Monday, January 9, 2017

more prezzies!

Charlie is not a particularly dirty horse so far. He really didn't seem to roll much anyway at first, so I wasn't too worried about the new farm's lack of a vacuum cleaner. Tho perhaps Charlie wasn't rolling much in the early days bc he was still settling in, as it seems (based on how his blankets look) that he actually rolls a fair bit.

i <3 you, vacuum
Obvi, bc of said blankets (and his clip), Charlie's not exactly getting massively filthy all that often. And I happen to really enjoy grooming anyway. But all the same, tho, I am thrilled to announce that Santa saw fit to bring one of these bad boys to the new barn. Yay!!

trying to figure out how to get to the alfalfa behind the machine lol
I've personally never met a horse who won't tolerate being vacuumed. Sure, some need a slower, more thoughtful introduction to it than others... But imo it's totally worth getting the horse used to it. Especially for those very muddy days, or deep into the middle of shedding season when there's seemingly no end in sight to all that hair haha.

And as I wrote years ago, getting Isabel to accept the vacuum actually felt like an instrumental step in our trust-building process.

charlie you are WAY TOO BIG to hide behind that little rope lol
Naturally, as you might expect, it was a total non event for Charlie. Sure, I still go through the same process the first few times I use it on him: let him sniff the nozzle, shake the hose a little, touch him with the nozzle, shake the hose... Then turn the motors on and repeat the whole sniffing-shaking-touching-shaking process all over again. (in my experience, the sounds and movement of the hose are likeliest to spook the horse)

And I usually start touching the horse with the nozzle on their shoulder or mid-back, only moving up the neck after ensuring they're not freaked out. A couple quick passes (bc again, he's not exactly dirty under those blankets) and voila! Horse is broke to vacuum.

still with plenty of side eye tho lol. skeptical horse is skeptical
The other fun new thing in Charlie's life is something I've coveted for years, but never wanted to pull the trigger for Isabel bc I was fairly certain my next horse wouldn't be 14.3h and I didn't want to lay out the expense.

But. Did you know that amazon sells Back on Track products?? I got a couple of gift cards this holiday season and figured it might be worth a little search. And sure enough, amazon carried exactly the mesh sheet I wanted! Basically the same price as you see everywhere else... tho with the gift cards I only had to pay about half.

ta da!
Reviews (from friends and online) say that the sheet tends to run a little small. Charlie is wearing an 81 and I'm actually quite happy with how it fits him! Hopefully barn staff will be willing to toss this on him as a stable sheet while he's in his stall (temperature and Cujo tendencies permitting).

I'm also considering using it as a base layer for his other sheets and blankets during turnout - has anyone else tried that before?

Anyway tho. I'm pretty happy to have this for Charlie. People seem to swear by BoT products, and Charlie basically needs all the help he can get in improving circulation in his muscles. This will also be a nice thing to have for trailering, esp on chilly mornings, to help warm his back up for whatever type of riding might come.

Have you used a BoT sheet for your horse? Or a vacuum for that matter? Do either feel indespensible to you? Or maybe there's some other tool around the barn that you couldn't live without?

54 comments:

  1. I have a vacuum and while I love it using it is a bit of a PITA. Firstly because it's mine so I have to get it out and put it away. The second issue is not my horses, but the horses along the aisle and them freaking out about it. So they freak out then Stampede in particular is omg what is so scary guys? One horse in particular (who also snorts at random people)takes extreme offense to it. We have a grooming bay area so sometimes I vacuum P in there but Stampede is terrified of the grooming area(after several years of attempted desensitization and cleaning up a billion piles of tiny stress poops I gave up on using the space) so it's a no go. Guess it might be good for when I bring the boys home though.

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    1. ha it definitely sounds like a complicated environment for the vacuum where it is now!! i'd imagine it would be much easier once it's at home without that one spastic horse haha

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  2. I have never even heard of vacuuming your horse. Interesting idea.

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  3. I flip flop on the BOT products, but they definitely warm up the muscles. I used mine as a layer to haul when it was 5 degrees out and Penn came out of that nice and loose and super. I've never used a vacuum on a horse... but I think Penn would be one of the horses that it takes a while to get used to... mostly because of the hose, haha!

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    1. yea i've never been totally absolutely so sold on the BoT stuff to pay full price on the sheet.... but i've heard enough good stuff that i wanted to give it a shot, and the gift cards finally made that financially more palatable lol

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  4. omg I WANT A HORSE VACUUM. im jealous.

    I use the back on track polos behind and I LOVE THEM.

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    1. you need a horse vacuum. just sayin!

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  5. I use my BoT sheets as layers when it's really cold (so basically all bloody winter this year). My biggest complaint is it has rubbed every single horse I've had it on. The stupid shoulder gusset closure is in a horrid spot. I tried removing it and then the shoulder gusset was so large it allowed the sheet to slip behind the wither and rub there.

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    1. yea i'm always a little leery of that gusset design... it just looks.... weird, ya know? good to know that the BoT works well as a base layer tho. charlie gets rubs from basically everything right now but it might be worth a shot anyway

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  6. I want a horse vacuum!!!! That would probably make me actually sound domestic because I can say I vacuumed and fail to mention it was my horse 😂

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    1. haha right? how is it that i'm always happy to sweep and vacuum and clean and all sorts of domestic things... but only at the barn, not at home

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  7. I haven't used either but that's one fancy vacuum. Do let us know how the sheet ends up working. I'd be curious to hear how effective it is / isn't

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    1. i'll definitely be following up on the sheet eventually. my expectations are fairly low, honestly - i don't expect magic from it. but i would like a relaxed comfortable and maybe a little more supple horse from it!

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  8. I have a vacuum but before I managed to get anybody used to being vacuumed, the hose cracked. That reminds me I should dig it out and replace the hose and you know, use it!

    I am so torn on the BOAT things. I like the quick wraps I have, but haven't been willing to shell out for a sheet yet. I can't wait to hear how you like it!

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    1. bot not boat, thanks autocorrect

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    2. ugh yea the hoses do get old and crack.... and the ribbed texture means it's not super easy to just stick duct tape over the cracks.... definitely worth replacing tho!!

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  9. I'm not going to shell out the $$$ for a horse vacuum and my barn isn't the sort that has one. It's unfortunate because C HATES brushing and he'd probably totally be into that.

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    1. i mean.... i definitely hear ya loud and clear on the costs. they're not cheap. but they're also not sooooo overly priced that the cost couldn't be covered by 5-6 generous souls chipping in... it's all dependent on motivation tho, like i'm super motivated to have a vacuum so it feels worth it to me

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  10. Haven't used the sheet, but Silver's owner has him in a BoT square pad, and I'm debating whether or not I'd want to pitch in for some boots for him. He's an old guy, so I like to give support where I can. The vacuum though, oh we used that baby all the time at my old barn. The lack of winter shows makes it a non necessity at my current barn, but I remember how much of a process it was with different horses.

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    1. i have a couple BoT saddle pads and haven't really felt much about them... i mean the horse wears them when it's working and the back should theoretically already be getting increased circulation from the work. the legs tho seem to traditionally have poor circulation no matter what, so boots may be more useful? idk haha

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  11. I LOVE THE VACUUM!! Especially since I don't like to bathe with soap too often, the vacuum is fantastic for getting all that deep-seated dust out of the coat.

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    1. omg the vacuum is definitely among my favorite grooming tools. vigorous currying, a few swipes of the vacuum, then smooth everything over with a body brush. boom. glossy shiny pony!

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  12. We have a vacuum at the barn, but not near where I tack up Cosmo. I did bring him down to try it once and he said no thanks to these shenanigans...although I have it on good account that he has been vacuumed before. Dummy.

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  13. I am a die hard BOT fan. I only have the pads and the blanket because money, but i I could I would have it all. B goes in BOT pads almost every ride and I sewed fabric on them to match my colors and flair them up a bit. The BOT blanket goes on the old man before every ride and I use it for layers on the super cold days. I have to say, I have noticed a massive difference for yankee after the use of the BOT for under saddle work. Its a bit insane actually how relaxed and love this is 99% of the time regardless of the weather or situation

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    1. that's awesome to hear - i've heard a lot of similar thoughts from friends too. hopefully the sheet will have the same effect on charlie!!

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  14. Yay for a vacuum broke horse! Good boy Charlie :) I love BOT stuff for sure. A body worker told me that horses shouldn't wear BOT full-time (no more than 12 hours or something is what she recommended), I'm not sure what the thought process behind that was. In my case Apollo couldn't wear it out in the field because I'm sure his rowdy buddies would shred it, but I think overnight in a stall would be fine. I just used my mesh sheet for about 30 minutes before exercise for Apollo and it really helped him.

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    1. yea i've heard that about the products too. not sure about the reasoning behind it either... but i can deal with that. charlie's basically on a 12hr blanketing shift anyway. and yea it's definitely not made to withstand the rigors of being an external layer in turnout, but i'm thinking it could be a base layer. we'll see!

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    2. Dee has worn her BoT rain sheet for weeks at a time and I've never noticed any negatives. I also wear my socks/brace for extended periods of time (generally for an entire horse show weekend) and it still works great. I stop noticing the effects until I switch back to regular socks.

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  15. Oooh, maybe I can get my neighbor to go halves with me on a vacuum. (Maybe I can source one through work and take advantage of the employee discount, haha!) I mean, she has a zillion horses, and I have especially gross ones...

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    1. oooh you totally should!! they seem to last forever and are just so so so useful to have on hand. i particularly love them in winter too, bc you can move the hose to the exhaust pipe and TA DA, it becomes a blow dryer. perfect for those times when you need to dry a horse off before blanketing!

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  16. I love horse vacuums.. I think there is one floating around our barn.. I just found the treadmill on accident the other day.

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    1. oooooh now that is something i've never gotten to play with before! how cool tho

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  17. I'm in love with Charlie hiding. Also, I've been eyeballing BoT saddle pads for a while now especially because I have an older horse who could use the help and the newer babies will probably be sore gearing up for show season after being pasture puffs for their whole life. The stable/turnout blankets seem like a good idea but I also wonder how much use I would get in super sunny and hot Southern California. Sigh.
    I want a vacuum very badly but I've never had access to one. If I ever do, I will totally teach my horses to accept it!

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    1. honestly idk about the sheet in very hot or sunny weather - it's definitely warming so i wouldn't want to put it on a horse who is already sweating.... but it's also not THAT warm, that i wouldn't think twice about putting it on a horse for 20-30min before a ride or something if they were in the shade or in a stall or something

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    2. Hmmm. Okay. More info to ponder. Thanks!

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    3. I use it less in the summer for those reasons, but I still use it when I can... My older horse doesn't run very hot so she can wear it more comfortably than my younger horse, who runs hot and stall walks (so she's usually even hotter than she'd be normally). My old lady will feel hot with it on layered under her blanket but I come back the next day and she's cool/no warmer than she'd be without the back on track. I get the same results with the leg wraps, and I use those year round - warm legs feel cool and tight the next morning.

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  18. I've got a vacuum but I almost never use it because those tiny vacuum bags are so expensive and like one grooming and they're full. NNNNG. However, they do work like WHOA on a dirty, fluffy horse. Maybe I should just suck it up and buy a couple dozen of the bags. Hmmm.

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    1. huh, ya know, i'm not sure i even know what you mean about the vacuum bags? i've never seen anything disposable used with this type of vacuum -- there's a cloth bag in there, and a metal box type thing, both of which need to be emptied when full. but both are reusable. maybe the disposable bags are just an extra safeguard against dust dander and hair getting into the motor?

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  19. I can't lie, I kind of want to try a vacuum... but I'm too cheap to buy one just to try it, hah.

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    1. yea i mean... it's definitely a slightly out-there purchase for the individual. most that i have used have belonged directly to the barn, rather than a specific person. could be a nice thing for barn mates to all chip in for, tho!

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  20. I've been thinking about a BOT sheet for Smitty! You should review it some time!

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    1. i definitely will! i'm expecting to get a lot of use out of it too in a variety of circumstances and am hopeful about finding benefits from it!

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  21. I miss having access to a vacuum... JEALOUS.

    Also I totally layer my Back On Track under sane older horse's blanket (Bailey hasn't been trusted with it for unsupervised wear yet because she destroys things and stall walks) and it's been fine. Mine does kind of slide back under the whole ensemble of turn out blanket but I just put on a shoulder slinky under it and try to make sure it's all tucked under whatever blanket I'm using. The benefits of long term wear have been magical for Fox - she's a completely different horse when she's been wearing it for a few days. Hopefully Charlie likes his fancy present, too!

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    1. good to hear you've had such good experiences with the sheet too! my fingers are crossed that charlie appreciates the gift lol

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  22. I do like my BOT sheet, but I have not been able to use it as a layer or for extended periods of time due to the horrible shoulder rubs it gives. I just wish they would redesign the whole shoulder area.

    I use it in the trailer and sometimes I throw it on a half hour or so before I ride.

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  23. Love everything about this post!!! Vacuums and BOT sheetsssss!!

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  24. I went bananas for vacuums earlier this year, and then my lack of money shut me up reallll quick. I would still love one though. Plus, am I the only one who thinks the retro styling is pleasant on the eyes? ;)

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  25. I've used a vacuum in the past, but certainly not at my currents barn sans electricity. I've been wanting to try the BOT sheets; you'll have to do a review.

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  26. Yeah I'm actualy shocked more horses aren't scared of the vacuum. But, I guess I never know what will spook them.... Don't have a BOT sheet but people seem to love them!

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  27. What a nice Santa! I want a vacuum. And thanks for the great idea for Amazon cards. I have about 3 or 4 right now and for whatever weird reason I have not been able to figure out what to do with them! Horse stuff!

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  28. I was VERY sceptical of vacuums for a long time. Now I'm starting to see the allure....

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  29. Violet gets turned out in hers under another sheet if its cold enough, but not cold enough to get out the mid-weight.

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