One of the boarders at the barn gave me my Christmas present yesterday and it’s an exercise sheet. Right now, I’m on a decently hot horse who spooks at nothing a lot. Basically my questions are, What is the purpose of the exercise sheet? And what are your experiences with them?
The idea is to warm up those big back muscles or keep them warm if you are pulling off a toasty warm blanket and heading out to the frigid arctic (or what other people who live outside the deep south refer to as “winter”) to work.
In general I like them, I like them a lot more for horses who tend to be tighter in the back muscles. I’m not that fond of the polar fleece ones because I’m not a fan of polar fleece in general. However I am specifically not fond of them for quarter sheets because if it shocks the hell out of them from static electricity, it doesn’t make the horse a real fan of the experience, and polar fleece seems to be a bit worse than other materials in this regard…
Hahaha…yes, the static issue. I bought a Back on Track quarter sheet for my tight-backed mare thinking it would be nice during the winter months. Well, we had a very dry winter and let’s just say that while she’s a very good-minded horse, she wasn’t a fan of being shocked by the quarter sheet. Not sure if I will be able to use it this winter.
To think my attempts at buying something nice for my horse have gone astray. That never happens…except all the time.
Does Fleece in general shock them? That’s what mine is made out of, fleece.
I keep a box of unscented dryer sheets in my locker and use it to wipe down undersides of blankets and sheets when I take them on and off. It helps.
Most materials we use to make horse clothes can be zappy, fleece is just one of the worst offenders.
i love my quarter sheets. When my mare is clipped we do full rides in them, but she’s a bit of a hot house flower and protests if I take if off after warming up. I also am really glad to have it in winter hacks, as I can wrap the keyhole around my wais and keep my thighs warmer.
make sure you have proper leg straps or a good tail cord on it, or it can slide to one side or even get blown up towards their heads, like any blanket.
I have a SmartPak quarter sheet in my tack trunk somewhere, but I hardly ever use it. I just find that it is more of a hassle rather than beneficial. My horse also ends up thinking something is chasing him when I use it on particularly cold and windy days and has made it known that the zap from the static electricity it creates will not be tolerated. :lol:
If you want to give it a go and are concerned about static, try spraying it down with Static Guard. It smells pretty bad, but it definitely gets the job done.
I was watching a young teen riding around the indoor arena with her long lightweight fleece cooler billowing out and blowing back off her horse. He didn’t seem to mind, but my guess is she causes someone else to spook and have a wreck sooner than later. I’ve never seen a cooler or quarter sheet billow up like that before, maybe they are usually more heavy weight material? Anyhow, in her case leg straps would be a good idea.
As noted, it helps keep those big muscle masses loose and warm on cold days. I love my Newmarket wool quarter sheets, especially on the gallops and long sets across the country.
where do you live where it’s cold enough to use a wool quartersheet, but the footing is good enough to gallop? genuine question - i am sick of NE winters and footing and ready to move :winkgrin: i can’t even imagine galloping anywhere right now.
I have bought my very first exercise sheet this year, seems that Warmblood Princess feels the cold, so yes, the trainer politely asked that I bought it for her to keep her warm and loose. That and a blanket liner because the gazillion blankets that have done the last two horses, in all weight and combinations are not going to be enough to keep her warm…
Colorado on the Front Range. Sometimes, the snow is dry enough that you can even gallop in the snow. But, generally, I use the sheets on cold days and when I get to gallop as the snow falls but before it accumulates. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151229967327622&l=c1f1198c0c
I buy wheel weights on Amazon (worked in the automotive industry for 10 years). They are self sticking for the most part, but I will sew a piece of fabric over them- stick them on the edges/corners of flappy blankets and stall drape setups at shows. Sounds a little odd… but adds just enough weight to keep the blankets from turning into Superman capes (and drapes from flapping wildly).
I live in Ohio :lol: and that owner figured the horse I’m on would move better with it
For reference- https://www.amazon.com/CK-Auto-Adhes…+weights&psc=1
I’m sure someone could find a multitude of uses for them around the farm. I’ve stuck them under the linings of non-weighted hinds to make them weighted in a pinch!
Edited to add that I have stuck them to the adhesive side of velcro (can glue if it seems flimsy) and then sewed the opposing velcro to whatever needs weighing down. That way you can easily remove them for washing or to adjust weight if need be. I buy the heavier duty velcro- I have some sheets/drapes that are going over 10-15 years with the same weights.
I do full rides in them on cold days. My vets advised keeping my horse’s back and hind quarters warm in the winter. Sometimes, we may warmup in the sheet and take it off. Mine is a fleece Rambo. Horse hates static but doesn’t seem to mind working in the sheet. He is more offended if I put it on and off versus keeping it on. Sometimes, I’ll spray the Healthy Haircare stuff on the underside before putting it on. On a day like today when it was around 20 degrees when I started the ride, horse got nice and steamy, which did slightly dampen the quarter sheet. Maybe that helps with the static? I dunno.
I haven’t had any issues with the thing blowing around, but when it’s that cold, I ride indoors, which isn’t heated but it’s out of any wind.
I have this quarter sheet: https://www.horseware.com/product/rambo-competition-sheet-aw/ and I’ve never had problems with static shock from the fleece. My TB gets tight in the back and hindquarters when it gets cold, and I find this really helps. I tuck the ends under my thighs for warmth when walking around, then tuck them under the flaps and velcro in front of the pommel when its time to get to work. A barn friend also puts the keyhole directly on the horses back, under the saddle pad. I think that would create too much bulk, but it works for her.
Putting the tail cord under the tail also helps prevent the superman cape effect.
Never mind the geography, where do you find a Newmarket wool in 2018?
yet another reason to move to CO… thanks!! cute horse!!
dover! i have that exact quartersheet. they went out of stock for a few years but they are back in… i almost bought a second one (new horse is much bigger) last week when i was slogging through their site for secret santa…
But that quartersheet is fleece. I know the Rambo ones aren’t supposed to be as bad for static, but they sure aren’t wool any more.
And Static Guard sprayed on the underside of the coolers or exercise sheets keeps the static away for a long time. I got 2 years out of a spray on my Centaur Turbo Dry cooler.