Ok, its that time of year again when winter is rapidly approaching, and the temperatures are dropping, meaning the rugging season is almost upon us. Which brings about a whole new set of problems one of which is wet rugs. Now there are many ways to dry your rugs depending on space, time and budget. Here i am going to go over them, to help you decide which way is best for you.
- Leave the rug on the horse – This is by far the easiest way to dry the rug, check the underneath of the rug is dry and the horse is dry and then simply leave it on, the horses body heat will help to dry the rug. However if the rug is really wet it will be very heavy and possibly still have water running off it which may be uncomfortable for the horse.
- Hang over something – You can hang the rug over pretty much any thing, the stable wall (providing your horse won’t pull it into the stable and trash it) a covered fence, spread over some wheelbarrows, bales of hay/straw even pallets. Just make sure that if the rug is still dripping it is not going to drip onto anything and ruin it. You can also make your own hanging rail using strong rope tied to posts or set up a jump undercover somewhere and hang the rug over it. The trick is to get the rug as flat as possible so it can dry. The problem with doing it this way is that quite often the underside of the rug does not dry, so you would need to turn the rug over to dry the other side as well – which does increase the drying time. Basically you want to get the rug as flat as possible, with as much air circulation as possible. This method is very easy and cheap to do, but it can take up a large amount of space.
- Hang from a nail – you can bang a very large nail into a wooden post and then do up the front buckle of the rug and hook the buckle over the nail. Make sure the nail is high enough up to give the rug ground clearance. This method takes up very little space and is very cheap and easy to do. However the because the rug is not stretched out, it does not allow air to circulate around all of the rug, so you may find that whilst this is a great way for storing dry rugs, it is not as effective at drying them off.
- Use a rug arm – There are really good and you can get a variety of different models, depending on how many rugs you need to hang from one up to 20. Stubbs have even brought out a new design that lowers so you can hook the rug on, then push it back up to full height, for the floor clearance. With the others you may need to keep a step handy for putting the rugs on and off.
- Heated rug dryers – There are a few varieties on the market and they range in size and price depending on how many rugs you want to dry at any one time. The Centaur ones have a running cost of £0.04 per hour and are on wheels, so easily moved, however they do need a lot of space and a plug socket in order to operate. Ideally their own drying room, which again takes up space.
These are a few suggestions for getting those rugs dry, however it is always good to have 2 rugs for winter turnout. So you can leave one drying whilst the other is in use.