FAQ

ABSCESS KIT

How long can I leave the HOOFix Abscess Kit poultice and boot on my horse before I need to change?

This is really up to you, your vet and your farrier as each situation is different. However, the vets from Ohio State who use the HOOFix Abscess Kit leave the poultice on for 3 days before changing.  The HOOFix system provides constant effective poulticing to draw out bacteria and help your horse heal faster.

HOOF BOOTS

Can my horse be turned out with the HOOFix Boot on?

Yes, all of the HOOFix boots are made with a sole that incorporates ground tires, so they provide traction while being soft and flexible and do not rub.

HOOF PADS

My HOOFix Protection Hoof pad seems very firm. I have a hard time pressing in on it. Is it too hard?

HOOFix Protection Pads are created using high performance cellular elastomers and designed to support the weight of a horse, with the average horse weighing in at 1,100 pounds. The pads provide superior shock absorption as they do not compress all the way and expand to their original shape once the weight is removed. No other competitive pad will do this. The pony pads are a little bit softer taking in to account the lighter weight of ponies.

What is the difference between the HOOFix Protection Pads – the Ultimate Protection pad and the Healthy Hoof pad?

Made from high performance elastomers, both pads deliver unsurpassed shock absorption and cushion. The HOOFix Ultimate pad is ¾" thick. The HOOFix Healthy Hoof pad is 3/8 “ thick.  A HOOFix Healthy Hoof pad is in every HOOFix Comfy Boot.  Both Protection Hoof Pads rebound when your horse lifts its hoof, providing continuous shock absorption & comfort with each stride and promote a healthy hoof.

SADDLE PADS

How do the HoneyKOOL™ saddle pads work to keep the horse cooler & drier?

The pads use 3 mechanisms, which work together to help keep your horse cooler, drier and more comfortable.

1) The cushioning of the pad is supplied by small filaments.  Although there are hundreds of thousands of filaments, they are so small, air easily passes through the filament maze. (If the side seam tapes were removed and you blew on the side of the pad, you would find that it was almost like blowing into thin air.) What is amazing is that even when totally compressed, it is still relatively easy to push air through the pad. To fully understand this, think of the microfibers as pick-up sticks. Even in a collapsed state, air easily can pass through the center of this pile. This is what happens with the pad when a rider is on it. Air is still passing through the pad, mixing with sweat from your horse and exiting as moisture vapor. Thus some moisture vapor is transported away as air flows through the pad and some moisture moves up the outside of the microfibers to the outer fabric and evaporates after it goes through this surface. (The graphic illustration at the end of these clearly depicts how this occurs.).  Unlike other pads, which claim to have 60 or a few hundred holes in the pad’s surface, the top layer of the HoneyKOOL saddle pad has tens of thousands of holes. You’ll find that you can even blow through the top surface of the pad.  

2) The cushioning microfibers spring up and compress as one rides, although the fibers directly under the saddle remain in a compressed state for most ride. In the area at the edge of the saddle and not underneath the saddle, this compressing and relaxing action works like a bellows pumping the air with high moisture vapor content, the air closest to the horse’s back where it is sweating, and replaces that moist air with ambient air. Because of this, you’ll find that if the temperature and humidity are both very high, you still will see considerable sweat under the saddle. During the ride a lot of sweat will have evaporated into the atmosphere, but in hot/humid conditions, it just won’t evaporate fast enough such that it will quickly disappear. On the plus side, unlike cotton and wool saddle pads, which soak up sweat and become wet and heavy during the ride, something that is not good for your horse, the HoneyKOOL pad won’t absorb this sweat.

Horses need to sweat to stay cool. The HoneyKOOL pad doesn’t stop or restrict your horse from sweating. What it does is quickly and efficiently transport the sweat away from the horse.

3) If your horse weren’t wearing a pad, the mechanisms he would use to cool himself, or in cooler conditions to warm himself, would be to raise, lower or slightly spread the hairs on his back. Each hair is controlled by a tiny motor. The beauty of the HoneyKOOL™ saddle pad is that is allows your horse to slightly move his hairs, thus help himself stay cooler.

Field studies have shown that these 3 mechanisms working together can cause up to a 4º F difference in the temperature under a pad compared to a cotton pad. Testers reported that their horses cooled down quicker after a ride, had a nice even sweat pattern under their pad and depending on the humidity and temperature, had less sweat or considerably less sweat under the pad.

I’ve read that the materials that I should use for a saddle pad are cotton or wool since these are the only materials that wick. How can the HoneyKOOL pad keep my horse cool and dry if it isn’t made of cotton or wool?

The simple answer is that lots of materials besides cotton and wool wick moisture. Both cotton and wool absorb moisture so if you are concerned with your horse’s comfort, they are not the best materials to use. Ask a sailor or a runner if either would want to wear a cotton or wool shirt while sailing or running. The preferred gear for these activities is made with synthetic material. This is why high tech apparel firms like Under Armour use innovative synthetic fabrics.

With the proprietary HiFlow™ Honeycomb fabrics used in HoneyKOOL pads, moisture travels from the surface of the horse to the outer surface of the pad. This doesn't happen because there is some magic channel on the pad's fibers. It happens because water molecules naturally seek a less humid environment. In the HoneyKOOL pad, these molecules travel along the microfibers to the outside surface of the pad, work their way through one of the tens of thousands of holes in the surface material and then come in contact with ambient air. This air is much less humid than the microclimate a few nanometers above the surface of a sweaty horse. Once exposed to the atmosphere, the water molecules combine with air molecules and are transported away. ( Note : The graphics on the saddle pad page illustrate how this works.)


The last thing you want is for this water to get trapped/absorbed in a cotton and wool fabric and either not be able to reach the outside or take 5 times longer to make this journey. As tests performed by NC State University showed, the materials used in the HoneyKOOL pad were superior in all the properties associated with breathability and comfort for a saddle pad.

Will the wicking action of the HoneyKOOL™ saddle pads leave my saddle after a ride wetter than a cotton or wool pad will?

No. Because the area directly under the saddle is not exposed to air, there is not a natural mechanism, which will pull moisture towards the saddle. In the area under the saddle, moisture instead will first move towards the outer edges of the pad, where it has greater contact with the atmosphere. With a cotton pad, the cotton fibers in the pad initially will absorb all of the moisture that they can, essentially trapping the moisture against the saddle before releasing the moisture to the atmosphere. This is why a cotton towel will stay damp for a prolonged period if stored under a non breathable material.

What is the black material on top of the pad?

The black material is a high performance open cell breathable polyurethane. The material serves 3 functions: it provides extra cushion directly under the saddle, it helps to keep the saddle from slipping and it protects the saddle.

Does the black material on the saddle pad hurt the cooling properties of this pad?

The black polyurethane is only under the saddle area. Moisture coming from the horse can not go straight up through the saddle but instead must go to the sides. A small amount of this moisture will be absorbed by the black breathable open cell polyurethane and since it is breathable, the moisture will be wicked to the sides and away from the horse.  Further the polyurethane covers only about 8% of the surface area of the pad.

I purchased the HoneyKOOL High Performance dressage pad. My pad seems to be somewhat compressed in a few spots. Is this a problem?

Over time the pad will mold to the saddle, especially directly under the saddle. From a functional standpoint, fortunately this has very little to no effect on the pads ability to keep your horse cool and dry. As described above, when weight is placed on the pad, the microfibers collapse. The microfibers can be thought of as flexible straws. As noted above even in a collapsed state, it is very easy for air to flow around the microfibers. When the saddle is over the pad and the pad is new, the microfibers almost completely collapse. The cushioning the rider feels is achieved by the collapsed microfibers moving up and down. As the pad is used, it will conform to the saddle. In areas where there is a tight fit between the horse, pad and saddle, the microfibers will not spring up as much as on an older pad. This is not important. What is important is when a pad is being used, that is when a saddle is placed on the pad, the microfibers will still compress in the same way they would if the pad were new. Therefore the air flow through the pad and the cushioning provided by the pad is essentially the same for both the new and older pad.

Why does the label say not to store the pad with anything resting on it? Does this include my saddle?

HoneyKOOL saddle pads are made of materials that incorporate hundreds of thousands of microfibers. These micofibers flex when pressure is exerted on them and rebound once the pressure is released. When not in use, if these micofibers are constantly flexed because of some weight resting on them, over time, they eventually will lose some of their ability to spring back to a straight position. This will diminish the cushioning properties of the pad. Since a saddle has weight, the saddle pad should not be placed or stored when not in use under one’s saddle or any other object, which will compress the pad.

Can I machine wash the HoneyKOOL™ pad?

Yes HoneyKOOL saddle pads may be machine washed on gentle cycle in any temperature water.  The gentle cycle is preferred since in a few cases we've seen instances where the washing machine's agitator slit the pad at its edge. However, these pads are also designed as Rinse ‘n Ride, so you can simply hose the pads off or rinse out in a bucket. If you get a tough stain, it can be easily removed by scrubbing the stain with regular laundry detergent with a scrub brush.

Can I wash the pad using standard laundry detergent?

Yes, the pads can be washed in any regular detergent.

Can I use bleach?

Yes, but laundry detergent is generally all you need to clean it. Since the pad does not trap moisture and quickly dries, it is not susceptible to mildewing or growing fungus, so there generally is no need to bleach it. After repeated washings with bleach, the spin and trim material may yellow.

Can I machine dry it?

Yes but most riders have found that in even mild weather, the pad takes only a short time to line dry.

The standard dressage pad dries quickly except for the black material directly under the saddle. Is there any way to change this?

Because it is breathable product, the polyurethane naturally absorbs and holds some moisture. Testing has shown that by pressing or squeezing the excess moisture out of this material prior to either hanging it out to dry or putting it into an automatic dryer, one can significantly decrease the drying time.

What are the materials in HoneyKOOL pads?

HoneyKOOL pads are made with proprietary technical fabrics called HiFlow™ fabrics that are polyester based.  The spine, webbing and binding are nylon and polypropylene. The black material on the standard dressage pad is a proprietary open cell breathable polyurethane.

Will the pad shrink or stretch when I clean it?

No.

Can I dry clean or iron it?

No. There should be no reason to do either.

If I get a hole in it, can I repair it?

You may be able to stitch the hole back together. Just be certain not to create a rough surface, which may rub against your horse.

It seems like the pad might slip, does it?

No. The overwhelming majority of our testers found that the HoneyKOOL pads stayed solidly in place, even when jumping.  Because moisture doesn’t get trapped between the part of the pad that touches the horse and the horse, the pad stays put.

Do you intend to offer more pad styles than you currently offer?

Our intention is to eventually broaden the number of styles that are offered. The size and style of our initial pads was determined based on feedback received from the vast pool of highly qualified riders, who extensively tested the pads in a variety of conditions and climates.