Wednesday, March 4, 2015

TIL: The Florida Chronicles, the easy edition

In January, I flew down to Florida to join my trainer at her trainer's farm. I took lessons, walked around on fancy warmbloods, saw the sun, sweat my ass off ... and the like. It was gorgeous. 
Yeah. I meant it. Gorgeous.
Unlike my previous (Pt 1, Pt 2) training write ups (more coming), this post is going to be about something we all know and love. Or not.

Horse Laundry.

Gross. I know. If you're like me, horse laundry is just about your most hated chore. You let your saddle pads fester in the back of the tack room, washing them maybe every other month. Even in the summer. You go without polo wraps rather than take the time and hassle of washing them, untangling them ... ugh. Just the thought of spending an hour untangling polo wraps makes my blood pressure rise. Grrrr! Am I right?

So, imagine my surprise when one of the best things I learned in Florida didn't have to do with riding, but with laundry. (Okay. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But only slightly!) See, in  Florida horse laundry was a way of life. There was at least one load being done every day. Polo wraps and saddle pads were in constant rotation. 

All this washing inspired me to be honest with myself about my horrible laundry habits, but it also clued me in on a couple of things to make laundry easier.

First? Stop the polo wrap tangle.

"How is this possible?" I can hear you asking...  Diaper Pins. Yep. Those capped safety pins from the baby section. (Literally the only thing I ever plan to venture into the baby section for in my life!)
Mine came from Walmart. They were $1.
It's very easy. See, you take the dirty polo wrap and fold back the velcro so it is attached to itself. Then you simply half the wrap, half one more time, and stick a diaper pin through the middle. 
Like so ... (please excuse the dog hair. It's everywhere.)
Then you simply toss the wraps into the washer and the dryer. The pins keep the wraps from tangling into messes, but still loose enough to get clean.

It's a laundry miracle, guys.

Oh, and that second revelation? Use the dryer. It's not going to murder your saddle pads to dry them, and you can be done with the whole process quicker. Toss in a dryer sheet. It'll help keep the hair off everything.

Miracle worker, out!

28 comments:

  1. I am actually a very frequent horse laundry-doer, but that baby diaper pin idea is BRILLIANT!

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  2. Love it! I'm not fantastic about doing my horse laundry very often either. Especially when I have to sneak it into the washer so the hubby doesn't freak out about the dirt and hair.... :-)

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    1. Oooooh! I'm lucky. We own huskies, so we're used to cleaning hair out of the washer regularly, and my husband doesn't seem to mind horse stuff being washed in there ... even blankets!

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  3. I don't use polos but i want to cos so many pretty colours!!! (Not a good reason but work with me)
    Pin sounds like a lifesaver alright!

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    1. Pretty colors is totally a good reason! ;)

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  4. I was super spoiled when Alexis was a working student - she would take all Riva's things and toss them in with loads she already had to do. Was a total perk for Mom! I am terrible about horse laundry.

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  5. Ooooooh I like the pin idea. I'm pretty religious about cleaning horse laundry due to sensitive princess problems. I might have to get myself some pins now.

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    1. TeeHee @ sensitive princess problems. My solution to sensitive princess problems? BUY ALL THE SADDLE PADS!!! :-)

      Seriously though. I might have a saddle pad problem....

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  6. Great tips! We have a washer and dryer in the barn but I'm horrible and never use them.

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    1. One of my old barns had a washer at the barn. I didn't appreciate how awesome that was until I moved...

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  7. Laundry hack ftw!! I loathe cleaning polos and avoid them bc there's a huge mud puddle on the walk to our outdoor arena at my lesson barn- guaranteed to disgust-ify all polos ugh

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    1. I don't always let my horse work bare-legged, but when I do it's because there are giant mud puddles everywhere. ;)

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  8. This is genius! It's also the only thing I'd ever plan on venturing into the baby section for. Well, that and diapers for any first aid care.

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    1. I dunno if I could be caught dead buying diapers. I've had luck improvising with batting, plastic bags, and duct tape. I feel better buying duct tape. ;)

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    2. Oooh! But I have bought Desitin when Pig had a bad case of scratches ... hm. Maybe the baby section should just be renamed "The Horse Section"

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    3. I agree. It would be way less terrifying that way.

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  9. You have to be careful when drying saddle pads, because that is how one of mine shrunk. LOL. It's a pony sized pad now!

    But I love the "tip" on using safety pins! Very clever

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    1. I was always terrified of shrinking pads, too! However, I dry them on a very low setting (extra low, or delicate). It doesn't seem to cause them a problem. I even dry most of my sweaters on this setting, without any problems.

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  10. I'm pretty good on horse laundry, because when there are three people and you're the BO... well, someone's gotta do the damn laundry. Fortunately it's just saddle pads - no polos to be found.

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    1. If I had to do that much laundry, I'd probably burn all my polos!!

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  11. I solved this problem by just not using polo wraps! I've always put my saddle pads in the dryer, the only problem I've ever had is when my husband uses the dryer next and complains about horse hair in his underwear. I'll have to try the dryer sheet trick!

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    1. Hahaha! Try the dryer sheet, and maybe use it to wipe down the sides of the dryer, too. ;)

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  12. I am TERRIFIED to dry my pads in the dryer. The last time it did it the girth and billet guards melted! Sigh.

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  13. Diaper pins -- GENIUS! I always throw my saddle pads in the dryer, but not for long. If I had a "low heat" option, I'd use that.

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  14. I don't mind horse laundry so much- my husband minds it more than me! I am horrible about washing my horse's saddle pads. He enjoys a fleece pad like Mattes against his back, then a standard square pad, saddle etc. The only problem is those fleece pads get disgusting quickly in this arrangement, suffer if washed often enough to keep them clean, and are too expensive to have more than one. I don't use polos, I use fleece sport boots instead, so I don't have to suffer through untangling and rolling hell.

    Right now I've got a lot of no bow and standing wrap laundry to do with Mikey's injury, but I have a mega sized washer and use a gentle bleach on the no bows to keep them white (and extra clean since they're near to-the-bone incisions), so I end up doing two tiny loads. I still don't trust the dryer, you can't make me!! Haha! In my defense, I did shrink one of my dressage pads in the dryer. But I have a huge laundry room at home and I don't wash a lot of stuff at a time, so it's no big deal to toss the wraps and pads over a hanging bar by the ceiling or on a drying rack.

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