Tallahassee, FL (May 19, 2013) – What are the best-dressed horses wearing this outdoor season? ‘Haute to trot’ horse clothing is big business in the U.S. if you consider the vast array of blankets, fly sheets, coolers and accessories available to owners.
But, notes Sox For Horses, Inc. president, Raymond Petterson, “There’s not as much discussion about safe horse wear practices.”
The inventor of Summer Whinnys,™ the fly barrier and protective sock for equine legs, is also a horse ‘parent’ who understands the importance of minimizing unfamiliar or potentially dangerous situations for an animal hardwired to flight response. A twisted blanket, trailing wrap, or askew mask can invite a perfect storm of disaster.
It reminded him of an email from a well-intentioned, but unaware, horse owner: “She told me that she could put our Summer Whinnys™ on her horse for up to 48 hours without checking or monitoring the socks on its legs.
“I know Summer Whinnys are safe. I put great effort into their design to make sure a horse can’t get hurt from wearing them. They will not twist on the leg or roll to create a dangerous circulation impairing rubber band. They don’t present any other hazard either, but this awakened me to the fact that there are loving owners that don’t know ‘good’ horse wear practices.”
Experienced horsemen know, leave it to a horse to find its way into trouble. Manufacturers trust that horsemen know how to anticipate potential hazards, but how much does a new horse owner know about keeping a horse safe when it comes to their ‘clothing?’
“I applaud new owners that have rescued horses or taken horses in and made them members of their family. They represent a fair portion of my customers,” Petterson said. “I hope to encourage more manufacturers of horse clothing to address good horse wear practices on their websites and packaging. We have an opportunity to offer good information that can help owners develop safer horse management.”
“Horse wear comes in many shapes, sizes and configurations. After spending good money, the last thing you want to see is a horse flying down a field with a new blanket in shreds around its neck or coming off from behind. Snaps, buckles, straps, tape, can fail at any given time, even on new clothing.”
Since horses are rough on outer wear:
Rule 1. Twice daily inspect the condition of all straps, buckles, clips, Velcro and fabrics.
Rule 2. Inspect apparel position. Is everything in the right place?
Rule 3. If you board, ask others in your barn, including the manager, to follow Rules 1 & 2.
“If that costs a little extra per day and you don’t want to pay a fee, network with other owners at the barn and swap out days, mornings and evenings everyone’s horses get a good look-over,” suggests Petterson. “You can’t buy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your horse is wearing its clothing safely and that clothing is in good shape. As horsemen and women know, vigilance is the best protection you can offer your horse.”
Sox For Horses, Inc. is the all-American manufacturer of Summer Whinnys™, the antimicrobial fly barrier that is making huge strides in equine leg protection. Learn more about Summer Whinnys™ at www.soxforhorses.com or by calling (850) 907-5724.