As consumers we are often faced with glossy product adverts claiming a variety of things, but how do we know which claims to believe? Maybe we need to start questioning how WE know if a product works or not? Some manufacturers are good at proving their claims...but not all companies do this. As consumers, we are supposed to believe what we are told...but maybe we should demand visual proof that a product can live up to its claims before parting with our hard earned cash.
Since becoming a HUSK Sales Rep for the South West, I have looked at LOADS of competitors' products that claim to be 'breathable'; including saddlepads, girths and boots. During my research, I've seen so many horse boot designs that contain air vents (supposedly to allow air flow to the leg) but some of these vents are superficial and do not actually allow the air to come into contact with the skin?! Many horse owners are buying these boots without questioning if it is possible for the air vents to actually work and allow airflow?!
When it comes to protecting horses limbs, there are many types of materials that are used to make boots, but not all materials are actually performing in the way consumers expect. One such material that is commonly used in equine legwear is neoprene.
Neoprene is a synthetic type of rubber, commonly associated with being 'wetsuit' material. It is well known for the compressive support it offers due to its elasticity and flexibility, but also known for its ability to trap heat. Neoprene has inherent thermal properties and as a result it traps heat and sweat between the skin and neoprene (Stomatex, 2004). This may not be an issue if you are wearing a neoprene wetsuit to go surfing for example, but when you apply this material to boots that are wrapped around horses limbs, it can lead to long term damage. If the heat produced during exercise is contained and held against the skin by a non breathable material such as neoprene, the legs can rapidly sweat (proving the limb is too hot), causing the tendon cells to overheat and potentially die. If sweat and moisture is held against the skin, it can cause irritation and weaken the skin structure.
There have been some developments in terms of claiming to improve the breathability of neoprene in recent years, as some manufacturers are now perforating the neoprene by punching tiny holes in it. However impressive this may look to consumers, many companies are unable to prove that this is actually allowing sufficient airflow to ventilate the limbs and cool them, despite being labelled as 'breathable' on the packaging.
Manufacturers may SAY that it works and is 'breathable', but as a consumer, how do we know that it is true?Unlike a beam of light that travels in straight lines, air molecules bounce off each other and rapidly change direction. HUSK products are designed with this in mind, and allow airflow in all directions! As many perforated neoprene boots only contain small holes, I am yet to see any evidence that this is an effective solution that actually works to successfully ventilate the limb and keep it cool - they may allow some air to get away from the limb, but are the boots also allowing air to get to the limb to allow heat transfer?
This is where HUSK products are different; not only can they prove their products allow airflow (videos are available on HUSK facebook page), but they have scientific evidence that limbs are cooler when wearing HUSK boots, even during high intensity exercise.
Here is a photo showing the effect of using a HUSK saddlepad - because it allows air to get to the skin and ventilate the area, the lack of sweat is pretty impressive when you look at the rest of the horse after a strenuous workout!!
HUSK products encourage heat transfer between the skin and the surrounding air, and knowing how air moves, HUSK boots allow air to circulate the limb, being cooled as comes into contact with cooler air. This is where HUSK boots are changing the way horses limbs are protected; allowing horses to perform to the best of their ability, protected from impact AND scientifically proven to keep limbs cool.
HUSK have produced videos proving how their products allow airflow, and how a rival product reacts VERY differently in the same test, despite the rival product also claiming to be breathable. No neoprene is used in the manufacture of any HUSK products!
Dont be distracted by flashy packaging, or bright bold adverts from well known brands - buy a product that fits the purpose you are buying it for, and dont rely on the manufacturers SAYING that the product does something, unless they can prove it. #SeeingIsBelieving
We have MANY top riders across the world using HUSK products, competing in eventing, polo, dressage and many more sports! Join the HUSK revolution and let your horse breathe...!
To find out more about HUSK products, or to book a yard visit where you can try products before you buy, please dont hesitate to get in contact.
Follow the HUSK South West facebook page, or view the HUSK website HERE!