Blog >> Behind the Scenes

Prepare and Prevent: Gear up for Spring with Merino Wool to Avoid Equine Dermatitis

Spring is a month away! I know there are many Equestrians in the more northern regions that feel ready for it! For many of them, it’s time to ramp up training to get in shape for competitions and work. For those in the more southern regions, it means it’s going to get hotter and we’re going to be battling with the environment to keep our horses in top-shape.

Overall, we’re all facing the increased risks of equine ailments, especially skin conditions such as Equine Dermatitis. At this time, prevention is paramount. Of course, proper nutrition is key, as is proper animal husbandry and barn-keeping. Anything you can do directly for the horse and its surroundings to avoid hospitable environments for bacteria – do it!

One way to prevent bacterial infections is to ensure quality equipment is being used and used properly on the horse. Leaving anything that covers the skin for too long while it’s wet and warm after a workout creates bacteria thriving conditions. Add friction during a workout to this equation, we risk even more problems.

Choose quality and natural fibers that are breathable allowing air to reach the skin surface, and ideally with moisture-managing properties. So keep your saddle pads clean! One way to do this is by using a thin saddle liner as a base layer that can be easily washed.

That’s where our 100% Merino Wool felt saddle liners come in. Not only are they breathable and washable, but their natural superfine fibers have antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria. With these liners you’re protecting your horse’s back as well as your saddle pads.

In a way, Merino wool acts as a second skin. According to the study, Wool is Good for the Skin, published by The Woolmark Company, “Wool can absorb and release twice as much moisture vapor as cotton and 30 times as much as polyester. When worn next to the skin, wool works to buffer the dynamic micro-climate between the fabric and the skin, helping to stabilize the humidity and temperature.” This study is focused on human skin, especially babies’ skin which is most sensitive.

To learn about even more benefits offered by our saddle liners, check out our home page, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Regeneration will be Critical for Australian Wool Growers

We are overwhelmed with sorrow seeing news of the devastating fires sweeping through Australia. These fires are destroying land, property and the homes of humans and animals. Businesses have been rattled by the flames as they continue to spread. This includes wool growers who provide our premium Merino wool crafted with pride for our saddle liners. Their dedicated practice of regenerative agriculture, will be a critical part of the land’s recovery. 

 

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic farming approach that focuses on developing the biology and fertility of soils as the basis of the entire farm ecosystem (Woolmark.)

In America, there is a popular term known by those visiting national or state parks – Leave it better than you found it. 

Australian wool farmers have adopted the same idea when it comes to regenerative agriculture for their land. This farming approach is especially important now as farmers look to rebuild their properties and revive the surrounding environment in some of the following ways:

  • Improve water cycles
  • Support soil systems
  • Support the increase of biodiversity
  • Strengthen soil health and vitality
  • Support bio-sequestration
  • Increase resilience to climate fluctuation

 

We would be at a complete loss if it weren’t for these farmers!

We owe the fact that we can provide quality Merino wool to our faithful and passionate Australian wool farmers! They act as the “custodians” of their lands.

Despite the fact that regenerative agriculture is sustaining wool farms in Australia, it doesn’t change the solemn truth that so much of this beautiful country is burning. 

Let’s join forces and help them recover! 

Check out this article by USA Today to see where you can donate to help.

Passing on Appreciation of Quality and Value

At Steed Armor, one of our biggest goals is to craft a product that can be appreciated across several generations of horsemen and horsewomen. We understand the deep seated passion that makes us who we are – a passion that is often passed down generation after generation.

What we specifically want to ensure is passed down, is the appreciation and experience of lasting quality. As well, the understanding and respect for what it takes to make that happen. We’re incredibly proud of our quality Merino Wool Saddle Liners. They’re made with only the finest Merino wool felted in a way to withstand the hard work we put in our saddles while setting up our horses for their best possible performance. Read more about our Merino wool!

You could say our drive to make a product that passes down this appreciation derives from the origins of our wool. This passion can be witnessed in the lives of the woolgrowers in Australia who diligently grow our fine Merino wool everyday. These family-owned farmers understand that they aren’t just growing wool, but are also responsible for sustaining a commodity and impression for generations to come. These woolgrowers are conscious of their natural resources, they are constantly coming up with innovative and sustainable farming techniques to keep the best Merino wool growing while preserving their lands, “We owe it to the land, we owe it to the property and I think we owe it to the next generation.”

With the daily finesse that’s involved in wool-growing, it’s no surprise that Australian wool farmers are currently growing the world’s best wool. We’re proud of our partnership with them and hope that by sharing their story we can help pass down the appreciation of quality and respect for our natural resources across generations.

Learn more about these Australian wool farmers in this video courtesy of Woolmark

Having a Goal We’re Passionate About

Thank you for being here and reading this first entry of the Steed Armor blog. We’re completely aware that there have never been more distractions for people than today. That’s why your attention is greatly valued. And Steed Armor’s relationship with our partners and customers is paramount. I hope to get to know y’all better as we grow.

The idea to develop these saddle liners came to fruition at the back of the owner’s horse trailer when they were brushing away sweaty horsehair off their good saddle pads. They gave up on the saddle liners they had, and were disappointed in how quickly they wore out. So, Steed Armor products are made by Equestrians like you! And we hope you love them! To learn more about the development of these liners, please read Our Story on our website.

It’s been just over a month since our official launch. Our first saddle liners are in development and the first order of our Western Saddle Liners will be on their way soon. In the meantime, we are offering a pre-order discount. While our manufacturer is busy on our first order, we are working on sponsorships of competitive equestrians – our favorite part of marketing.

One of these Equestrians is a dedicated and successful WPRA barrel racer that the owner has looked up to for her horsemanship and consistency in the arena. She asked for a custom size Merino Wool saddle liner to fit under her SKITO saddle pad and we couldn’t be happier making it for her. In fact, we couldn’t be happier growing this company.

There are thousands of motivating quotes out there, and one of them is about the importance of doing what you love. Recently, on our Facebook page, we shared a short video about an Australian Fashion Model who tells us about her down-to-earth upbringing on her family’s Merino Sheep farm. I highlighted her Father’s words, “I don’t care what you do, as long as at the end of the day you have a goal and you’re passionate about it.”

Thank you for taking time to get to know us. Now go out there and do what you love!

Video from The Woolmark Company: The Source – Episode 7: T.A. Field Estates | Come home with Stephanie Field

Pure Merino Wool Saddle Liners & More