The stable rug is designed to keep the horse warm whilst stabled and is not waterproof as it is not designed for outside use. The majority of stable rugs are made from padded or quilted synthetic material and are available in different thicknesses/weights of filling that offer varying degrees of warmth to the horse.
Lightweight stable rugs usually have up to 150 grams of filling, mediumweight stable rugs 150 grams to 300 grams of filling and heavyweight stable rugs have more than 300 grams of filling.
Stable rugs are breathable, allowing perspiration to evapourate, and are available in a variety of colours. Some stable rugs have pleats in the shoulders that allow for more freedom of movement. Combo stable rugs have an integrated neck cover whilst other stable rugs may have a removal neck cover.
For horses that are stabled during both night and day a warmer rug is often needed at night when the temperature drops than during the day. A heavier stable rug (night rug) and lighter weight stable rug (day rug) may be used, or an under blanket or under r may be used under the stable rug to provide extra warmth during the colder night and then removed leaving just the stable rug during the day.
Stable rugs are usually held in place by cross surcingles that are passed from the front of one side, under the belly and fastened towards the rear on the other side and another that is passed from the rear, under the belly and fastened at the front. This is accompanied by a fillet string attaching both sides of the rug at the rear over which the tail is pulled through.
The stable rug should not be too tight round the neck or chest area and the sides should be sufficiently long that none of the horse's belly is visible.
Under blankets or liners can also be used underneath the stable rug to provide extra warmth to the horse. A fleece rug can also be used as a light stable rug or as an under blanket/rug under a stable rug.