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Archive for the ‘Quarter Sheet’ Category

We are doing our annual spring cleaning of the barn and tack room and have discovered much horse tack that needs to find a new home. Most of it is brand new or used only once for a photo shoot.

If you are looking for bits, bridles, trailer boots, blankets, sheets, scrims and much more…………..browse our tack shop for great bargains on high quality items.

courbette-8100-350w   TB10-trailer-woof-1    HI-scrim-navy-81-500w

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My two sisters live in Texas and even though neither of them are riders, they both have used the phrase “rode hard and put up wet” when they are describing someone who is working too hard and not taking enough time off.

The urban definition has me picturing some overworked city dweller commuting an hour or more to her job, putting in 8-10 hours of repetitious work, then the long commute home during rush hour traffic. Too exhausted to cook or eat, she collapses in her recliner still in the clothes she wore to work.


The phrase, as we horsemen know, was borrowed from the negative description of a rider working a horse to near exhaustion, then jerking the saddle off and turning the sweaty horse out with no grooming. Of course none of us do that but we might be guilty of not taking the time necessary to cool down a horse properly after work.

A cool down is especially important in the cold weather that seems to be blanketing the entire country. I’m hearing 4 degrees in Florida tonight?

When a horse that has grown any sort of winter hair coat is worked hard, he sweats more, has trouble cooling out and drying off so and is set up for chills, muscle stiffness, and overall blahs.

Some things to think about:

Use a quarter sheet to protect the hindquarters during work.

Consider a body clip and blanketing.

Use a body wash or brace to remove sweat before cooling and grooming.

Use a cooler when hand walking a horse to cool him out.

Have a great ride and take care of that good horse,

 

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Cherry,

It has been a miserable winter so far here in New York and even riding indoors is a problem. I’ve heard about quarter sheets but I’m not sure which to choose and how to use them. Help!

Tasha and Gizmo

Choosing and Using a Quarter Sheet

©  2011 Cherry Hill   © Copyright Information

Quarter sheets, also called exercise rugs, are used while longeing or riding horses during cold weather to keep a horse warm during warm-up and during active work to prevent rapid muscle cooling which can lead to chilling and cramping.  Wet heat loss is 23 times faster than dry heat loss.  If a horse is allowed to become damp during a cooling out period, he will likely lose so much heat as to experience muscle chill.  Blanketed, stabled horses with very short (clipped) coats are prime candidates for quarter sheets.  The sheets are placed under the saddle or affixed around the saddle, depending on the style.

Quarter sheets perform different functions depending on what material is used their construction: they can keep a horse warm, prevent a horse from cooling out too rapidly during strenuous work, minimize moisture build up under the sheet by wicking it away from the horse’s body, and keep a horse dry when being worked in wet weather.

Wool, the traditional fiber from sheep fleece, absorbs moisture vapor from the hair and skin leaving a dry layer of insulating air between the horse’s body and the wool.  The natural crimp of wool fibers make them stand apart from each other which allows air to be trapped between the fibers, further insulating and holding in body heat.  Although wool can absorb moisture vapor, it cannot absorb liquid so it has a good degree of water repellency.  The scales on the outside of wool fibers causes liquids to roll off so it takes quite a bit of moisture for wool to get wet and when it does, it tends to be a comfortable rather than cold and clammy.  Wool allows the body to cool down slowly, thereby reducing the chance of chills.

Wool has a natural elasticity: dry wool can stretch about 30 percent and wet wool between 60-70 percent allowing freedom of movement.  Good quality wool should return to its natural shape when dry.  Wool’s flexibility also makes it durable – the coiled, crimped fibers stretch instead of snap when stressed.

Virgin wool is 100% new wool that has never been processed.  It has a distinctive fluffy crimp to it.  Processed and reprocessed wools are usually more dense and compact.  Often other fibers are added to vary the characteristics of the wool such as acrylic for softness or nylon for wear resistance.

Polarfleece and Polartec are registered trademarks for the original double-faced fleece fabrics made by Malden Mills from 100% Dacron DUPONT polyester.  The warmth of Polartec is comparable to wool with less bulk and weight; it is more durable than acrylic; the double facing makes it soft on both sides.  Polarfleece machine washes well on cold without fading or losing shape, no bleach, hang dry, do not press, iron, or steam.  Fiber absorbs no more than one percent of its weight in water so stays very light and is a very rapid drying fabric.

GoreTex is a windproof and waterproof fabric which means moisture won’t get inside even if pressure is applied to the fabric such as from a saddle.  GoreTex is also breathable which means perspiration vapor is able to pass out through the fabric.  To keep GoreTex at its maximum waterproof/breathable performance, wash and tumble dry the item and occasionally iron using a warm setting.  If professionally dry cleaned, request clear distilled solvent rinse and request spray repellent.

SympaTex is also a windproof, waterproof, breathable fabric with the same properties as GoreTex.  Wash in warm water on gentle cycle using a mild detergent but no fabric conditioner.  Do not use a fast spin.  Allow the garment to drip dry.  Iron at a low temperature.

Quarter sheets, originating in the military, were initially just long saddle blankets which ended at the junction of the loin and croup and had normal length sides.  Many of today’s quarter sheets are cut more like a partial blanket, covering not only the entire back, loin, and croup but the entire side of the horse as well.  The sheets that provide maximum coverage provide warmth and prevent chilling over a large area but if too snugly fitted over the hindquarters and tail, can inhibit movement and if too long on the sides can interfere with leg aids or the use of spurs.  Larger sheets also have a tendency to billow, necessitating a fillet string or tail cord or loop to keep the back of the sheet from flapping.


Traditional Cut:  The traditional cut quarter sheet is a large rectangle that runs from withers to tail, down the shoulders, sides and hindquarters.  The saddle sits on top of the sheet and is secured via girth loops and stabilized with a tail loop.  Girth and saddle must be removed in order to remove the traditional quarter sheet.  The traditional style is either sparse like the original military quarter sheet or fuller like a stable sheet with the front missing.

European Cut:  The European cut features a cut-away section under the girth which helps prevent the sheet from gathering in that area and allows for normal use of leg aids and spurs.  Tack must be removed to remove this style of quarter sheet.

Easy On/Off Style:  There is a cut out area for the saddle and (Velcro) fasteners in front of saddle.  Therefore, the sheet is put on after the horse is saddled and can be removed without removing the girth or saddle.  Usually this type of sheet does not have girth loops and goes over the fastened girth which allows quick removal of the sheet.  This style of sheet usually has a tail tie which, if tied with a quick release knot, makes the sheet easy to take off even while mounted.  If it comes with a tail loop and you expect to take it off during the work, you can opt to not put the loop under the horse’s tail or you can dismount to remove the sheet.  In any event, you don’t have to remove tack to remove the sheet.  This style of sheet can be used under the rider’s leg as a traditional exercise rug or over the rider’s legs to keep the rider warm.  A great bonus use with this type of sheet is for temperatures where a quarter sheet is not needed during warm-up and active work but is beneficial during cool-down – this style of sheet can quickly be put on without removing any tack or even dismounting in some cases.

If a sheet has an English Brace, it refers to a reinforced wither area which offers extra protection in the most vulnerable section of the quarter sheet, directly under the saddle where there is extreme pressure.  A well-made English Brace usually means a longer lasting product.

Sizing is listed several ways.  It is usually expressed as the length from the front edge of the quarter sheet to the rear edge of the sheet in feet and inches, inches, or centimeters.  So, a 4′ 6″ sheet might also be called a 54 (“) sheet or a 137 (cm) sheet or might be called size Medium or Large depending on the manufacturer.  However, each manufacturer determines the actual dimension of their size Large, for example, which can range from 54-57 inches.


Sometimes a quarter sheet size is the horse’s equivalent stable blanket size.  The quarter sheet described above would fit a horse that would wear a size 78 blanket (197 cm) so sometimes the sheet is referred to as a 78, but it is not 78″ or 197 cm long.  All of this varies greatly with sheet design, country of origin, and the manufacturer.

Fit will be dependent on the cut of the pattern, whether there are seams and darts, and the type of material used.  Some materials conform and mold to the horse’s contour better than others.  Sheets with 2 or more pieces and hindquarter or croup darts tend to fit the contours of a horse’s topline better than a single piece drape, thereby staying in place and providing a snug, cozy fit.  However, these same well-fitted sheets could inhibit movement.

Cherry Hill

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