It’s safe to say that a barn fire is every horse owner’s worst nightmare.
While visiting Stachowski Farm last week, the Schneiders crew discovered a fascinating safety measure that I personally have never seen before. By the barn door, under two fire extinguishers, was a rack full of red halters with red and white leads attached.
Upon closer inspection, we noticed that the chin pieces had been removed and the lead ropes threaded through the brass attachment.
In case of a fire, your first objective is to safely remove your horses from the area. Seconds count. In this situation, you don’t have time to run around looking for halters for everyone. Even if you have halters and leads on each stall door, trying to fasten buckles or tie rope halters on panicky horses wastes valuable time. With these particular fire halters, handlers can slip them on quickly and go. Having them all in one place so everyone knows where to find them saves even more time.
Want to implement this safety measure in your barn? Simply invest in one halter (like this one) and lead (like this one) per horse. Cut the chin piece and throat piece off the halter so you are left with the nose piece, cheek pieces and crown piece alone. Then clip your lead to the brass ring on the right side of the halter and slide the opposite end of the lead through the brass ring on the left side.
Now your fire halter is assembled and ready to go! Keep your halter(s) in one easily accessible place in case of emergency, and let everyone at your barn know where to find them.
Do you keep fire halters at your barn? What other creative safety measures do you implement?
Here’s a fun and simple recipe to share with children so they can make horse treats! Pony pizzas are a great way to encourage creativity while making tasty treats for horses!
If you’ve ever experienced frustration with braiding, you need to check out this new product called Braideez. It’s braiding wire that makes braiding manes and tails easy! It is offered in white, brown and black to match your horse’s color so that it is nearly invisible. Never struggle with uncooperative yarn or thread again!
If body clipping is part of your grooming regimen then you are familiar with the dull, dry skin that follows for days afterwards. Schneiders has several innovative ways to avoid this problem and immediately give your horse a shiny and healthy sheen.
Immediately after body clipping, it is important to restore moisture. The most effective way to infuse moisture back into the stripped coat is to use a hot oil treatment. Dilute the hot oil treatment 1:5 with very warm water and apply liberally with a sponge to the entire body, mane and tail while avoiding the eye area. Throw a fitted cooler over your horse to retain heat, and let set for about an hour. The longer you leave it on the more effective the treatment will be.
After you have let the hot oil treatment set in, wash your horse thoroughly with a conditioning shampoo. Dilute 1:5 and apply liberally, working deep into the coat, mane and tail to remove any traces of the hot oil treatment. Rinse thoroughly.
The final step in restoring moisture and shine to your body clipped horse is to condition with a hair polish. After you have sweat scraped your horse, apply the polish with a sprayer, working it into the coat with your palm. Once you have applied to the entire body, stroke the coat flat and allow to dry naturally.
We hope this information has helped you with your grooming needs! Shop sstack.com for all your horse care necessities.
A helmet is only as safe as it fits. A good helmet fit is essential when riding. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your new helmet is effective in the event of a fall.
Step-By-Step to a Great Fit
1. To properly size your helmet, measure the circumference of your head by placing a measuring tape around your head and roughly one inch above the eyebrow. Different helmet manufacturers have different sizing, so consult the size chart for the particular helmet that you are purchasing. Also consider how you will wear your hair in your helmet. If you are planning on wearing your hair up inside the helmet, allow room for this when choosing a size.
2. When you receive the helmet, place it on your head without fastening the harness. If applicable, adjust the dial on the back of the helmet.
3. Make sure the brim is resting no more than one inch above your eyebrows. Gently try to move the brim up and down. If your eyebrows move, your helmet fits correctly from front to back.
4. Next, shake your head side to side, to the left and to the right. The helmet should remain in place.
If either of these tests result in movement, you will want to drop down a size. If the helmet seems to be “perched” on top of your head, you will want to consider moving up a size.
Replacing Your Damaged Helmet
If you fall and your helmet takes an impact, contact the manufacturer to have it inspected. The material inside is designed to absorb impact – once this has happened, the effectiveness of the helmet is compromised. Many helmet manufacturers will replace a helmet that has suffered an impact for less than retail if within several years from the original purchase date.
Helmet Safety Certifications (ASTM and SEI)
On most equestrian helmets, excluding hunt caps that are designed as traditional apparel rather than for safety, you will see ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) and SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) certifications. Most equestrian competitions require that helmets be approved by these associations to be show legal. Many equestrian helmet vendors, like Troxel or GPA, only manufacture helmets that meet these criteria. Always confirm these certifications, both to ensure that the helmet has undergone testing for safety and that the helmet is show legal.
Finding the Right Helmet for You
Equestrian helmets come in many different styles to suit many different applications. A helmet you will be trail riding in will look much different than one you would show in. Most people can use one helmet for both. Helmets suitable for show, however, tend to be more expensive. English hunt seat riders prefer “skunk” style helmets, such as GPA’s like this one, or velvet covered helmets like this one from IRH. Many trail riders prefer helmets like this one from Troxel because of increased ventilation for summer rides. Asking your trainer is a great first step when deciding which helmet style is right for you. Your local tack shop may also be able to help.
We hope this information has been helpful to you! Be sure to check out sstack.com for our wide selection of riding helmets, tack and apparel.
When dealing with horses, accidents happen. Your horse’s wellbeing is your highest priority. Don’t be caught without these 5 essentials in case of an equine emergency.
One of the earliest signs of illness can be fever. Make sure you have a thermometer on hand in your barn. A basic vet thermometer like this one will get the job done. Make sure to tie a string or yarn to the end – this thermometer has a ring for it at the top but the string itself is not included.
You can never have enough towels at the barn. For wound situations, these MicroFiber towels work great because they are lint free. Use them to clean small wounds or to apply pressure to stop bleeding. Hand wash and air dry (or toss after use as there are 2 in a pack).
3. Wound Spray
There are many different wound sprays available, but one of the most commonly used is Betadine. Betadine is a microbicidal antiseptic sudsing cleanser containing Providone Iodine (7%) that promptly kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and yeasts. A new product line to hit the market, EquiSilver, uses chelated silver as an active ingredient. It is 100% natural, non-toxic and testing has shown it to kill over 600 disease causing organisms. Their wound spray is quickly gaining popularity. Make sure to keep at least one of these products on hand to ward off infections under the supervision of your veterinarian.
4. Gauze / Cotton
Your vet may instruct you on how to dress a wound. A great option for dressing wounds is our Dura-Tech® Absorbent Cotton Wool & Gauze Roll which will not stick to wounds and can be cut to any size. Highly absorbent hospital grade cotton with non woven outer cover, it is great for protecting injuries while allowing them to heal.
5. Dressing Bandage
Keep a wound dressing in place with a self-adhering bandage such as Guard Tex Leg / Tail Wrap. The wrap is made of surgical gauze impregnated with natural latex and it adheres only to itself. It makes a “soft cast” when used over quilts and is very resilient. Another option is to use Dura-Tech® Vet Flex which hand tears and adheres to itself.
Need something for travel? This veterinarian approved Horse Aid™ First Aid Kit contains all the essentials you need. Keep one in your barn and trailer at all times!
When injuries occur, always contact your veterinarian.