Rugging up and off

Horsemanship Level 4: Saddlery pt III

Finally (yes, it's been a couple of months!) the last part of the Horsemanship Level 4 requirements is demonstrating how to correctly put on and remove a horse blanket.

First take a look at these two videos, the first of Ali & Noah from

target="_blank">Help! My Daughter Loves Horses!  and the second from the UK Pony Club's
target="_blank">Pony Prep series.



I have included both of these videos because Ali goes into a bit more detail about the reasons for folding a blanket and shows leg straps; whereas the second video demonstrates removing the blanket, as well as a slightly better folding method.

I prefer to approach blanketing from the point of removing the rug first, then putting it on afterward.  Here is what we are looking for in the assessment:

Removing the blanket / Rugging off

  1. Undo the leg straps and clip them up to their own attachment points (or remove the tail from the tail loop.)
  2. Undo the belly straps.  If they are very long, knot them as in the video.
  3. Undo the chest buckles.
  4. Fold the blanket in thirds (here is where I differ from the videos):
    • Fold the back third over the middle third
    • Fold the front third back over top
    • This creates a tidier blanket than folding in half and is easier to manage.
  5. Remove the blanket gently and hang neatly.


Putting the blanket on / Rugging up

  1. Place the folded blanket over the horse's back, a little closer to the front than the back.
  2. Unfold the front forward and buckle the chest straps.
  3. Unfold the back towards the rump.
  4. Buckle the belly straps, crossing them front to back and back to front if there are two.
  5. Attach the left leg strap to the ring on the left side of the blanket.
  6. Loop the right leg strap through the left, and attach to the right side of the blanket.  (This differs from the video as well, but creates a more stable crossing of the straps, and prevents you having to reach across the hind end to buckle).
  7. Check the blanket all over to see it's sitting smoothly, is not too loose, too tight, or rucked.

There are many terrible videos available on the internet, showing people throwing blankets over horses.  Even if your horse is completely unconcerned with flapping sheets, please don't do that in your test!  We want to see you putting on and removing the blanket in an organized, calm, and methodical fashion that would be safe with any horse.

Upcoming Classes

Beginner Riding & Horsemanship

If you’ve never been on a horse, or if its been a long time, here’s the place to start.  When you arrive at the barn at 10am you’ll begin with a horsemanship lesson, familiarizing yourself with the horses and their tack, as well as how to groom, handle and tack them up.  Then you will have a riding lesson, working through the requirements of Riding Level 1 — the prerequisite to most of the fun stuff we do on horseback!

Sundays 10am – noon
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $300 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Riding & Horsemanship Level 2Tilly

This course is intended for riders who have taken classes through the program and are comfortable tacking up their own horses.  Riders should arrive at 9:30am to tack up and warm up their horses before starting their riding lessons at 10am, followed by Horsemanship Level 2 or 3 lessons at 11am

Sundays 10am – noon
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $300 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Horsemanship Level 3-4saddle fitting

If you have your Level 2 Horsemanship and wish to delve deeper into horse care including topics such as trailering, vet & first aid, bandaging, foot & shoeing and conditioning this class is for you.

Sundays 10:30am – 11:30am
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $130 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Kate Landels

Riding Level 3+Jack 2

This class is intended for independent riders who have achieved Level 2 or higher.  Riders are expected to be tacked up and warmed up prior to class.  Your own helmets, boots, and half chaps are recommended, as are safety vests for the occasional cross-country class, weather permitting.

Sundays noon – 1pm
6 November – 11 December 2016
cost: $200 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

You can sign up for these classes online, at the front desk, or by phone: 604 568 9907.



Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.