Rug Fitting, Care & Warranty

Horse Rug Fitting Guide

Horses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. When it comes to rugs,the fit of the rug is all-important in order to ensure the comfort of your horse and to prevent rubbing and slippage of the rug. As horses of any given size vary so much in girth and build, it is essential to know correct measurements before purchasing your rug.

Rug sizes do also vary between brands, so if you find one brand fits your horse well, it pays to stick to that brand.

If your horse is between sizes, look at your horse’s chest. If he has a wide chest, go up a size, and if he is narrow, go down a size. Ideally, an existing rug in the correct size can be measured all the way along the bottom edge to give the size required. It is impossible to accurately measure a combo rug along the top edge.

Horse Height

Rug Size (Aus)

Rug Size (NZ)

Under 9hh



9.2hh – 10hh



10hh – 11.2hh



11.2hh – 12hh



12hh – 13hh



13hh – 14hh



14hh – 14.2hh



14.2hh – 15hh



15hh – 15.3hh



15.3hh – 16.1hh



16.1hh – 16.3hh



16.3hh – 17.1hh



17.1hh and over




How to fit your horses rug correctly

  • Place the rug forward and in front of the wither.  The chest buckle should be fastened to the 1st or 2nd hole.  Any further back than this, and the horse may need a larger size.
  • Make sure the rug fits firmly around the neck and chest.  This prevents the rug from "rolling" and slipping out of place
  • Leg straps should be looped around each other, and loose enough to prevent chafing - but not so loose that they hang down anywhere near the horse's hock
  • To prevent mane rub, clean the satin lining on the neck rug (where applicable) once a week, and spray the mane with a conditioner or detangler
  • Leg strap clips should face inwards (towards the horse) to reduce the chance of catching on fences or other hazards

Common problems/ Incorrect fitting rugs.

  • A rug/ blanket that is too big is actually more likely to cause rubs than one that is too small, and this can be dangerous.
  • If the rug extends beyond the top of the tail, the rug is too big. If the rug/blanket does not reach the top of the tail, the rug is too small.
  • If leg straps and surcingles are not adjusted to allow a hand's width, your horse may get his legs caught in the straps if the straps are too long. If they are too short, the straps may rub.
  • If the neck of the rug is too big, the rug will hang off the back of the horse, which will place pressure on the shoulders and increase the possibility of rubbing and slippage. The horse may also be in danger of stepping on the back of the rug when trying to stand after rolling.

Remember, if your horse is comfortable in his properly fitted rug/ blanket, he will be much happier to stay dressed.  A poorly fitted rug will be uncomfortable for your horse and he may try to get it off. Taking the above correct fitting steps will ensure that your new rug will not rub and will provide ultimate fit, protection and freedom of movement.

Caring for your Rug

Both Zilco & Weatherbeeta synthetic rugs are made from technologically advanced synthetic materials.  To ensure the waterproof properties are retained, we recommend the following:-

  • If the rug is removed whilst damp or wet, it should be hung up in a dry, well ventilated area.
  • Rugs may be washed in cold water on a gentle cycle, or by hanging over a clothes line and hosed.  Do NOT scrub or wash with detergents as this can damage the waterproofing.
  • Always follow the directions as they appear on the package or labelling
  • When not in use, rugs should be stored in a dry place with good ventilation.

Occasionally in heavy rain, some moisture penetration may occur in the sewn areas of the rug.  This is not significant and due to the positioning of the stitching, it will not affect the performance of the rug. Moisture penetration can also happen as a result of the horse standing tail-in or head-in to the weather, particularly when windy. This is normal, and no rug can completely protect from this.

Canvas rugs are sewn using a specially developed cotton covered nylon thread. This is designed to swell when wet, to completely fill the stitch holes.  It is recommended that before using a Canvas rug, to completely wet the rug first and allow to dry.

Rug Warranties

Zilco rug users have always trusted the design and quality of their rugs. Customers can now shop with even greater confidence as a large selection of our range are now backed with a formal warranty that guarantees the waterproof qualities of the material, and the durability of the hardware fittings to the original purchaser. Full warranty details are included with each rug purchased. Look for the 1 and 2 year warranty symbols noted in the product details.