Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Artificial Aids" - The Heating Pad

If you're like me, extremely cheap, ahem "frugal" then you sometimes find creative ways to achieve the utmost benefit to your horse.

Back in the fall, when the weather turned cooler, I started looking into the Back on Track products that I have heard so much about. Most anecdotal feedback on the BOT products are highly positive, but the goods are somewhat pricey - $70 for a saddle pad and $250 for the mesh sheet.

I started thinking about the properties of the BOT products I was interested in. Namely, the ceramic-infused fibers which radiate heat back to the body. Which then presumably translates into a looser and more mobile horse. Using the highly scientific theorem that HEAT = GOOD, I decided to invest $7 whole dollars into a highly technological device used extensively in Geriatric and OBGYN medicine.

This miraculous device is called - wait for it - a heating pad.

Armed with my find, I made my way to the barn to see what Boca thought of this crazy/brilliant idea of mine. I put the heating pad directly on his back, under where the saddle would sit. I then put the saddle pad on top of it, to create that warm and toasty, fresh from the dryer feeling.

And Boca LOVED it. Every night before I rode, I would put the heating pad on for 15-20 min as I groomed and tacked up. He would literally go completely still, cock a hind foot, and fall asleep. Droopy lip included.

I actually noticed quite a bit of improvement in a number of ways. Normally, Boca used to be fidgety about tacking up - shifting his weight around and moving his bowels often (symptoms of KS). Once on - he was extremely cold backed - not standing at the mounting block, scooting forward, kicking out (also symptoms of KS).

Using the heating pad was a huge difference in how our rides started out. He was definitely looser, more relaxed, no hump in his back, no cow-kicking at the leg or scooting forward.

And so, I am passing along this equestrian life hack to you, so that you may benefit from my wizardry. You're welcome :)


  1. What a great idea!!! I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder (I feel for Boca, I had no idea how incredibly painful it is!!!) and the first thing I do when I get off work in stand in a hot shower. Great life hack! Thanks for sharing. :D

  2. This is a good one! I might have to steal this idea.

  3. so brilliant, and so cost effective - I need to do this!

  4. Holy sh*t, this is literally genius.

  5. My barn uses one on quite a few of the horses. I haven't tried it on Bobby yet because he's not cold back, and it never really got that cold when I was riding this winter, but I like that it's there as an option.

    1. Damn, and I thought I came up with the idea!

  6. Good idea! I feel so foolish for my BOT purchases now haha oops.

  7. Hey, sometimes the easiest solution is the best!! A great idea!