Wow ...what a difference two weeks make.
If you would believe it, its only 15 days since our beautiful August bank holiday (well it was around here...apologies if you had it pants!). We now have Storm Aileen making her presence felt, the temperatures feel like they have plummeted and you wonder whether we have been time warped into November! August (according to the Met Office), had temperatures only just below normal; but it does suddenly seem the time to sort out winter coats and hats.
I confess I have been on eBay bulk buying my Magic Gloves and have my woolly hats on for yard duties (but I do hate wind in my ears).
But whilst we are gearing up for turning the central heating on, what about our Neddies? How are they fairing with autumn landing suddenly?
Are they shivering and quivering, huddled under the fence?
Are they whinnying and calling to have their Mummy come and gathering them into a lovely stable?
Or this this just how we think they look?
Our anthropomorphic tendencies will be in full swing.."quick its cold...get out the rugs!
BUT whooooaa! Hold on...actually go and have a LOOK at your horse, FEEL your horse, ASSESS your horse. If he is in good condition, doesn't suffer from illness, infirmity or ongoing diseases, he will probably not need to be smothered in rugs at the moment (yes, each horse is an individual and should be treated as such so their needs will differ). But you could be doing more harm than good by rugging too early.
There have been some great articles published this week by renowned equine professionals and establishments : Dr David Marlin and Dick Vets (Royal Dick Vet Edinburgh University) explaining the physiological processes that an over-rugged horse can go through and how to assess your horse as to whether he may not need a rug on yet.
Remember: you are in charge of your horse and his management needs - not the rug sales person telling you must buy a heavyweight, full-neck, bulletproof, arctic tested rug as soon as the leaves start to change colour (and not your next door horsey neighbour either- do whats good for your own horse!)