“Waterproofing Winter Turnouts” (PDF) – reprinted by kind permission, Dressage Today, September 2011.
Other Tips to save money and time
Cleaning Velcro Hook (not the velcro loop)- Instead of a very expensive velcro cleaner (if you can find one), there is black and red dog brush with thin metal bristles I recommend. It’s made by “Four Paws”, and it comes in three sizes. The middle size is the best. It’s around $10, and the metal bristles are the perfect size. If the bristles are too long, they bend and come fall apart. I found the smallest size to be to delicate and the bristles didn’t hold up well. I’ve tried several different brands. that this brand has proven to last the longest and work the best. The velcro cleaners I purchased in the past were expensive, and ordered from the UK and deteriorated quickly. Works great on all velcro hook assemblies you may have on chaps too. Do not use this on the velcro loop.
Removing Hair from a lining (and velcro loop) – This will ultimately save you money. Hair removal costs. There are many different kinds of fleece and cotton linings that will hold horse hair. The pet store carries a hair remover that looks much like a squeegee. It may have a yellow handle, and will have a rubber blade. Keep the blade wiped with a semi damp cloth to improve the grab factor. Lay out the cooler or turnout on a flat surface and gentle pull the squeegee one direction, using several strokes over one area. You will find the hair will come off. Deep fleece can take as long as 2 hour to remove a significant amount for cleaning. Smooth cotton fabric linings are much easier, and short fleece nap fabrics may take more time depending on the amount of hair (1/2 – 1-1/2 hrs). Some fleece linings and coolers will hold hair because it may be in-bedded in the fibers. Use the corner of the squeegee for binding edges and around assemblies, or pleat folds.
Finally, if you don’t have a pet attachment on your vacuum, Dirt Devil makes a hand vacuum with brush rollers that does a very nice job of brushing and vacuuming off the hair. Be sure to clean the brush well, and empty the bag or it will destroy the motor, and become ineffective for hair removal. One turnout can accumulate as much as 1 cup of horse dander in the vacuum bag (like dust). This is hard on the vacuum and regular cleaning is necessary. The amount of hair can vary from one packed cup to 4 or 5 packed cups.