Saturday, January 30, 2010

Safety Tip

Lets face it... even if we lined the pastures and stalls with foam rubber and wrapped our darling horses in bubble wrap they would find a way to hurt themselves. That's why whenever I come across some safety tip, especially one that's feasible in the 'real world', I like to share it.
Sometimes I think that I'll be dull and boring, that my little tip is something that everyone already knows. But what if its not? What if it can help save one accident? (or even just a small mishap or inconvenience)
That is why today I'm sharing with y'all a blanket tip... aka Snap Safety.
Most blankets have a snap or two somewhere... some on the chest, usually on the leg straps. Did you know there is a 'right' way and a 'wrong' way to do up those snaps? Well there is!
When you fasten the snaps they should always open to the inside of the blanket. For example in this pic of the front of Voodoo's blanket the top snap is wrong and the bottom snap is right... go ahead take a closer look

Some of you may be thinking "Yeah sure, whatever" and clicking away to another page... but hang on, there is a reason! If your snap opens to the outside it is more likely to get caught on something, or in something. Lets face it, even if your horse is kept in pastures/paddocks/stalls that are in "perfect" condition there is always something to get snagged on. A nail will work loose, a wire of some sort, baler twine... something always could happen.
I never really thought much about this until a few years ago when I first read this tip. I started doing all my snaps up facing in, after all it really doesn't take any effort.
That was the winter that AmanDUH was riding for me. I told her about the snap thing and how I wanted the blankets always done up with the snap in.
Now I've never had trouble with my blanket snaps getting caught in anything but sure enough it didn't take long that I had changed my snapping ways when it did happen. AmanDUH had put a blanket on with the snaps out and Quinn got his leg strap snap snagged on something. It was quickly resolved and didn't cause any damage but talk about timing, its funny how the world works!
Another quick pic of the 'wrong way' this time with a leg strap:

And the leg strap done up the 'right way':


  1. To my way of thinking, it's typically something easy to do that we overlook...and that's when accidents happen. Why not simply play life on the safe side when it's merely a matter of habit?

    Take the time last year when I got thrown from Steve Holt!. I KNEW as I was climbing on that I should have shortened up my reins. I clearly remember saying to myself...'this is kind of dumb'...but did I stop and take hold? Nope, just continued swinging on up into the saddle, and boom. Next thing you know the horse is bucking and I'm flat out on my back. Now every time I see someone climbing on with their horse's reins dropped down to the knees I cringe.

    So tip away here, cowgirl!

  2. This is a great tip to get out to every one. I actually always hook the snap facing the inside. I don't know why I did it that way, but it always made sense to do it. I am always extra careful with the snaps on the blankets of the barn horses where I work too.
    You just never know what might happen. It is better to be safe then sorry!

  3. Good tip, Cdn, My blankets have buckles on the front, t clips for the belly strap, and clips on the leg straps. I'll have to watch what \I'm doing to see which way I do them up- I think usually with the smooth part out.

  4. Yep good tips...I used to always fasten a halter the "wrong way" because I thought the flat part would be more comfortable on the horse's face. But it only took one story and someone pointing out why it was wrong for me to change my ways. Makes perfect sense now.

  5. Very good tip - I do this with all snaps - halters (I hate the type where the snap will only open out), blankets and also water buckets hanging in stalls - the opening for the snap needs to face the wall. Little things make a big difference.

  6. It makes sense because the snap is also easier to remove and unsap if it's facing in, too. I don't think I've ever thought about it, though. My horse blanket has snapping buckles over the clip on snaps, but the back 'cinch' does have the clip and I remember always snapping it facing in because it was just easier to do not having the horse's belly in the way.

    Very helpful tip. I appreciated the photos, too. Even if you only change one person's way of fastening on their horse's blanket, you may have helped avoid a catastrophe.
    Well done.


  7. Having just had a "blanket incident" this is a good tip. My blankets have different type clasps, but I do know, it matters how you put them on. Horses, they will manage to hang up on just about anything.
    Excellent post!

  8. That is a good and useful piece of advice. Thanks!

  9. I'm with Tracey, tips are great. You never know when one is going to save us or our horses.

  10. Well you just changed the way I do up those snaps. I'm pretty sure I've been doing them wrong. I thought the smoother side should be in towards the horse so he wouldn't get stuck by the little knobby thing. So your tip is definitely going to make 2 horses safer.

  11. Good tip, I actually do this but the reminder to make a point to make sure I do (i.e. when I am in a bit of a hurry or on automatic pilot) is always good! I had issues with a snap continually coming undone, and Paint Girl reminded me that when the snaps get old, they often get stuck in the open position, and when you put them on, you have to really check that they've closed back up.

  12. Hmmm, I wonder why my blog didn't show updated? Maybe the dates were off, I had started it a week ago:-)

    About the halter. Most halters have where you can undo the cheek strap with a clip and that clip should be facing in and not out. We undo the cheek strap here to take the halter off and pull it over their head instead of having to find the right holes of the headstall part everytime.

  13. Thanks! I never really thought about this before.

  14. A horse where I board just recently got his blanket snapped on the wire fence casue we never thought to put snaps facing in, just left them as they were when we got it. (We put them over the head), after that, we snap them in always now.

  15. This is a great safety tip. Unfortunately, I got into the habit of doing up halters the opposite (wrong) way after a bad accident many years ago. Our normally bombproof gelding was tied to the trailer being saddled when something spooked him and he pulled back. The clip on his halter caught his cheek and ripped a huge flap of skin off his face. To this day, I still hook all of my halters facing out - but my horses never have halters on when unattended.

  16. Great tip. I am big on the "little things"... my hubby thinks I have issues... ha ha, because I'm always going behind him fixing things like this. You can never be too picky when it comes to safety and always think "what if".


Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!