Sunday, February 16, 2014

Buying The Right Horseware For The Season

By Jerri Perry

Owners today have many different types and styles of horseware to choose from. This ranges from simple summer sheets to keep the dust and flies off the horses back, to warm winter blankets that will keep out even the worst weather. Choosing the right blanket for each situation does take a little time and care.

It takes hours of work and preparation to succeed in the show ring. Each year many riders, from young children to veteran riders who have spent decades in the saddle, take part in shows and competitions. These range from small local events that are fun and friendly all the way to national and international level contests that require very expensive horses.

A one hundred percent cotton sheet should not be put in the drier as it will most likely shrink. This can be very upsetting, especially for someone who has spent a lot of money to get a beautiful sheet in their stable colors. Most big barns and trainers have their own specific designs and color schemes. One of the reasons for this is that it helps them to keep an eye on their clients belongings when they are away at shows.

In addition to excellent care the horse will need many of grooming. After being ridden in warm weather it is a good idea to bath the horse in cool water and use a gentle shampoo to get all the sweat and dust out of their coat. They should then be sprayed with a product that helps to repel dust and dirt. These silicone based sprays are excellent for use on the horses mane and tail as they help to reduce tangles and keep them in good condition.

Cotton or cotton blend sheets are perfect for keeping a horse clean in the warmer months. They are traditionally made in a plaid pattern with a contrasting edging. It is important to choose colors that complement the horses coat. A grey or brown horse will look good in almost any color, but a chestnut horse should not wear red. Many rugs are now being made in bright colors such as pink or purple.

As horses need to be turned out in the field every day a good warm blanket is essential. In fact many owners like their animals to have a designated turn out blanket and a slightly lighter stable rug. They can add layers to this as the weather gets colder. The lighter layers are also very easy to wash and help to keep the horses coat clean and ready for a show. Show preparation takes many hours and a lot of work so every little bit of help is appreciated by the owners and barn staff.

One of the newest horseware products to hit the market are stretch hoods or underwear for horses. These hoods are made from lightweight nylon and are available in sizes to fit the smallest pony to the largest thoroughbred. They fit over the horses face, neck and shoulders. Because they are so light they can be used even in hot weather.

There are some excellent heavy weight winter rugs for the colder months. They have been carefully designed to be water proof, breathable and still light enough to be easy to use. Horseware in available in many different colors, styles and prices. There is sure to be something to suit every budget and taste.

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