How to Put a Slinky on Your Horse
Using a slinky to keep your horse ready for the show ring takes some stress out of show day, but properly fitting and putting it on is crucial.
By AQHA Professional Horsewoman Bonnie Minor with Cari Klostermann, spring 2017 AQHA communications and digital marketing intern | February 8, 2017
A slinky is a lightweight hood that fits over your horse's head, neck and shoulders. Slinkies are excellent for keeping dust, hay and grime away from your clean horse before a show. Braiding a mane the night before a show can result in your horse completely destroying your beautiful braids, leaving you with a terrible mess before you enter the ring. With a slinky you can sleep soundly knowing your horse's braids will be nice and tidy come sunrise.
Properly fitting and putting a slinky on your horse is important, especially if your horse is head-shy or has never worn one in his life.
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There are various kinds of slinkies that can vary in the area they cover, as well as their overall thickness and protection level. Most slinkies are made out of lycra, giving them a stretchy, lightweight make-up, which allows them to be comfortably worn in even the warmest of temperatures. For especially cold climates, there are slinkies that are lined with fleece to give your horse an extra layer of thermal protection. If you are tired of your horse’s blanket rubbing his mane and withers, you can purchase a slinky that covers his shoulders to protect him from any rubbing or hair loss.
Some horses will allow a slinky to be slipped on over their head without a zipper. However, AQHA Professional Horsewoman Bonnie Minor suggests using a slinky that includes a zipper if your horse is new to the process.
Putting a slinky on your horse is a fairly simple process, but remember to use caution and approach in a slow and calm manner so you do not unintentionally spook your horse. Before actually putting the slinky on your horse, gather it up from the back, moving toward the ear holes, in the same way you gather up your boot socks before putting them on your feet .
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To put on the slinky, remove your horse’s halter. Be sure that you are in a safe place, like a stall, where your horse will not be overly nervous or runoff.
As you pull the slinky over your horse’s face, allow him to see out of an eye hole as soon as possible. After you have secured the slinky over the eyes and ears, you can feed the rest down the neck and begin your fitting process.
Make sure that your slinky properly fits your horse’s face, because one that is too large can get snagged on things and cause injury, while one that is too tight can be uncomfortable and cause unnecessary pain to your equine partner.