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Blanket zap

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  • Blanket zap

    I have a new horse in the barn this winter who did not grow enough coat to go naked, so she is blanketed. The problem is that every time I take the blanket off, the poor mare gets zapped by static electricity and she is starting to dread having it removed. Who could blame her! I'm short, so lifting the blanket completely off of her (rather than sliding it off) is a challenge and doesn't always work. I've blanketed my other horses and have never encountered this before. I'm hoping there is an obvious solution to this!

  • #2
    I did this to my new horse a few years ago - poor dear! A spark actually flew! Weather is obviously a factor, but wonder if the amount of oil in the coat might make it worse? (Dry coat - less oil - more zap), since it doesn't happen often anymore. I also am careful to fold the blanket back in parts, then lift it off her rump, rather than drag it off.

    Dryer sheets will help - either rubbed on the inside of the blanket or on the horse. Best to use unscented/"sensitive/baby" type ones that don't have any irritating ingredients.

    Fleece coolers/ quarter sheets are the worst - I just take those home and launder them, then dry them with a dryer sheet. It seems to last a good while.

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    • #3
      Spray it with Static Guard
      Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

      Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

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      • #4
        Hay

        Does Show Sheen help?
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        • #5
          I find this works -

          Place an un-gloved hand flat on the withers and leave it there. Then use your other hand to remove the blanket.

          Again, it is important not to remove your hand from the horse until the blanket is off.

          Perhaps this has some kind of *grounding* effect? Anyway, it works.
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          • #6
            I hold on to the metal bars on the stall front, I'll have to try the hand on the withers. Once I zapped my yearling colt's ears when I pulled his blanket over his head.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Twofatponies, I think you're on to something, I read somewhere that the excessive static has to do with a dry coat. Hopefully next year or as the winter wears on and she has better nutrition this won't be a problem.

              I'll give each suggestion a shot and see what works best. Thanks for the suggestions!

              Comment


              • #8
                You can also put a cotton sheet underneath.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I too will grab a stall grill when removing the blanket. Of course, this was after I zapped my poor QH to death one winter! He still gives me the hairy eye when I reach for his blanket!
                  Off track: I reached down to pet my cat, who in turn lifted his nose to my hand *POW* big spark at the end of his nose, a yelp and he streaked off into the next room. He was pissed at me for the rest of the day! Man those staic sparks can be intense!

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                  • #10
                    I haven't had this problem *knock on wood*

                    I fold my blankets (messily) as I take them off.

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                    • #11
                      There was usually no grounded metal anywhere to touch, so I learned to fold the blanket several times -- front over center, back over center, one side over the other, then lift away from horse. This gives the static charge more time to dissipate and makes the blanket easy to hang up.

                      When grooming, I place one hand (or a finger) on any bare skin available, since a thick coat will allow a charge to build up and then jump from the horse's skin to yours. Not many of these bare places exist -- lips, under tail, just inside sheath, etc. I connected two anti-static wrist straps together and placed one on my wrist and the other around the base of the horse's tail. Works like a charm, just be prepared for some wierd looks and silly questions from other boarders.
                      The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                      Winston Churchill

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                      • #12
                        I do the hand on the wither thing as well. The only time it gets cold in Florida, it is also very dry. Im pretty sure that keeping a hand on the horse is grounding you to them. And I also do this while grooming, esp with a synthetic stiff brush.

                        I do fold the fleece coolers back over themselves like 3 times to remove them but I still keep my hand on the horse while actually lifting it off.
                        ~~~~~~~~~

                        Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                          There was usually no grounded metal anywhere to touch, so I learned to fold the blanket several times -- front over center, back over center, one side over the other, then lift away from horse. This gives the static charge more time to dissipate and makes the blanket easy to hang up.

                          When grooming, I place one hand (or a finger) on any bare skin available, since a thick coat will allow a charge to build up and then jump from the horse's skin to yours. Not many of these bare places exist -- lips, under tail, just inside sheath, etc. I connected two anti-static wrist straps together and placed one on my wrist and the other around the base of the horse's tail. Works like a charm, just be prepared for some wierd looks and silly questions from other boarders.
                          Great idea on the wrist straps - because of course the same thing happens when I groom her, only not quite as bad. I'm putting them on my Christmas list. Fortunately I my ponies are in the back yard, so no boarder-hairy-eyeballs for me to contend with! Do you fasten the second one under the tail like you would a crupper?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            static guard

                            I keep a can of static guard in my tack room. when the weather gets really dry I just give the blanket a quick once over. works like a charm.
                            m

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you use Static Guard, please please spray it while blanket is off the horse. Also spray each blanket separately. If blankets are piled (or layered on the horse), and you lift one to spray underneath, this can set off its own static charge, a particularly nasty one. Best to do this with blanket flat on ground.

                              Other things that help:

                              1. Clip horse.
                              2. Watch the weather. Wet weather, no zap. Cold dry (ie snow): zap.
                              3. Be especially careful if you are near a power line.
                              4. Yes, Show Sheen helps.
                              5. Replace any synthetic blankets you can with natural fibers. Wool and cotton instead of fleece. At the least, put a cotton liner next to the horse.
                              6. Put moisturizer on your hands, lots of it, before handling horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Wool will generate static, but synthetics seem to generate huge amounts. Has anyone noticed this with brushes - using plastic fiber vs. real hair or rubber brushes?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by duecavalle View Post
                                  Do you fasten the second one under the tail like you would a crupper?
                                  Yes, and make sure the conductive pad on the strap contacts bare skin. If the base of the tail is large in diameter , you may have to get creative with some Velcro, a rubber band, or Vet-Wrap.

                                  Among my collection, the brushes that show the least static electricity generation are those with vegetable fiber bristles.
                                  The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                                  Winston Churchill

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                                  • #18
                                    I tried the hand on the wither thing today at the barn, because my girl and I have a lot of trouble with static. It seemed to work - her ears never went back - but OMG so much static in my hand! And you could hear crackling as I pulled her stable sheet off. But she didn't flinch or pin her ears once like she usually does when the static foe rears its head, so I am thinking that it didn't bother her very much if at all. And I think I can live with a little bit of a tingly hand for a few minutes after de-blanketing if it keeps Lola happy.
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                                    "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by duecavalle View Post
                                      I have a new horse in the barn this winter who did not grow enough coat to go naked, so she is blanketed. The problem is that every time I take the blanket off, the poor mare gets zapped by static electricity and she is starting to dread having it removed. Who could blame her! I'm short, so lifting the blanket completely off of her (rather than sliding it off) is a challenge and doesn't always work. I've blanketed my other horses and have never encountered this before. I'm hoping there is an obvious solution to this!
                                      put a fleeece or cooler underneath the out door rug and only take the out door off and change for a poly warm inside this way the under rug keeps her warm and the static stops
                                      then when you can change the out door rug to one that has polyester or cotton lining as its the nylon inside thats making it static

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I just spray them down with a coat conditioner (like show sheen, but not that brand). It works well
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