Inspired by years of owning horses and battling with the British weather in a bid to keep her horses ‘out’, MudRugs was born, the brain-child of Louise Gant who heads a small organisation based near Leominster, Herefordshire.
Originally from Hampshire, Louise moved with her husband to Herefordshire in 2018, to escape city life. They relocated without friends nearby, but as Louise says “it’s amazing how animals often connect you to the kindest people.” Their family includes two dogs and of course the horses – committed brand ambassadors for MudRugs! Coal’s been with Louise for nearly 11 years, since he was two and is her horse of a lifetime. Ember joined them earlier this year, a yearling who she hopes to event. Louise takes a great interest in natural horsemanship and indeed offers a natural lifestyle for her horses wherever possible. They are barefoot and turned out at every opportunity, something she’s battled with at various livery yards over the years – but MudRugs certainly supports this intention.
Having puzzled over traditional turnout rugs, Louise says: “the aim is to improve upon many of the issues and inconveniences we had previously become accustomed to, such as:
Why should a rug only protect the back and the neck? Well, those are the largest muscle groups, losing the most heat. Of course, it makes perfect sense until you introduce almost any clip, or attempt to tack up quickly following a busy day at work. So, we developed our integrated belly cover; flexible to 4 settings, fastened inside the rug to prevent water running in and with reduced polyfill to avoid overheating. We even include 3 spare surcingles so you can pick and choose when to use it.
Why should a tail flap be free to blow straight over the horses back in the presence of any moderate gust? Well, the tail certainly needs to lift, but let’s control it. We include extended darts on each side, allowing the tail flap to lift as needed, but not vertically and beyond.
Why are we searching in the dark for the horse who isn’t waiting patiently by the gate for our arrival? Better still, why are we dressed in fluorescent yet forgetting the biggest hazard in the lane is wearing his best black rug? Far from ideal, so we developed our signature reflective shoulder darts, filling them entirely and then adding double reflective strips to each side of the extended tail.
Of course, we maintain some familiar features; elastic at the poll yet a deep fitting neck, removable leg straps to cross over or use as a fillet string, chest fastenings adjustable to 12 different settings… one size does not fit all, but we certainly try.
Perhaps most importantly – we source carefully researched and reliable material. Durable fabric with PU waterproofing, 1200 denier yet highly breathable it completes a rug designed to truly protect against the elements.
And finally, why can’t we just ‘let horses be horses’, a phrase we’re all familiar with. The trouble is, for the very reasons we have them, ‘letting them be’ is rarely in their best interests. There are countless limitations.”
And so, with their love of horses at the forefront, Louise and her team at MudRugs pride themselves on supporting the next best thing for our equine friends – comfortable, convenient and frequent turnout. To see more or buy online, visit: https://www.mudrugs.co.uk/