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Maintaining your Rumani horse rugs is crucial for being able to use them throughout the year. To be sure that your rugs are ready to keep your horse warm and dry in the winter and summer months, consider the following for maintenance and care.

 

During the summer months, it may often rain which can lead to a buildup of mud on the rug. Before you wash the rug, remove all excess hair and dirt with a broom or a vacuum. It is best to lay the rug out flat to do this. You can also hose it off if it’s muddy.

Then, take off all removable straps such as leg straps, surcingles or belly straps and chest straps and place them in a bag. The bag will hold the straps and keep them from becoming tangled or damaging the laundry machine. Before washing the rug, check all of the seams along the spine, hips, chest, and neck for any rotted stitches or holes that will allow moisture and cold air in under the rug. The stitches and holes will need to be repaired before the horse wears it again.

Now you are ready to wash the rug. A front loading laundry machine is best for washing a large item such as a rug. If you are going to use the machine in your home, keep in mind that if you need to cram it to get it in the drum, the machine cannot handle the load. It is best to use a public laundry machine for washing a rug. High capacity machines at public laundromats are suitable for bulky loads such as rugs. Washing detergents can weaken the waterproofing treatments and can also irritate a horse’s skin, so it is best to use a detergent-free wash. Set the machine to the delicate cycle with cold water. Hot water can damage the waterproofing and breath ability treatments on turnout rugs.

Once the rug is clean, it is best to let it air dry. Placing a rug in the dryer machine can damage the waterproofing treatment, and if the temperature is too high, it can melt some of the rug fabrics. After the rug is dry, it can be then stored in any container that will protect it from dust, moisture and rodents. Plastic totes with lids that lock into place are a great option. If you have several types of rugs, you can label each tote with the seasonal months or the horse’s name to organize them for storage as well.

If your Rumani horse rug has rips, tears or broken hardware, you can use adhesive seam tape to fix small or medium sized holes that don’t need stitching. Extensive repairs may require a professional service to mend the rug. If a waterproof rug has holes in it, it may also need to be sent to a professional service because stitching it can damage the ability to shed water if the fabric is pierced. Once the material is compromised, your horse will be more susceptible to getting chilled.  If you need new straps, Rumani has replacement straps available to purchase.

It’s over 40 degrees in the baking sun and you can’t even walk outside without feeling like you’ve been drained of every ounce of energy you ever had. If you feel this way, imagine how your horse feels. Pretty much the same. If you are hot, so are they.

Horses like weather in the 55-degree range and during the height of summer 55- degree days are fairly rare. What can you do to help cool your horse down?

Always have plenty of fresh, clean, cool water on hand. It’s hard for them in heat like that to go too long without a drink. It’s usually a good idea not to work them too hard in high heat and humidity. It’s really punishing for their systems. And if you do work them, be VERY careful about letting them drink when you are done. Only let them have small quantities and space those quantities out over a period of time. If you’re working them slow and easy and they are not sweated up and heaving, give him a drink at least every half-hour.

You might think this sounds funny, but think about it. Don’t put your water bowl out in the full sun. Why? Because the water in it can get so hot it can scald your horses lips. Put the bowl or bucket in the shade.

Another cool down tip, your horse loves cool bathes – not ice cold – but cool spray from a hose all over their back, legs and chest. Some are fussy about water on their heads, so avoid that area. The first thing a horse usually does after being sprayed is roll in the dirt and make themselves a nice bug screen coating on their coats. The bugs are fierce in hot weather. If you don’t have a hose with a spray attachment, then sponge his head and face off with cool water.

Even if you have a salt block out, it’s not enough for those brutally hot days. You need to have extra salt available. All you need to do is add some table salt to his hay or feed. He will eat what he needs. Most horses sweat about enough to need 4 ounces of salt daily in hot weather.

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