Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Chilton, Wisconsin
I am far from an eqine expert....but I may be able to help with the static problem.
There's two ways to eliminate static electricity discharges. 1) Eliminate the build up (static sheets or spray) 2) Eliminate the discharge route.
First, lets look at eliminating the buildup. Now if the static is coming from you - you yourself will need the drier sheets (or non rubber soled shoes -this creates a path to ground for the static to discharge from you) before you attempt to contact chance. If the static is charged from Chance, then the will be a shock if you attempt to rub him down (or a possibility at least).
But if you want to eliminate the discharge route, that may be a more sure bet. First, lets understand how static eklectricity works. (We'll just pretend that the static charge is coming from you...no offence meant, it's just more likely) Static is I build up of positivly charge electricity generated from friction of your self/clothing and the like. As the friction continues (you move around, walk, ect) the charge builds and builds. In order to nutralize this charge, the electricity must have a path to ground. Chance, who is standing on the ground, is a perfect conductor (or path) for the electricity to follow to ground. The instant before you touch him, the static electricity arcs (the snap you hear) and positivly charges the immidate area where you touched him (the sting that follows the arc/snap).
You did the right thing with the leather gloves (you insulated your hands), but when your ear or cheek or nose touched him, there could have also been a discharge.
If the drier sheets/spray prove ineffective, try this. Lay a rubber pad down where Chance stands. This insulates him from ground, making him a poor conductor to ground - ie the electricity won't want to travel through him - it will try to find an alternate path.........
So lets give it one! If you have a strap that you only use for tieing/crosstieing, lets modify it. Take a peice of speaker wire (any electrical conductor will do, any wire but make sure its flexable - for you and Chance's sake - no coat hangers or anything of the like!) Where the cross tie conects to the barn / wall /beam , bare the end of the wire and conect the wire to the connection point (Now the wire is grounded - making a path to ground). Wrap the wire securly around the strap/lead. Secure it with zip strips or another suiable tie. Cut the wire just short of the snap that connects to the haulter. Bare the end of the wire and make sure it is close to the snap, but not contacting it.
Now, when you go to touch Chance - touch the wire and his snap (with the same hand) before you touch Chance. This does two things. Chance is insulated from ground (so he may be charged himself since he has no path to ground). First this grounds chance. If there is a shock - you feel it, not him. Second, it grounds you thus eliminating a charge on you. Again, YOU may get shocked, but he wont feel it.
Sorry it's so long, but hope I helped!