AGH! Evil Fleece Blanket Static Fu
My horse has 3 blankets: a good thick heavy Rambo Original for when it is *really* cold, a Weatherbeeta Orican for when it is wet, and a Rambo Newmarket Fleece Cooler for inside the stable, and layering under the Weatherbeeta when it's too cool for just the rain sheet but not cold enough for the heavy blanket. He seems pretty comfortable in that he's not shivering, or burning through a lot of extra hay, or losing weight. Mostly, he's in the fleece cooler/rain sheet combo.
The problem is that this fleece cooler - soft and pretty - builds up a MONSTER static charge. And Huey is not at all laid back about getting shocked. I peeled him - as carefully as I could - this afternoon, and still managed to shock him (and myself) three times. Not little shocks, either, although he hates even those. These big shocks had him blatting his nose, stamping his feet, and glaring at me like I was Public Enemy Number One. I can't deal with this. I've got to be able to peel the horse, and I've got to do that without causing him to distrust me. I can't blame him - I wasn't happy about the whacking big shocks *I* got, and I understood why they happened and expected them.
I did some research online and people suggested spraying the blanket with static-guard, or drying it with dryer sheets. Problem is, I board him, and so I'm not usually the one putting the blanket on and taking it off. I would prefer not to put the obligation for the static guard on the barn help. And it doesn't seem very practical to take it home every week and wash it. I'm thinking I just need to go with a different kind of blanket. I own several fleece garments myself, and rarely use them because of the static shock problem, so I know that the fabric can be a problem.
What I don't know is whether I'd expect this same phenomenon with other types of blankets too. Is this an issue with wool blankets? Or with blankets that have nylon linings? I think his Weatherbeeta has a taffeta lining, and I haven't noticed him getting shocked with that, but most of the stable blankets I've been looking at onlline have nylon linings.
Last edited by ThursdayNext; 12-30-2011 at 04:59 PM.