The way a rug is cut affects comfort, fit and ability to stay in place.
Just like people horses come in all shapes and sizes. Just like clothes for people there are subtle differences in designs from different manufacturers and some clothes just feel right for you.
Most rugs are cut fairly high over the wither to eliminate rubbing and pressure around the wither and chest. Darts, shaping and lightweight, flexible fabrics now ensure a good fit that stays in the right place.
Shoulder gussets are a good idea for horses who tend to charge around in the field, and it's wise to look for enough depth to come below the horse's belly.
So it's worth shopping around for one that's the most exact shape for your horse.
Again, it's important to find one that really suits your horse's size and shape - make sure all darts are in the right place and leg straps are at a comfortable height.
Unless you are going for an expensive custom made horse rug then the principal measurement is from the center of the chest in a straight line to the rear of the rump.
Based on this measurement we can provide guidance on the appropriate size rug.
Rug sizes are usually manufactured in three-inch increments. When considering your horse's measurements, you need to consider the build of the horse. If your measurement is between sizes and you have a well-built horse then you would go the next size up.
Often owners will ask for a rug that will suit a growing horse. Unfortunately it is not possible for a single rug to suit a horse that will grow through a number of rug sizes, don't be tempted to buy a rug several sizes too big so that the horse will grow 'into it' as it is uncomfortable for the horse and creates a risk of injury to the horse.
If you do get the size wrong then most rug suppliers will be happy to exchange your horse rug for the correct size. You should be careful to keep the rug in a totally clean condition and preferably try the rug on over an underrug to keep it clean. Suppliers are not going to exchange if the rug is dirty and can not be resold.