Is there a way to not shock the snot out of you and horse...
when pulling a sheet off?? It's very dry here and static electricity builds up quickly. I've even tried rolling it up and off and still the shock. Poor Leo kind of grunts and I'm none too happy either. Would a Bounce sheet work somehow?? I don't know how, just thinking of something that is anti-static.
You can just spray plain old water prior to removing it. Any moisture of any kind will do.
I have an interesting anecdote about static and shock...
One winter years ago, I was schooling my green-as-grass Ottb in the indoor. In comes another rider with her upper level (eventing) Tb gelding, was was wearing a nice fleece quarter sheet. They warm up a bit then she gets off to remove the quarter sheet. Horse gets shocked, runs way from her straight TO us, I halt my mare, the gelding drops right in front of us and starts rolling. My mare just stands there, totally bemused. Then the rider comes running toward us because of course she doesn't want him to crush her saddle! At this point my mare starts freaking out big time.
All ended well, saddle was safe, gelding back under control, and I managed to stay on AND my mare retained enough sanity to keep schooling her.
Well I can't seem to figure out how to avoid static electricity in the winter. It even made my new mare head-shy to the point you would assume I was abusing her! People were commenting. Yep, got her pretty good on the muzzle, she was horribly offended! It took a lot of hand feeding to get her to not be terrified of me.
I seem to recall something about running a dryer sheet (like Bounce) under the blanket before removing. Or maybe it was before putting the blanket on. Pretty sure I read it on COTH so maybe someone remembers.
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Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
Spray or apply something on the inside of the blanket that cuts static. If you are not squicky about weird chemicals, Static Guard or rubbing the inside of the blanket with a dryer sheet will help. If you are not squicky about weird chemicals but are a frugal person, you can make homemade Static Guard out of diluted fabric softener and water. If you are squicky about weird chemicals, find an organic or all-natural hair conditioner that passes your muster and dilute that into a spray with water. It's a decent facsimile for Static Guard.
Also, keep one hand on your horse while you remove the blanket with the other hand. Static happens when electric charge jumps from one surface to another, so when the horse and human stay connected, there's much less chance of static. I knew one paranoid horse owner who would even do this with a wet cloth in her hand, pressed against the horse, but I don't find that practical in winter weather.
Roll the sheet off, starting from the shoulders and going backwards towards the butt. It seems to keep enough contact with the horse that way so the poor beast doesn't get shocked. If you try to just pull it off, that seems to be when all the static starts flying.
I hate when I forget about the static.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
Okie dokie...I took a Bounce sheet out with me. What I learned: First off, make sure horse is okay with a white little sheet rubbing and making a schzinging noise as you rub over the horse sheet because that sound sure sounds like a cougar coming out of the forest to eat said horse. Second, make sure the smell of the Bounce sheet is compatible with horse's sensitive nose because he's a Nosey Nelly and wants to know if there is a treat in there somewhere. Thirdly, as you pull the sheet off, stop to rub again. The first time does cut down on the static but it's short-lived also. All was good for the first pull but when I stopped to get to a better angle, back to square one when I went for the second pull. Shock!
At any rate, it was better than it has been. Leo is happy it's off, he's not a fan of sheets. Actually, I'm surprised this sheet has lasted this long with him under it and Sammy being the helpful type with his teeth.
From the title i immediately thought about "shocking" both the horse and myself whenever the horse is eating a meal and I do ANY thing next to his half wall (hang a saddle pad, pick up my brushes, sneeze,...) Its like food erases his entire memory of me and his head shoots into the air and i jump backwards and we both stare at each other, snorting. But alas, you were talking about the blanket thing.... which isn't that different of a reaction, really.
even when I put one hand on the horse i sometimes still shock him. So since I'm usually un-dressing him in the stall, I use his water bucket and wet my hand and put it on his neck as I take off the blanket. It usually does the job. I may try the fabric softened dilution though.... he acts so offended whenever I have 'bitten' him like that! Poor buddy!
I use the Avocado Mist coat conditioner every time I groom, and before I put her blanket/sheet back on. Not a heavy application, just a light dusting then run over her with a soft brush. Works wonders and not so harsh, chemically.
“You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky
Today I rolled that puppy off Leo's bum and all was well. Went very slowly rolling it off. Then I went up to take the halter off and put my hand on his shoulder...you guessed it....shock! But it was such a minor shock from the normal ZING we used to share. It's so dry here, even with Downy in my wash water, when I get clothes out of the dryer, there is still some static.
BTW, I found $14 in the washing machine today. I also forgot about the water hose in the horse tank and now have a keen little lake out there.