Thursday, October 13, 2011

HKH 101 Rain Sheets

Below about 14C, if it's raining outside your horses should really be wearing rain sheets or staying inside. That's just cold enough if they get soaked you're chancing health problems.

I've seen lots of people put on sheets improperly so here are the steps to doing it correctly.

The blankets should be opened and folded correctly before bringing into the stall with your horse. If the horse is skittish or not used to blankets they should be tied properly. Fold the blanket by bringing the back up to the front and the right side over to the left, that way you simply place the blanket at the horses withers, then you can unfold the blanket quietly over to the right, then backwards, onto the horse. This is a far better method then flinging the blanket over the horses back because (1) you can get the blanket straps hung up in any light fixtures on the ceilings (2) even a calm horse can get distracted and then spook when they see something flying at them.

Once you've got the blanket over your horses back, always do the front straps up first! That way if the aliens land, an earthquake strikes, or you horses just spooks at nothing it will remain as-safely-as-possible attached to the horse until you are able to catch and secure the blanket. If it were just attached at the legs or belly when the horse took off you'd very quickly have a tangled, panicked & dangerous horse.

Always check your blanket instructions before getting ready to put a new blanket on your horse, they are all different. When a blanket fits properly you shouldn't need to cross any straps you aren't supposed to (like leg straps), but there are lots of little tricks to get an big blanket to fit a slightly smaller horse. Used blankets can be a real money saver, and little rips and tears can be mended, or sent to blanket specializing seamstress (ask at the feed store). Blankets can also be re-water proofed, and you can find those products on the internet.

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