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Preventing Static with Horse Rugs

Preventing Static with Horse Rugs
Category: Horse Talk Knowledge Base
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Comments: 8 [Read/Post]
Synopsis:

You and your horse will have more encounters with static electricity on dry days than on humid days. Choosing the right horse rugs, and adopting the right personal habits can help reduce your and your horse's problems with static electricity.

Static electricity is one of the minor hazards involved with horse rugging and horse care in general. As a horse owner, you will probably notice that static shocks seem to be more of a problem on dry days, at least compared to humid days. Having more water vapor in the air can ease some of the problems with static electricity. The shocks that you and your horse feel are caused by electrons. Water famously conducts electricity very efficiently. In this case, water vapor provides a conduit through which electrons can find charged objects that need more electrons, as opposed to causing the sparks that we associate with static electricity. Otherwise, static charges can accumulate.

Preventing Static With Horse Rugs
Preventing Static With Horse Rugs

Cold air does not retain moisture as well as warmer air, so there is a correlation between colder weather and increased static electricity problems. You may have more static electricity issues during the winter. There are also going to be daily variations in humidity levels that can make a noticeable difference. Some climates will tend to have more humidity than others in general. Your exact location may influence the amount of static shocks that you are and your horse will have to cope with on a regular basis. Different horses will have different responses to static shocks. Some horse may get used to them, but other horses may become steadily more wary of grooming and horse rugging as a result of repeated shocks.

Many horse owners have developed different strategies for avoiding static with horse rugging. There are plenty of home remedies out there for you to try, many of which involve treating the horse rug itself. Applying a dusting of baby powder directly to the underside of the horse rug and rubbing off the excess powder so it doesn't show up on your horse has helped some horse owners decrease static electricity.

Your choice of horse rugs may also be a factor with static electricity. For instance, you may find that polar fleece horse rugs are worse than others when it comes to static shock. Interestingly, some horse owners have had more luck with wool horse rugs and horse rugs made from blends that have higher ratios of natural fibers. But as many will confirm, even using 100% cotton rugs – doesn’t resolve the issue in many cases.

What many people don’t consider is that they themselves may be part of the issue. You will find that the clothes you wear will affect the amount of static shock you and your horse will receive. Wearing a cotton jacket or sweater may be preferable to wearing something made from synthetic fabric.

You may also lessen your own body's static charge by touching a metal gate or something else large and metallic before coming in contact with your horse.

Comments on Preventing Static with Horse Rugs

Jenny P Sunday, July 2, 2017 08:14 PM
I gave my pony a light misting with a commercial antistatic spray and its lasted a month so far with no static at all. The spray is called exstatic and i bought it from David Jones hosiery section, but supermarkets would probably also sell it or dinnertime similar in the laundry aisle.
Linda Sunday, May 28, 2017 10:25 AM
For cottons use fabric softener in the rinse cycle when washing. Worked for me.
Di Saturday, May 27, 2017 09:58 AM
I live in a dry central Wheatbelt region in WA and static has been a problem here, in warmer weather I will use a hose or trigger bottle and spray a light misting of water over the rug before removing, works a treat and is a simple and cheap solution. These days I spray a little magnesium oil onto my horses haunches and neck and shoulders (dry coat, never on a wet horse) while I'm grooming them before rug up, and I've noticed I haven't had a static problem since, it's a much more expensive solution if you're buying your Mag Oil but I make my own and reduce the cost. You're giving your horse a magnesium boost at the same time.
Deb Saturday, May 27, 2017 09:03 AM
Put hand cream on before going out to do your horse. I find this helps a lot. Dry skin on your hands really seems to set both of you up for a good zap. Also touch lots of things before you touch your baby - this brings any static down to minimal.
Celinda Friday, May 26, 2017 10:15 PM
I use a little hair conditioner in a 500ml spray bottle of water. Lightly spray either the horse or the inside of the rug, just slightly damp is enough. This will work for quite a few days. Do this especially after having washed the rug, or the horse.Best result ever. ! ! I
Nick Tuesday, April 12, 2016 09:39 PM
Static electricity is annoying. What products get rid of it?
Janna Leoni Avery Sunday, January 3, 2016 05:10 PM
Rather than lifting rugs off when aware static is happening, I will slowly slide/pull rugs away over the rump so rug comes in contact with the ground before it is fully off. This seems to help in avoiding full blown static shock. Both my horses accept this method and don't seems to be fazed by it.
Annie Tuesday, April 7, 2015 10:39 PM
Wear leather-soled footwear which allows the static build up on the rug (on the horse) to 'earth' fairly easily. Beware rubber-soled shoes - they will give you are good hit! In my experience, rugs with a high % Poly are much worse for static.


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