Tricks for Doing Horse Laundry
 By Winniefield Park   •   7th Apr 2015   •   1,806 views   •   0 comments
Tricks for Doing Horse Laundry

I imagine there is a place where all horses are clean and all of their clothes like leg wraps, coolers and turnout rugs stays dirt free. Thatís not where I live however. My girl loves a good roll in the mud or dust and everything she wears shows the evidence regardless of how much I groom her. So, I have learned ways to keep the dirt under control, even though I canít eliminate it.

Using Your Washing Machine
Saddle pads and blankets get dirty. They hold sweat, which dirt then sticks too, and can get grimey very fast. Built up sweat and grit can irritate your horseís back. If you can, have a few pads or blankets on hand, so they can be changed out and cleaned regularly. Many pads and saddle blankets can be washed in a regular washing machine, although you may only have room to do one at a time. If the pad or blanket has a foam filling, you donít want to bend it too much, or it can put a permanent crease in the foam. Use the gentle spin cycle if this is likely to happen. I like to use a non-soap or detergent laundry Ďsoapí for all horse and human laundry. Itís gentler on everyoneís skin and better for the environment. If you do use soap or detergent, be sure to rinse the item well. I know of one rider who at a horse show, discovered her horse popping out in hives where the saddle sat, after she had laundered her saddle pad.

Related: The Right Way To Clean Moldy Horse Tack
Related: Keeping Your Whites White and Your Brights Bright
Related: Secret Techniques For Grooming A Dirty Horse
Related: The Mane Event - Braiding Lesson One

You can also wash light coolers and blankets, Slinkys and stable sheets in your washing machine. Again, use a detergent or soap that wonít irritate skin and rinse well. Minimize the clanging and banging of metal hooks and buckles by putting an odd sock over them and securing the sock with an elastic. My husband is sure Iím destroying our washer and dryer when I wash horse gear, but he doesnít know Iím doing it at all when I keep things quiet by padding all the metal parts. Be aware too, that a washer and dryer can shift the padding inside of blankets and other gear, so make use of slow spins and gentle cycles for this stuff.

Use a Superpower
Some stuff doesnít fit in a washer and dryer. I used to wash heavy saddle pads and turn out rugs with a car brush attached to the water hose. With the item laying flat on the deck, Iíd dip the car brush in a bucket of soapy water, and then scrub away. I have a new superpower now, because I learned to use a pressure washer. If you have one of these, you can use it to power away the dirt on all of your washable gear. Some even have a soap dispenser. If not, slosh on the soap or cleaner and then use the power washer to wash it through. I find this works really well, even on my dressage pad, which I struggle to keep pristine white. For delicate fabrics, a power washer might be too harsh. But, if it falls apart in the face of your power washer, it probably isnít sturdy enough to use on a horse anyway. You can also do this with leg and hoof boots.

The Knotty Problem of Wraps
Cleaning leg wraps is really no problem. Use the washing machine, because if you try to power wash them, youíll only send them sailing across the yard. Theyíre just too skinny. The tricky thing with leg wraps is finding a way to keep them from turning into a giant macrame fail. I donít know how many times Iíve pulled giant knots out of the washing machine. Iíve tried putting them inside of pillow cases. But, this only results in a slightly stained pillowcase containing a giant knot. If anyone has the solution to this problem, Iíd like to read about it.
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