Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
I’m just going to throw it out there I am not a fan of being sick. Not that I really know anyone who is–it’s just that I strongly dislike sitting still for any length of time. Sure, the first day might be (kindof) ok. I mean, it usually means hanging out on the couch for most of the day, eating a grilled cheese and watching some Gilmore Girls reruns.
After getting done the barn work that is – because even when I’m sick as a dog, the boys always have to get fed and turned out each morning. But there is something about a day of covering up with a fuzzy blanket on the couch. It makes feeling totally crummy not seem quite as bad. Because really, who wants to be that person in the office who has a whole trash can full of tissues?
But something about hanging out on the couch for the day tends to make me start to feel better. I don’t know if it’s just the fact that I’m actually resting, instead of being on the go all day. Maybe it’s watching a mini-marathon of some old (but good) episodes of Gilmore Girls (which DON’T include Dean, of course). Or maybe the fuzzy blanket just has some magical healing properties to it. But probably not.
While the idea of an ‘anti-feeling sick’ blanket for people sounds entirely ridiculous to me, I like the sound of a sheet that has therapeutic properties to it for my horse. I’ve heard a lot about products that are designed to leverage thermal therapies, through the use of ceramic infused fabrics. In fact, I have used wraps of that sort in the past to help combat inflammation.
The concept of a therapeutic sheet for horses has always intrigued me, and I have wondered how it would work for my own horses. Ripley has been with me over many years, and has reached the point in his life where some days he just experiences issues with stiffness. At his age, my vet has suggested that he may experience some arthritis pain.
Yet on the other end of the spectrum, I have young horses – and when in training, I want to make sure that I’m doing what I can to help them stay in good physical health. Mark when through a period when he developed a sore back from the workload that was being ask of him, which is something that I want to prevent from happening in the future.
From my perspective, this means carefully managing workloads, using protective products to (hopefully) prevent injuries, and also leveraging therapeutic products to help promote recovery from work and lessen stress on the body.
I was pretty interested to learn about the Rejuvenate SmartScrim sheet, made by Benfab. Benefab offers a line of therapeutic human and equine products, which are constructed using materials that have been infused with ceramic powder.
The fabrics are infused with 30 different lead free minerals, which is done through a melting process – so as long as the products are cared for according to the instructions, they should never lose their benefits. SmartScrim is machine washable, and should be washed with COLD using a mild detergen–and then hung to dry.
Because of the infusion of ceramics in their fabric, Benefab products also emit Far-Infrared rays. Which I’ve learned from Benefab’s website are “are an invisible, low range ray found on the electro-magnetic spectrum.
Far-infrared rays activate vibration at the cellular level which begins the increase in blood circulation, dilation of capillaries, and supplies oxygen flow to the muscles“.
And just what benefits can a horse feel through the use of this technology? Well, they can help accomplish things like increasing blood circulation, delivering oxygen to muscles, and also warming & relaxing muscles.
I was also interested to learn that the fabric’s technology can help to reduce recovery time, reduce swelling in joints, tendons & ligaments, and even aid in pain relief.
So as you can imagine, after learning a bit about the technology behind Benefab’s products, I couldn’t wait to try out the Rejuvenate SmartScrim sheet for myself. When the sheet arrived and I pulled it out to look at it, I noticed that appears to be made out of a breathable looking black mesh material. And it has been designed to fit horses that are a size 76″ through size 82″ – and also can be adjusted to fit smaller horses through securing additional straps.
The SmartScrim sheet also has 89 individual magnets that have been included in the design. They are encased in a soft rounded shaped cushion, and have been placed over key acupuncture points.
The sheet itself is made to help harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally, while offering some of the other benefits that I mentioned–including reducing recovery time, aiding in the reduction of pain and stiffness.
I was excited to see how the SmartScrim could help my gelding, Ripley – who does sometimes feel the effects of age and shows symptoms of arthritis. Which can make him display stiffness when he moves. And, at a size 78″, he is right in the range for the SmartScrim to fit him well.
I first started to use the SmartScrim on Ripley in order to aid in his recovery after workouts that were more intense. Something that I notice with Ripley is that if we have a more strenuous workout one day, he can seem to have slightly less energy if I take him out for a ride the next day. This is something that I have attributed to his being older, and I simply take it in stride and I try to be especially careful to not allow him to overdo it.
So after days when we school over some jumps, or days that I allow Ripley to really cut loose for a fun gallop, I would put the SmartScrim on after returning Ripley to the barn and untacking him.
One of the really interesting things that I found was that wearing the sheet actually seemed to help Ripley dry off faster – as on days that are slightly chilly, I do not bathe him after evening workouts. I’m very happy that for me, the SmartScrim actually helps to work as a cooler – in fact, I will be using it under coolers in the cold as well.
The SmartScrim is easy to put on and take off of Ripley as well – the front has two standard ‘pull tab’ blanket closures. There is also a single adjustable belly strap, as well as two elastic (also adjustable) back leg straps. And it fits Ripley really well. He is towards the middle of the size range that the sheet fits – and it contours to his body shape beautifully.
Ripley really seems to be quite happy wearing the SmartScrim for a period of time after intense workouts. I try to keep an eye on him to make sure that he does not become tired looking – and since he seemed to look so content with wearing the sheet, I started him wearing it after every ride.
And before long, I found myself even putting the SmartScrim on Ripley before AND after his workouts. I would say that there are many things in life that can not easily be quantified – these days it feels like people tend to want to be able to assign metrics and values to almost anything. But as for me – I do notice that Ripley seems to feel better when he wears the SmartScrim before and after workouts.
While it is not something that I can assign a specific value to – I do know my horse. After all, I’ve owned Ripley for over 10 years now, so I’d say that I know him really well. And it makes me feel really good to be able to use the SmartScrim on him when I can see that it helps make him seem come out for a ride feeling nice and energetic. He does even seem to recover better after a hard work, and seems less tired the next day. Which makes me feel happy. In fact, I tell Ripley that he must be feeling ‘Benefabulous’!
Go Improved Recovery (and feeling ‘Benefabulous’). Go Benefab. Go Eventing.