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What's the trick to getting blankets off without shocking the poor horse?

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  • What's the trick to getting blankets off without shocking the poor horse?

    In this dry, cold air, when I take blankets off, the horses are getting a few static shocks that make them jumpy and quite indignant. I keep trying to remember my 8th grade science class to figure out if there's a way I can do it that doesn't cause a shock. One way that definitely does NOT work is if I have one hand pulling the blanket and the other hand on the horse-- when I do that, my (non blanket) hand is like a taser, even through leather gloves.
    Best I can come up with is to fold the blanket back off of them as much as possible, so it's not one big static-producing slide. But even then, they're getting little zaps. The older guys are stoic about it, but poor little sensitive Scarlett, you'd think I was hitting her with a cattle prod.

    Anyone have a magic method? Maybe I should spray the blankets with static guard.

  • #2
    Ah winter static cling, gotta love it. I dont know if it will help or if it is even feasable for you, but I have noticed show sheen cuts down on static cling. I came to this discovery durring shedding season. I have some really wooly ones. You stand there brushing, curry combing, etc and the hair flies all over and sticks to your face. And you cant brush it off cause of the static. So now I use lots-o-show sheen and find alot less static problems.
    Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley


    • #3
      Hmm, I've really not had trouble with this. I undo the straps, the front, then fold the neck side back over the rump and lift it off. Maybe some static guard?
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


      • #4
        I've been able to ground myself by holding something like a stall front with one hand and using the other hand to lift the blanket off. Seems to work. We don't often have enough dry weather around here to cause static, but when we do, I know it as the tails are all poofed out at the bottom...dead give away.


        • #5
          This. I grab something metal and take it myself.


          • #6
            You have to ground yourself. Just don't create a circuit with the horse at both ends by touching the horse with both hands. The shock goes up one hand and down the other, so touch wood with one hand, after you folded it all down, while taking it off with the other.
            My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


            • #7
              Agree with touching metal to discharge the shock.

              I fold the blanket in thirds and carefully lift it off the horses back, being careful not to touch the horse as I remove the blanket.

              Next, I touch metal stall bars or a metal gate. The shock doesn't hurt much at all if you use the back of your hand.

              This has worked every time the last two years I've been doing it.


              • #8
                I've heard that dryer sheets work. Get your hand under the blanket with a dryer sheet against the horse and roll it back while keeping the dryer sheet between the horse and the blanket.
                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                • Original Poster

                  good suggestions, thanks.


                  • #10
                    This is why I don't use Baker blankets....worst static ever, and I am short and busty so usually when I pull a baker off of a big horse I shock the horse and get zapped in the boobies.
                    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                    Bernard M. Baruch


                    • #11
                      Weirdly, I've never noticed a shock taking my horses blankets off. At least nothing note worthy. Horses have never given Any indication. I just grab the blanket and pull quickly.

                      Although my horses know darn well to stand still while I'm working with them. A tiny shock should not make them move or freak out. I have a friends mare (aka spookiest/most sensitive horse alive) and she doesn't seem to mind her blanket being taken off.
                      Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                      White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                      Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                      • #12
                        I am glad to read this...have had the problem all week....thanks


                        • #13
                          Static guard. Lay your blankets on the ground and spray the crap out of them (the inside of the blanket, not the outside.) Let them dry for 5 minutes and you'll be good to go, it totally eliminates the problem. I re-spray my blankets once a week with a quick spritz from the Static Guard can. It's in a blue can with an orange lid!


                          • #14
                            second Static Guard. If blanket is on horse, fold it over, spray, repeat other side. Worrks wonderfully
                            Appy Trails,
                            Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                            member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                            • #15
                              I use healthy hair care moisturizing spray... get a bigish bottle and mix it for a spray bottle.. lasts for a really long time, cuts down on the dandruff and no zaps.
                              and it smells good.
                              ....... pausing


                              • #16
                                Have had this issue all winter with one particular horse and one particular blanket. Of course the horse in question is a sensitive mare type.

                                What works for me:
                                I undo all the straps and buckles then dip my hand in the water bucket and take a shallow handful fo water. I then put my hand under the blanket and rub my hand down the length of her back. I then fold the back third up over towards the front, front third over to the back and lift up as much as possible.

                                Do not, incidentally, grab the halter by a metal ring. That really did not go well


                                • #17
                                  I keep Static Guard in my tack box in the winter. I put it on my brushes and sometimes even on my hands. For some reason I am a VERY static-ey person.

                                  Before I pet my cat I usually have to wet (or spit on - don't tell the cat!) my hands because I don't think she would appreciate the taste of Static Guard. And plus I'm sure it's not safe!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                    Weirdly, I've never noticed a shock taking my horses blankets off. At least nothing note worthy. Horses have never given Any indication. I just grab the blanket and pull quickly.

                                    Although my horses know darn well to stand still while I'm working with them. A tiny shock should not make them move or freak out. I have a friends mare (aka spookiest/most sensitive horse alive) and she doesn't seem to mind her blanket being taken off.
                                    Lucky you that you are probably in an area that has a different type of weather or higher humidity than those that have this problem and yes, it can be a shock you definitely notice.

                                    FWIW, I've unintentionally shocked the heck out of my guys taking off their blankets and they too stand still due to their training.

                                    I now use the dryer sheets and/or ground myself first.

                                    We are located in the high desert so maybe that contributes to the static shock.


                                    • #19
                                      I also just rub a dryer sheet around under the side I am removing. Takes care of it easily.
                                      Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        ,,,plus they'll smell Meadow Fresh! Or, more accurately, Meadow Fresh + Eau de Furry Pelt