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We know how much pride you take in your favourite horse equipment and we want to make sure that you get the most possible use out of it. That's why we are providing the information below to give you as much information as possible to take good care of your equestrian product. Simply click on any of the headings below to learn more about the item's specific product care needs.
+ Care for Sheepskin Products
Sheepskin is a very sensitive and delicate material and should not be washed with regular laundry detergent. The use of regular laundry detergent will deteriorate the sheepskin and can result in colour loss, peeling and damage to the product.
Please see a sales associate in regards to the proper maintenance of sheepskin products or follow the outline listed below. With proper care, your sheepskin items will last longer and continue to look great!
Do not store your sheepskin product in direct sunlight or in a confined place for long periods of time. For example, avoid storing your sheepskin product in a plastic bag or tote, or in a small closed tack box. Do store your product in a cool, dry place with good airflow and ventilation.
After each ride, shake off loose hair and dirt. You may also use a stiff dandy brush to help separate and fluff the sheepskin fibers. Make sure you separate your sheepskin pad from your saddle or girth after each ride - do not store sheepskin pads under the saddle on your saddle rack.
Wash your sheepskin products only when necessary. Excessive washing can cause premature wear and can result in drying and cracking of the hide itself. Do not wash your sheepskin product in hot water. Using hot water can result in stains, loss of colour and/or shrinkage. For best results, wash on a gentle cycle (or by hand) with cool to lukewarm water (up to38oC/ 100oF). Use a mild liquid detergent or soap designed specifically for sheepskin. These specialized products are available at Greenhawk (e.g. Leather Therapy Laundry Solution). Do not use fabric softeners as they will also damage your sheepskin product.
To dry your sheepskin product lay it flat in an area with good airflow, away from direct sunlight. You may need to turn the item occasionally to allow both sides to dry thoroughly. After washing and drying you may need to gently brush your sheepskin to fluff the pile and separate the fibers. Some people use a stiff dandy brush and others prefer a fine-toothed cat/dog brush.
Do not tumble try, iron or bleach your sheepskin product.
+ Care for your Blankets and Turnouts
We recommend that you gauge your horse's environment and buy the blanket that best suits those needs. For example, a horse on group turnout will likely require a different kind of blanket than one kept indoors or on individual turnout.
The fabric on the outside of blankets, in particular turnout blankets, is measured in "Denier." Essentially, the higher the denier number, the higher the thread weave and thus the stronger the material. The denier count can be used to determine the suitability of material for unattended or outdoor usage.
Lighter weight sheets and blankets are best suited for indoor or attended use, while heavier denier blankets are more appropriate for outdoor or unattended use. Summer sheets and other types of horse wear are made from a variety of different materials - remember to assess your horse's environment accordingly.
Given the nature and size of a horse and their respective environments - blankets and sheets are not guaranteed against ripping or tearing. Buckles and straps may break under certain stress situations. Most tears or breaks are easily repaired at the local seamstress or cobbler and most Greenhawk locations offer a blanket cleaning and repair service. Periodically inspecting your blanket and making repairs where necessary will help it to last longer. When repairing a rip or tear at home, note that any new stitching on the blanket will create tiny holes from the needle and that area will no longer be waterproof. You may wish to treat the patch or repair with a waterproofing spray before putting the blanket back on your horse.
Check your horse frequently to ensure they are neither too hot nor too cold. Horses can become overheated if they are over-dressed for the weather. Overheating may lead to sweating and excess perspiration may not completely evaporate through the blanket.
Although the outer shell material of your blanket may be waterproof, in order to maintain some degree of breathability no blanket can be made 100% waterproof, despite the manufacturer's claims. Although all major seams may be professionally taped on the inside for waterproofing, there are some areas of stitching that cannot be taped (the outer binding, areas of reinforcement on the lower surcingles and front straps, and the gusset binding). Horses left outside in severe weather conditions may experience wetness inside their blankets due to heavy rain or snow blowing in from the front or rear openings. As well, horses prone to rolling or rough play are also good candidates for this problem.
For best results use Greenhawk's Blanket Cleaning service (or another professional blanket cleaning service) where available. If you choose to wash your blanket in a machine, use cool or lukewarm water, and the gentlest washing cycle available. Use only a mild soap or detergent. Do not wash in hot water. Hang blankets to air dry, do not tumble dry. Always remove your leg straps before washing and ensure that any loose straps or surcingles on the blanket are tied up or covered to ensure they do not become caught in the washer or dryer.
For waterproof and breathable blankets, please note: Heat, dry cleaning, strong detergents or bleach may reduce or damage your blanket's waterproofing features. Waterproof blankets need to be re-treated over time to maintain their water resistant properties.
+ Care for your Leather Products
Proper care and cleaning is important for the maintenance of leather. Be sure to clean and care for your leather products on a regular basis using quality leather cleaners and conditioners as required. The cleaning process is also an excellent time to check your tack and its stitching for wear or damage. For best results, be sure to test a small area of your leather product before cleaning the entire area in order to ensure that you are happy with the finished result as some products can change the colour or appearance of certain leathers. Every leather manufacturer has its own suggested care guidelines. Many produce their own leather care products. For best results use the product recommended by the manufacturer of your tack, and follow the directions on the product's label for use and application. General leather care guidelines have been included for you below.
Most leather goods should be oiled or conditioned before the first use. Select a quality leather oil or conditioner of your choice and follow the manufacturer's directions for use and application. With oils and conditioners it is always best to apply a few light coats to achieve the desired effects. Do not "soak" leather in oil. Over-oiling can weaken the fibers and cause stretching or breakage.
Place a small amount of your leather cleaning product onto a damp cloth or sponge and work it into a light lather. Rub onto the leather ensuring that it does not become too wet. Next, wipe clean with a fresh cloth or sponge and then allow to dry. Once dried, apply a conditioner the same way you applied your cleaner in order to ensure a clean and maintained look.
Old or particularly dry leather may periodically require a more intensive oiling or conditioning. In this case it is always best to apply a few light coats in order to achieve the desired effects. Do not "soak" leather in oil. Over-oiling can weaken the fibers and cause stretching or breakage.
Note: As with all tack and equipment used for riding and horse care, proper maintenance and inspection is required on a regular basis. Given the nature of the sport and the various manufacturing processes and materials used to produce equestrian product, we cannot guarantee against product breakage or failure. All products whether made from natural or synthetic materials must be carefully inspected for safety, defects and/or wear prior to first use and each time thereafter.
+ Care for Competition Apparel
+ Show Shirts
Due to the inevitable dirt, dust and extreme weather conditions within the equestrian world, show shirts are bound to become quite dirty! The following information will provide you with some insight on how to provide your shirts with the best quality care to make sure they last. For best results, ensure that you thoroughly read your show shirt's tags for specific washing and care instructions. Since each shirt can be made of different fabric reading your specific garment's tag will allow you to proceed as necessary for that particular item.
First, determine the colour of your shirt - wash like colours together. Machine wash on a gentle cycle in cool water. For best results hang to dry. If you need to use the dryer to make it to the show on time, ensure that it is only used on minimal heat. Once dry iron as needed to eliminate wrinkles.
If you prefer, most show shirts can also be dry cleaned. Reference the care tag on your specific shirt for exact details.
+ Shadbelly and Hunt Coats
For best results Greenhawk recommends all Hunt Coats and Show Coats be dry cleaned only. Reference your garment's care tag for specific instructions.