Thursday, December 3, 2020

new products - winter edition

Lately I've been feeling a bit like a fall-frenzied squirrel, trying to pack away all my acorns before winter sets in. 

handsome pony, just pretend he's clean lol
Making sure I've got everything we need at the barn for optimal comfort and convenience --- including a couple new items in our tack locker. 

L to R: Fair Tales Tangle Tamer Static Free Detangling Spray for Kids
Mane 'n Tail Hoofmaker Hand & Nail Therapy
Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder
Let's start with the Static Situation. Last month, I told y'all about Charlie's extreme suffering from being constantly zapped with static. And, thanks to you all, I've got a couple new ideas and approaches, and am happy to announce that Charlie has not been zapped once* since then!!!

(*Tho it helps that weather has been mostly mild.... We'll see when it gets really cold again!) 

safety pins in sleeves to reduce static?
One suggestion from Anna was to attach safety pins to my shirt sleeves, as a way to help reduce the accumulation of static charge. This was also a common 'life hack' per the google, which would never ever lie to me. 

Honestly I'm not sure it made a huge difference, and that same shirt was still static-y when I pulled it out of the dryer later (with safety pins still attached). But I also didn't zap the horse so.... Jury's out I guess haha!

can use Coat Defense as a dry shampoo, or alternatively can wet it to make a paste
Honestly, the biggest difference maker I think is the hand lotion situation, and I upgraded my game in that department by ordering the Mane 'n Tail Hoofmaker lotion, at Sarah's suggestion. A little bit goes a long way, but it absorbs quickly and keeps my hands feeling soft and static-free. 

see the bumpiness? looks like an uneven clip but is actually skin funk errywhere
Additionally, a number of you, including Kristen, Stacie and Mandy, suggested various coat spray products to help keep down the static. After a little bit of browsing around, I actually settled on a detangling product designed for kids. It's a pretty clean product (no parabens, sulfates, or even gluten or nuts LOL), plus presumably fairly gentle and nontoxic. 

It smells nice and was wayyyyyyy more cost effective than some similar products designed for horses haha. I add a few spritzes after currying for a nice shiny static-free finish.

kinda just guessing at how to work in the powder
The last recent addition to our grooming kit is the Coat Defense powder. I don't know a ton of people who use this, but the ones who do seem to SWEAR by it. So.... after some suggestions awhile back (maybe when Charlie was dealing with that disgusting leg fungus situation?) I picked up some powder. 

It apparently comes in both a powder and paste formula, but it was suggested to me that I get the powder since you could just as easily make a paste out of it by adding water. Apparently the paste is good for making a pack or poultice? 

charlie certainly seemed to enjoy the session haha
Anyway, after clipping Charlie, it became apparent that his entire body was absolutely COVERED in those tiny little scurffy skin funk bumps. Like, seriously covered -- but almost imperceptible under all that hair.

relaxed pony off in la la land
Normally I like using MTG on skin funk but.... Eh, I didn't really want to totally soak Charlie in it, esp when he'd need to wear his blanket on top. So I figured I'd give the Coat Defense a chance. I'd previously only really used it for itchy tails and the like, and it seemed to work reasonably well.

aaaaaand he's awake again haha (sporting his snuggy hood shoulder guard)
So Charlie basically got a full body massage with the stuff, haha. It's kinda awkward to apply since... ya know.... it's powder, but I just used my hands and curry comb and applied it fairly generously to make sure it got everywhere. 

snug as a bug in a rug! in Duke's hand-me-downs <3
Notably, even tho it was kinda a cold dry night out when we did that, there was zero static discharges using this stuff too. So... That's useful haha. 

And now, a week or two later, the funk seems mostly cleared up except for some small patches. Whether it cleared up on its own, or the Coat Defense helped, seems kinda moot -- as I'd use it again in a similar situation. I also like the idea of using this powder to help dry any sweaty patches after a ride when Charlie has to get blanketed again. 

very sad that the snuggy hood shoulder guard purchased in the 2017-18 winter has finally reached end of life...
And speaking of blankets.... It's definitely that time of year again. Tho I keep feeling like I haven't quite figured out our best system. A couple days I've felt like Charlie was way over blanketed, and other days I've felt the opposite. Plus he seems to be growing out his clip pretty quickly so... Yea, probably have left him a bit cold at times. 

replacement is a Harrison Howard Anti-Rub Vest Horse Shoulder Guard
One thing that has worked for us, tho, is this bib style of shoulder guard to prevent rubs. For the last three winters I've used a Snuggy Hood bib that I sorta stumbled on by accident for like $15, but that's been unavailable in the US ever since. And damn but I LOVE that guard -- the material, the cut, the tab for keeping it attached to the blanket....

loop to connect to blanket straps seems short
I bought a back-up Weatherbeeta version a few years ago and just.... Idk, it didn't even compare. The cut was all wrong, and the seams started coming apart immediately. Plus the material wasn't as nice. So I've clung to the Snuggy Hood ever since. Except.... Well, it's finally died. And while I *could* order it from the UK, the shipping costs as much as the shoulder guard itself. 

polar fleece at the wither and chest. overall fits higher up the neck than the snuggy hood
So I'm trying out this new Harrison Howard instead. First impressions are ok. It has some nice features -- like the fleecy points of contact. And some not great features -- like the giant seams and a tab that's too short to attach nicely to blankets. 

The material seems ok, tho, and frankly we were way overdue for replacing the Snuggy Hood anyway. So hopefully this one will turn out to work just as well, and won't fall apart. 

now we just wait for winter, i guess?
Blanketing is always kinda a tricky situation for us anyway, since it's not a service offered by my barn, and I live ~45min away. At best, Charlie gets one blanket change per day. Sometimes, tho, he'll go a couple days without a change if I can't get out there. Not really ideal, but we make do, ya know? 

So that's the new winter stuff for now. Anybody else discovered any new products lately that makes winter horse keeping a little more bearable? 


  1. Oohh interesting about the safety pins. And for some reason I keep wanting to call his shoulder guard a bra in my head lol!

    1. lol excuse me charlie prefers to refer to it as his Muscle Shirt, thankyouverymuch haha.... for real tho, at least this bib style guard isn't as bra-ish as the slinky spandex-y ones that clip under their bellies

  2. I love coat defense! HIGHLY recommend making it into a paste (or buying the paste if you're lazy like me and don't want to make it) for the tougher patches of skin scurf, and most especially for leg scratches. Also, though I try not to use sprays too often in the winter, I always keep a bottle on hand of 1/2 Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/2 Original Listerine (the brown kind). I spray that liberally on Goose's legs, belly, chest, and anywhere else he's prone to getting crud. Typically I do that before I ride so he's dry by the time we're done working, and then I'll do coat defense powder before I put him away. The ACV/Listerine is amazing on skin crud and keeping them a little more fresh overall.

    1. so far i'm really liking the coat defense for what i've used it on. esp the dry shampoo application and using it on sweaty patches of coat that have to go under a blanket. i love mtg on funky legs too (or animax / dermalone for the really persistent crud)

  3. Yay! Glad my suggestion seems to help. :)

    1. i really like that lotion! definitely am grateful for having it in the locker now lol

  4. I'm glad the safety pins is sort of working!
    L has a shoulder guard too! We use the slinky/sleezy ones, and we affectionally refer to it as his bra. He does not appreciate it being called a bra, but its stuck now. It's already ripping in a few places, but we have a back up one.

    I might be picking up some coat defense next time i shop, Lush often has some skin scuff going on and shes such a dainty flower I hate to put MTG on her this time of year. Plus she has some serious cannon bone crud I have to tackle at some point.

    1. i initially started with the slinky sleezy type that clips under the belly, but idk if it's just bc charlie is fricken giant, but it really didn't seem like a great fit -- with some constriction and rubbing. these loose bibs have been much easier and seem more comfortable, while still completely eliminating rubbing, so i'm definitely converted to them haha!

  5. I always think its better to have them a bit cold than overly warm. Awesome the static free sprays are working for you - instead of sending my LL over to your blog to read about static freeness I just told her to lotion her hands (she was very concerned about zapping Dante and I was not lol)

    1. agreed on the too cold vs too hot preference.... i'm just lamenting how quickly his clip is growing out :( and yea, lotion is apparently where it's at for reducing static. who knew!

  6. I love Coat Defense for all the misc-old-man-red-horse skin funk too. I never thought about using to help dry Mo when's sweaty in the evenings, tho. Smart! He just got his THIRD clip, so hopefully we don't have to deal with sweat in the evenings anymore anyway.

    1. dude so far i'm really liking it for drying the sweaty patches! esp in the girth area, since the product is also described as protecting against rubs etc. also, omg, three clips in a season.... i was already feeling sad that charlie might need two haha

  7. Lots of people use Coat Defense over summer sores and wounds down here, but I didn't know you could use it as a dry shampoo.

    1. I haven’t used it on wounds but I have on itchy tails and stuff. The dry shampoo aspect tho so far is maybe my favorite for dealing with sweaty spots in the cold weather!!

  8. Glad some of the products are working out for you and Charlie! The coat defense powder sounds similar to the keratex mud shield powder. I use that on Fred's white legs this time of year. More stuff to add to my list of "battling skin funk" products!

    1. Ha for sure! I mostly use mtg for most crud, tho the powder is nice for instances where you might prefer to keep things dry. It’s an interesting product for sure!


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