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Master the art of horse rug drying

6 min read
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In cold climates and winter months, choosing the most appropriate type of rug is a fine art that can change by the day depending on the weather conditions and the horse in question.

Horse owners, stables and equestrian centres need to keep an inventory of rugs clean, dry and ready to use. In this article, you’ll find out how installing a drying room can help you do just that. We also share how a Calorex dehumidifier has helped Maunby House Stables in Yorkshire, UK, maintain the turnout rugs for over 70 flat-racing horses in their care.

What are the dangers of damp horse rugs?

Despite their soft coats and flowing manes, horses can be sensitive creatures when it comes to temperature change. Like us, they are warm blooded and react to cold with piloerection (when the tiny hairs on your arm stand up on end) to trap air close to their body and create an insulated layer around themselves. As long as they stay dry, this makes horses naturally good at keeping warm, however they burn a lot of energy in doing so and can lose weight as a result. Thoroughbreds and horse breeds with finer skin, in particular, will feel the effects of cold much more than their more hardy counterparts.

When a horse is left in the cold with a wet rug, their natural temperature regulation can be put out of sync. The weight of the rug will prevent their hair standing up to create their insulated layer, and the natural oils that protect their skin from moisture can be washed away.

As well as being completely ineffective for protecting horses from the elements, rugs left saturated with damp and condensation are likely to cause a lot of discomfort and can lead to ring-worm and other skin problems.

Horse rugs don’t come cheap either, so keeping your equipment in good condition should be the second priority after the health and well-being of horses. Without the chance to dry after each use, mould and mildew can form on rugs, eating away at the fabric and reducing their lifespan drastically.

“...dehumidification must be the best kept secret in the horse racing world”

Maunby House Stables

Race horses have a meticulous diet, care and training regime to help them stay ready to perform at their best and, over the last 35 years, Maunby House Stables in Yorkshire, UK, have trained more than 1,500 winners.

Yorkshire and the North of England is known for its unpredictable weather conditions, so rain-soaked rugs are a constant challenge throughout the year. To achieve a fast turnaround of the 70-plus race horses at their stable, the rug drying room is in constant use.

Instead of installing a traditional heating system, which often leaves harmful moisture in the atmosphere, the team at Maunby House Stables invested in a Calorex dehumidifier. Unlike a heater, Calorex dehumidifiers circulate humid air throughout the room to prevent it from condensating on surfaces, clothing and equipment. At the same time, they physically remove moisture as it filters through the system.

As well as preventing the need to continuously reheat incoming air, the dehumidifier is able to take energy from moisture in the room and convert it to useful heat that accelerates the drying process.

How it works

How a refrigerant dehumidifier works

The process

  • Damp air is drawn into the dehumidifier and across a refrigerated coil

  • The air is cooled below its dew point, condensing the water vapour

  • Latent heat energy is recovered and re-used

  • Cooled air passes across the condenser and reheated

  • The warm dry air is then returned to the room at the required humidity

Key benefits of Calorex dehumidifiers:

  • High performance level, even in unheated rooms

  • Powerful centrifugal fan

  • Professional hot gas automatic defrost

  • Automatic hygrostat-controlled dehumidification

  • Can connect to an external condensation drain or condensate pump

  • Self contained

Investing in the right dehumidifier

With wall mounted, freestanding or portable options of different sizes and capacities, a Calorex dehumidifier can help you create a drying room in almost any part of your building.

But getting the best from your setup depends on a number of factors, including the size of your room and the drying speed you’re trying to achieve. That’s why all our products come with expert support from an in-house applications department and international service network. Get in touch with our team to find out more.

Related products

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The DH 30 is a high-performance, low-cost wall-mounted dehumidifier with integrated air heating option available.

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The DH 60 is our number one solution for drying out clothes and equipment in fire stations and recreational drying rooms as these high-performance dehumidifiers recirculate the air and physically remove moisture from it.

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