Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An electrifying experience - dryer sheets explained

Sarah over at Between The Fenceposts asked about the dryer sheet remark in my previous post - I was going to comment back, but then I thought, well maybe there are other solutions to what I'm pretty sure is a common problem this time of year... Why not ask and see!

Because it's definitely that time of year again - I'm zapping myself on the car doors, the cats bounce off my lap when I pet them, and the ponies' yank their noses (and assorted other spots) away when I brush them.  None of which makes for a happy me: zaps hurt, cats flinging themselves off my lap leave painful skid marks, and brushing is supposed to feel pleasant not painful.

My solution, for the horses at least, is throwing a box of cheap dryer sheets*** in the grooming tote.  When I pick up a brush I grab a dryer sheet and hold onto it in the same hand as the brush.  I tend to keep an extra in my coat pocket, as well for when I head out to do a pasture check.  Just running it over manes and tails really helps cut down on the snap, crackle, spook.  And since the sheets last for more than one grooming session, it's a relatively inexpensive trick.

***One important caveat - dryer sheets are toxic to dogs (and I'm guessing other critters, too) so be careful not to drop them where they can be grabbed and swallowed, and to dispose of them properly when you're done using one.

Another option, especially if your horses wear turnout blankets, is to spray the inside with a light coat of static guard - be sure to let it dry - before you put them on.   And if you don't like carrying the dryer sheets or don't like the possible dog-ingestion risk factor, you can always spray the static guard on your brushes before you groom.  (I kept forgetting to bring it in with me and ending up with frozen static guard, but if you're somewhere warmer or have a heated tackroom, it's probably a better alternative.)

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had this problem - any other solutions anyone would care to share?

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