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Types of Horse Rugs - Winter Edition

Written by: Gala Equine



Time to read min

Rugging your Horse in Winter

From turnouts to canvas and everything in between, Gala Equine's guide has all you need to know about Winter horse rugs! Read on to learn about the difference in fills, materials and types, so you can keep for your horses warm and dry this season.


Doonas make excellent top layers when rugging your horse in Winter because they have an outer material suited to keep the warmth in, and protect and compliment any under layers you may have. Here at Gala Equine we use a quilted poly-cotton blend outer - the perfect combination of style and functionality!

Doonas have what we call 'fill', which is measured in weight and based on the amount of insulation (fill) in the rug. The higher the number, the more densely processed the fibres are, and the warmer the rug will be. You can get light fills at 100g, and go as heavy as 400g. Gala Equine's fill is a synthetic poly fibre very similar to hobby fill, and comes in long flat lengths on a roll. 

Fill works to keep your horse warm with insulation - it traps heat in the air pockets of the fibres of the fill, and slows down heat escaping from your horse. We do not recommend putting anything over the top of your doona, as heavy rugs will weigh down and compress the fill - taking away valuable space for air pockets to do their job and hold onto heat.

Gala Equine's doonas are made with 200g fill, which we believe to be the best 'all-rounder' for Australian Winters, and they are very easy to layer with if you require extra warmth. Depending on your climate and condition of your horse, this may be just one Kersey Wool under your doona, or a combination a few different under rugs. 

Due to their cotton outer, doonas are great for stabled horses or in the paddock when it isn't raining. For wet weather and warmth, we recommend browsing our Turnout range.


Manufactured with a nylon outer (a synthetic fibre that is measured in denier) just like rain sheets, Gala Equine turnouts are Winter horse rugs designed for wet weather conditions.

Written in numbers like 600D, 1200D, 1680D, synthetic denier relates to how thick the fibres and weave are, with the thickest (highest number) being the strongest. There is little weight variance in the deniers themselves - a matter of a couple hundred grams - and if your horse is tough on rugs, higher denier rugs will better withstand the wear and tear thanks to its extra durability and strength.

Gala Equine Turnout rugs have 200g of fill, which as we covered earlier, works to keep your horse warm with insulation - and it is recommended that you use your Turnouts as a top layer to make sure it works as effectively as it can. If you need extra warmth, you can always layer underneath with our Kersey Wool rugs. Conversely, you can also take off our detachable necks - one of our favourite features of our turnouts! Having an area for heat to escape if your horse needs it can be valuable if your horse runs warmer than most but still needs to be somewhat rugged up.


Just like our turnouts, Gala Equine rain sheets are made from premium quality, high-denier synthetic Nylon. Perfect for continued, outdoor wet-weather use, Gala Equine rain sheets have 0g of fill and are suitable for less-chilly weather or as a top layer. 

Unfortunately no horse rug is 100% waterproof, as water will enter via seams & joins that can not be heat sealed (for example, behind chest buckles, leg straps, seams, and tail flap joins). But here at Gala Equine, we use a single, continuous run of fabric in the body of the combo to give as little opportunity for water to run in as possible!


Canvas horse rugs are made from a cotton blend, which is majority natural fibres, providing enhanced breathability. Available in different thicknesses and weights, often ranging from 11oz right up to 24oz, the heavier the canvas = the longer the potential waterproofing and the stronger it is. Gala Equine stocks both 20oz Hinterland Canvas and 24oz Deluxe Outback Canvas to suit a variety of budgets, whilst providing the ultimate protection for a variety of weather events - from short bursts of wet weather to a top layer for added warmth and keeping clean in winter.

Canvas rugs can either be lined or unlined as to suit a variety of climates and needs. Considered 'a traditional horse rug', many people prefer canvas rugs because oftentimes it's chilly when raining, but when the sun comes out shortly afterwards horses can overheat and sweat under synthetic rugs. Due to its natural fibre composition and breathability, this is less likely to happen with canvas, so some owners don't feel as thought they need to run out and change it as soon as the sun comes out (sometimes multiple times a day!)

To ensure your canvas performs at its best for many seasons to come, they do require some prep work prior to using (unlike any other horse rug) Prior to first use, Gala Equine recommends thoroughly wetting the canvas with a light hose and allowing the rug to dry fully in the sun (do not use a high pressure nozzles as this could compromise the waterproofing) This is necessary to allow the fabric to settle and threads to expand. If your rug is not proofed beforehand, you may find it absorbs excessive water in the initial exposure to rain and alters the lifespan of your rug.

Whilst canvas has a lot of benefits, if you need a rug that will keep your horse dry for long periods, opt for synthetic deniers instead. During heavy rain or longer periods of wet weather, the canvas will eventually 'wet out' and the fabric will become saturated - this is all part of the breathability of a canvas horse rug.


We LOVE Kersey wool rugs for their incredible breathability, strength & versatility! Wool outperforms synthetic rugs like polar fleece in almost every area - sustainability, durability, comfort & quality. Although it may appear more expensive upfront, if you look after your Gala Equine Kersey wool rug, it will last you many many seasons to come - making your "cost per wear" fantastic!

We have covered the many benefits of Kersey Wool Horse Rugs previously, but we'll quickly touch on them again because it's no secret they are some of favourite rugs here at Gala Equine! Wool is mother nature's wonderful creation - naturally breathable, moisture-repellant, moisture-wicking, odour-resistant AND perfect at thermoregulation. 

Gala Equine wool horse rugs are made of thick, high-quality, luxurious Kersey wool that is natural, renewable, and wrinkle-resistant. At 700gsm, it is one of the warmest woollen rugs on the market. We recommend layering our Kersey wools with other rugs for extra warmth if needed, they are great as either an under or top layer!

Rugging your horse in Winter is not a "one size fits all" option thanks to Australia's vast and varied climates, and even down to individual horses needs. That's why Gala Equine likes to provide options great for layering OR using on their own, so you can mix & match and tailor a solution that perfectly suits your horse throughout the season!