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Static Electricity!

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  • Static Electricity!

    This is the first year I've had such a problem and only with one horse. I use Rambos with Horsewear liners. The poor guy just tenses up when I take off his blanket because he knows what's comig. I don't have trouble with any of the other horses.

    Any solutions?

  • #2
    I thought it was just mine! I haven't had problems with blankets (and all mine are Rambos or Rhinos), but my unblanketed, hairy yak weanlings are just static electricity monsters. I feel like I need to groom them with Bounce dryer sheets!


    • #3
      I've taken to keeping dryer sheets in the barn to rub on my hands or gloves before handling the horses. I wish I could channel it--my mouthy gelding doesn't seem to mind at all when I punish him with a crop, but after I accidently zing him with static he looks at me warily for days!


      • #4
        Use static guard. I had the same problem with a polar fleece cooler. Sprayed Static Guard on - Problem solved!


        • Original Poster

          Buying Static Guard today. Thanks islgrl


          • #6
            Usually what happens is I'm wearing rubber boots so I don't discharge the static through me, it all goes through them. If I'm in the pens I'll shift a leg to touch the metal, otherwise the spray is a really good idea.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible


            • #7
              Do you zap the horse after pulling off the blanket?

              If so, after you pull off the blanket be sure not to touch the horse. I either let the blanket touch me or I touch a metal bar on the stall door. Since I've been using this method, I haven't zapped a horse yet this winter.

              I can't believe something so simple works, but it has for me!


              • #8
                I have a horse that can't wear a Rambo because of the shock! She won't move in it, but is fine in a Weatherbeeta!


                • Original Poster

                  No, it's when I lift the blanket up; you can hear it crackle no matter how slowly or quickly I remove it. Not a problem with anyone else. Weird. I do make sure I touch something metal after I remove it. Zapped the poor guy right on the nose the first time. Of course, he's my most sensitive, "how could you be so mean to me" guy.


                  • #10
                    I don't think it's just the Rambo/Rhinos but probably more related to humidity.

                    Alex was suffering greatly from static discharge while wearing his Weatherbeeta. Found the cheapest 'cure' was a spray bottle of water. I'd undo the buckles, gently lift away the blanket from his side and mist lightly before removing the blanket. Worked like a charm. He was very stressed by getting zapped to say nothing of my guilt at zapping him. Alex survived a barn fire and has no hair on his topline from wither to croup so there was no buffer for the zap.

                    Since we moved to winter quarters - barn with indoor with slightly higher humidity naturally and we added a bit more fat to his diet (flax) we seem to have lost the zap - YAY


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                      Do you zap the horse after pulling off the blanket?

                      If so, after you pull off the blanket be sure not to touch the horse. I either let the blanket touch me or I touch a metal bar on the stall door. Since I've been using this method, I haven't zapped a horse yet this winter.

                      I can't believe something so simple works, but it has for me!
                      Thanks again mkevent,
                      I've been using this technique since you first posted it and it works!!

                      I don't touch my horse, just grab the blanket from the withers and pull off.

                      No need to buy dryer sheets or static guard...
                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                      • #12
                        Hmmm...wondering if it has something to do with how the blanket is removed? (ok, I may be reaching for straws but I like challenges..)

                        FWIW, when I remove (or put on) blankets, I do it in thirds. I fold the back third over the middle of the blanket (still on the horse) and then undo the front buckles and fold the front third also over the middle. Then I remove the blanket. Just a theory, but maybe removing a smaller section of blanket (since it's now folded into 1/3 of its full size) would cause less static electricity?

                        Maybe it has nothing to do with it, but would it be worth a try?


                        • Original Poster

                          Tried thirds, tried from the back and from the front, tried slowly, tried fast. It zaps him as soon as I pick it up. He's not always the first or the last to be changed, I change up the order. I've been yanking it off lately, because at least it's over faster. Poor guy just tenses up...waiting to get zapped.

                          He's in a new blanket tonight. A Schneider's. So we'll see if it makes a difference. I wash the liners myself...maybe I should add fabric softener to the rinse but I'm afraid Mr. Sensitive will have a reaction.

                          Challenge on.


                          • Original Poster

                            Oh, and they're all on the same diet (TC Senior, timothy and alfalfa...he does get more alfalfa than the others, plus SmartOmega3). He's the only one I have the problem with. I guess it's his charging personality. He is a big old sweety. Nervous on the ground, but rock solid in the saddle. Point and shoot jumper. But, sigh, he's getting old...he's nineteen this spring, but looks like a 7 year old (and acts like one too).


                            • #15

                              I said I like a challenge. I didn't say I'd be good at it!!

                              Ok. The last thing I could think of...

                              Are you holding a lead rope when you take off his blanket or is he in cross ties? Maybe if you're connected to him through a lead rope it doesn't allow the static to discharge to you and then the metal?

                              The only reason I'm guessing this is one of my boarders horses last year would get zapped each time I took off his blanket. If I didn't halter him(with a lead rope attached) he'd walk away because he knew what was coming. Problem was, when I went to remove the halter he'd get zapped. Vicious cycle!

                              This year I've been able to take his blanket off without having to halter him. I can then touch the metal gate without having to remove his halter first and he hasn't gotten zapped at all this year-well, except for yesterday because I forgot to touch the metal before touching him! Hopefully he won't start walking away from me in the paddock again!

                              I think way too much about minute random things...


                              • Original Poster

                                I have him in cross ties or ground tied. I've tried holding onto the metal blanket bar when I pull it off, it's no better. Next time, I'll try holding onto the lead rope.

                                I'll keep you posted with the continuing saga....


                                • #17
                                  Actually, it only works for me if I remove the blanket and *then* touch the metal bar. Removing the blanket transfers the static to me (and if the blanket then brushes against my legs I get a little shock) and then touching the metal bar discharges the static.

                                  I tried touching the metal bar while removing the blanket and it didn't work at all. It seems to need to be 2 separate actions to be effective.


                                  • #18
                                    This will work:
                                    Dip one hand in a water bucket or spit on the fingers, and keep the wet fingers solidly against the horse's skin (like on the neck) while the other hand scoops the blanket off the horse or forward and over the head. Keep your wet fingers against the skin until the blanket is all the way off. This grounds you and the horse.
                                    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Plumcreek, I'll be trying that the next time I use the liner. He's in a different blanket...heavyweight and it remains to be seen if it's going to be a problem.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Plumcreek View Post
                                        This will work:
                                        Dip one hand in a water bucket or spit on the fingers,

                                        For a minute there I thought you were going to say "and stick finger in light socket."