turns through the washing machine the shape of this rug hasn’t changed. Cheaper wool rugs seem to stretch and contort out of shape so they never fit quite right after the first time you wash them, this creates pressure points on the horse causing rubbing and discomfort, and they look awful too.
What does the company say?
These Caribu wool combo rugs are a luxurious 425gsm kersey wool, they can’t be beaten for that winter insulation & breathability offered by a natural fibre.
Constructed from a quality genuine 80% Kersey Wool blend, you will be hard pushed to find a warmer, more versatile stable combo rug. Wool is a natural fibre and has fantastic insulation and breathability properties.
Featuring shoulder gussets, double chest fittings for extra security, rump darts, adjustable/removable leg straps and double crossover surcingles.
Our wool horse rugs also include binding along the back line to reduce stretch, as well as extended binding for extra strength up from the belly surcingles.
My final verdict
My horses are yarded with access to an open stable and while Bill did get a small three-quarter tear in his, it was easy enough to sew up by hand and has lasted the distance.
The other thing these rugs don’t do well against is horse teeth. My boys have a tendency to play fight quite boisterously over the fence and this is how the tear got in Bill’s rug in the first place.
The Caribu Kersey Wool Horse Rug does a beautiful job of keeping the horse warm without needing to pile on the rugs which just become heavy and uncomfortable for your horse. I prefer the natural fibres directly against the horses’ coat so wool, cotton etc are my preferred under rugs.
With the added bonus that the rug looks fantastic on too.
Would you like more information? Check on prices? Or buy one today? CLICK HERE.