Affordable Horse Rug Buying Guide

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Affordable Horse Rug Buying Guide

There are hundreds of horse rugs for sale out there from various manufacturers.

In order to choose the right rug for your horse, first you have to decide what sort of weather conditions you want your rug to guard against.

  • Is it a rug for turning your horse out into the field?
  • Then is it for during the summer, autumn or winter?
  • Or do you want a stable rug, again, for summer, autumn or winter.


The size of the rug is measured from the centre of the chest, round the shoulder, along the length of the horse to where the rug ends at the back. Rugs increase in increments of 3 inches. Ranging from:



small pony

4' 3"

large horse



All rugs these days come in different weights, according to the amount of stuffing they have, making the selection much easier. Heavy winter rugs tend to have about 660gms of polyfill, medium weight ones for spring and autumn about 220gms, and summer ones will be just the polyester outer fabric with a cotton lining.

You can always consider buying a 220gm rug and put another quilted under-rug underneath it, for the colder winter weather, instead of buying a completely new 660gm one.

Then you have to decide if you want a neck piece, with your rug or not, a 600gm heavy winter rug with a neck piece attached is a very good idea; your horse will be kept warm and dry right up to his ears. A detachable neckpiece is a good idea for the mid-weight rugs, so that you can remove it on the sunnier days. All turn-out rugs should be made of waterproof, breathable, rip-stop outer shell fabric. All of the seams should be taped, to prevent any water leaking in.

Winter stable rugs all seem to be about mid-weight, so again you can add a quilted under rug when the weather turns colder. For the summer you have just a cotton stable sheet, to keep any draught off your horse's back.

For summer turn-out you can buy fly-sheets, again with or without neck pieces. These are marvellous sheets made out of tightly woven strands of polyester that keep the flies off your horse's body.


Next consider the attachments on the rug - the main buckles, or clips in the middle of the chest. There should usually be two, set at slightly different angles; one to take the pull from round the horse's neck; the other, lower down, to take the pull from his body. Check that they are robust enough to stand up to general horse wear and tear. They should still be easy enough for you to do and undo. Be sure that there is enough soft padding underneath them, to ensure that there is no rubbing against the horse's chest. 

Cross-surcingles under the horse's belly are standard these days. They keep the rug on securely and straight. It is even better if there are also cross-surcingle straps that run from under the rug, about half way down, between the horse's back legs, and then clip onto a metal ring sewn onto the rear seam of the rug. These extra straps ensure that the rug stays in the right position after a horse has rolled, got up, bucked and charged off round the field. The neck pieces usually have two or three buckles under the horse's neck to close them up.

Some rugs have extra shoulder darts, which are a very good idea as they help prevent any rubbing to the horse's coat on the point of the shoulder. This point always takes most of the strain as the rug pulls back as the horse moves.

You also need to consider the actual depth of the rug when looking at it in a photograph, does it just skim the horse's belly, or is it nice and deep so that it turns inwards a bit, keeping the outer edges of the belly warm and dry.

When looking to purchase a rug, eBay  have a variety of quality brands on offer for you to choose from. 


More rugs are damaged beyond repair by being stored in a damp or cold environment. If they are put in such places, even if covered, then the rug will suffer. If vermin can get to them they can end up badly chewed and damaged.

It is as well therefore to store any rug in a dry environment at a good height off the ground. Cover the rug with an old blanket or sheet as this will keep the dust and, if there is any damp, mildew off the rug.

Before storing a horse rug it is very important to make sure it is completely clean and dry. Mud or sweat left on the rug will eventually cause it damage. Sweat can also allow unpleasant mould to develop.


Many rugs are small enough to fit in a domestic washing machine. Please remember to look at the care label for specific guidelines on which temperature a rug should be washed at. Pay close attention to straps and buckles when placing a rug in washing machine. A good tip is to put a sock or two over each buckle to avoid damage to the washing machine.

Larger rugs are sometimes not suited to machine washing.

Guide for washing horse rugs

  1. Lay out the rug, shaking off and removing any excess dirt
  2. Use a brush or other suitable tool to remove any stubborn dirt.
  3. Turn over the rug to remove any excess hair or sweat as best you can
  4. Fill a large bucket or tub with water and non-biological soap
  5. Soak the rug in the water stirring occasionally to ensure that the whole rug is covered
  6. Leave to soak in the tub or bucket
  7. Lay an old, clean ground sheet (or something similar, whatever it is, it must be clean) on the floor.
  8. Lay the rug on top of the sheet and scrub any remaining dirt off using a hand held brush or broom if preferred.
  9. Hang the rug over a sturdy fence or strong washing line to dry off in the sun and wind.

Buying Affordable Horse Rugs on eBay

You can find horse rugs quickly and easily on eBay. While you shop, don't forget Saddles, Other Tack, Grooming & Health, Bridles, Supplements & Treats and Food. Click the Sporting Goods portal and click Equestrian.

Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Books & Magazines, Driving, DVDs, Horse Wear & Equipment, Prints & Art, Rider Clothing & Accessories, Stable Accessories, Trophies and Videos. As you refine your search you'll be able to narrow down your choice by subcategory.

Product Finder: Use the Horse Rug Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by brand, model and condition. (new or used)

Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find new Horse rugs type the keywords "horse rug new" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy a Horse Rug with Confidence

Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your item

  • Read the details in the item listing carefully.
  • Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you’re buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.
  • If you want more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.
  • Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.
  • Never pay for your eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or Moneygram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

  • Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.
  • What is the seller’s Feedback rating? 
  • How many transactions have they completed?
  • How many positive responses do they have?
  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? 
  • Are they positive about the seller?

Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.

  • Do they offer a money-back guarantee? 
  • What are their terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection your purchase price plus original delivery cost.

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