Winter logistics just got a whole lot easier.
A few days after Mathilda opted out of winter wear [Windbreak], we took Rodney out of the wardrobe rotation as well. Long story short, the poor horse was getting zapped by his blanket.
In previous winters, we’d had problems with static electricity while grooming [Safety]. As best we can tell, the problem had been mild. He was always happy to see his blanket & seemed to enjoy being warm. We wrote off the occasional zaps as isolated phenomenon.
This year, Rodney is furrier that usual. Last weekend was colder, and therefore drier, than usual. Cue science experiment. He comes flying over. I reach to adjust his blanket. Sudden snap, crackle of a shock that startles both of us. To add insult, I then zap him with a carrot.
In retrospect, this would explain why the shavings in his stall had been mix-mastered more than usual for the previous two mornings. We thought he was reacting to the cold. Turns out he was running up and down, agitating his blanket, and then shocking himself. Which caused more agitated running about. Which caused more shocks. Poor horse. He has been naked and calm(er) ever since.
I’ve never had this problem. We kept Previous Horse and Mathilda in the same climate, in the same blankets for eons. I’ve never even heard of the issue. It wasn’t until I Googled horses & static electricity that I discovered blankets could be a contributing agent.
We will adjust the routine and they should be fine. I have friends living in much colder climates who don’t blanket at all. (T.E. I’m looking at you.)
Horse needs to hire better minions.
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2 thoughts on “ZAP!”
Been reading a lot of complaints about this lately. It’s often been said that Static Guard works well when sprayed on the underside of blankets and lasts until the blanket is washed. Also heard various horse coat products help. (Best Shot revitalizing spray got several good reviews.) One person said they wipe the blanket area of the horse with baby wipes. Clothes dryer sheets got mentioned too, but it wasn’t clear if they were suggesting you wipe the horse or the blanket with the product. I used to be a staunch supporter of limited blanketing, but I’ve come to think it depends upon a couple of different variables, including (but not entirely limited to) how much coat the horse can (or is allowed) to grow.
We had purchased a can of Static Guard before we decided to bail on the blankets. At this point, his body is a lot tougher than his mindset. Better a cold breeze through his fur than further consternation between the ears. Will use the s.g. for brushes.
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