Horse Laundry Can Be Scary

Credit: Margaret Freeman April Fool! A pile of dirty horse laundry is probably not what you hoped to see when you opened the link to this blog.

Laundry day has coincided with April Fool’s Day this week, and I’m already dreading the potential of something especially nasty falling out of the dryer.

(If you are the efficient sort who religiously checks all pockets when sorting laundry, then you will probably want to head to another blog. On the other hand, you may prefer to read all the way to the bottom and bask in your superior common sense.)

Okay, forgotten stuff from anyone’s pockets can end up soggy in the washer, cooked in the dryer or strewn all over the floor. But random horsey residue somehow seems to arouse much more of an “Oh D–” or “Ewww” from me, enough so that I usually open the dryer with a sense of impending doom. The confluence of April 1 and laundry day, not to mention that we’re deep in shedding season, just doesn’t bode well. 

 The first principle of shedding season vs. laundry day is that you do the saddle pads after the human laundry if you’re using the same machine for both. That doesn’t really work, however, if you want to set out your pads to dry in time for riding the next day, but then you run the risk of horse hair mingling with your husband’s tee shirts if the pads are done first.

It really is frightening to open the washer during shedding season and see all that sodden hair. My solution is to wipe as much of it out as I can and then run an empty cycle with just a towel to seize most of the remaining hairs. The only danger is that my husband might be horrified by the mess before I get it cleaned up. Since checking the horse laundry is not on his usual to-do list, however, that’s not so high a possibility.

The hair that escapes the dryer (very clean but now also airborne) eventually will be swept up, along with the shards of Kleenex that I missed. I often wonder if it’s really a good thing that mini dog cookies can go through the washer and dryer completely intact. This happens often enough that my dog comes running when she hears me open the dryer door. Sugar cubes, at least, dissolve somewhere in the process so I’m not left with the incriminating evidence.

Then, there is the folded check that is now completely useless and will need to be replaced, plus bits of hay, a hoof paring that I retrieved from my puppy, a storm of braidettes, a wad of duct tape, and one glove. Heaven knows where the other glove went, probably to the same place as all those single socks. Remembering to secure Velcro strips is a separate but equally serious laundry issue. I recall the horror one day when the Velcro from the bottom of my breeches caught on the leg material above and puckered it to the point that it soon tore. I have solved the problem of the Gordian knot caused by polos with Velcro, though, since I wash each one individually in mesh lingerie bags that I bought at the dollar store.

Maybe my worst laundry disaster occurred before I realized that dyed leather bleeds more easily – much more easily –than fabric dye. I ruined several nice things before I learned to never put colored full-seat breeches in the washer with anything else I cared about unless it was the same hue.






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