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Copyright 2011 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Stable Smarts

Excerpts of Sensible Tips from the book 

by Heather Smith Thomas, Salmon, ID

 

December 2011 issue

 

      Vacuuming the Coat

     To suck dirt, dust, and dandruff from a horse’s coat without removing the natural oils, some people use a vacuum cleaner designed for horses. This grooming method has the added benefits of keep you cleaner, plus it is a better choice than bathing on a cold day.

     You can also use the vacuum to remove horse hair from your tack and clothes. A small, cordless handheld vacuum is an inexpensive alternative. A vacuum is a real time-saver, but it’s important to use it carefully.

     If you’ve never used a vacuum on your horse before, get him accustomed to it gradually — in several sessions if necessary.

     First turn it on near him, several feet away, and monitor his reaction. Let him get used to the noise without a confrontation. When he’s relaxed about it, move it closer. If at any point he becomes alarmed, back off a little.

     Start brushing him with one hand and bring the vacuum closer with the other, and make the first body contact somewhere around his back and midsection, so he gets used to the vacuum in conjunction with brushing, which he already accepts. Once he’s comfortable about vacuuming his midsection you can gradually extend the area to include neck and upper legs as he comes to accept it.

 

Never use a vacuum on a wet horse, or you may shock yourself and the horse.

 

While the vacuum sucks, the exhaust end discharges air, so make sure you’re not blowing dust from the barn floor into the air.

 

Keep the hose, cord, and machine itself out of the way so that you and your horse won’t trip over or step on them.

 

 

Heather Smith Thomas is the author of numerous articles and 20 books. She and her husband ranch near Salmon, Idaho . For more information about her books, visit

www.rockymountainrider.com/Business_Profiles/heather_smith_thomas.htm.

 

 

Copyright 2011 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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