A regular grooming routine can help you combat common winter ailments that effect your horse’s hooves, skin, and coat. Use these winter grooming tips to keep your horse healthy this winter. Also, find out what our customers, Facebook Fans, and staff members told us are their favorite winter grooming products.
Protect Your Horse’s Hooves:
Daily hoof care is essential to keep your horse sound and comfortable. Start your grooming routine with this step to insure that your horse is comfortable while he stands.
First, use the Hoof Pick from heel to toe, so you won’t accidentally dig it into the frog (the softer center part of the hoof). Clean the cleft of the frog and the spaces on each side of the frog. Next, use a hoof brush to brush the foot clean. Many hoof picks come with a brush attached. Otherwise a small hard brush will do the trick.
Keep snow balls out of your horse’s hooves with this little trick. Use a rag or paper towels to THOROUGHLY dry the inside of each hoof, including deep down into the grooves on either side of the frog. Then, once the hoof is very dry, cover the bottom of each hoof in Vaseline or Pam.
Finish off with a conditioning Hoof Polish that will protect and nourish your horse’s hooves while making them shine! Mud, moisture, and the hard ground can dry and crack your horse’s feet in the winter. This step will help prevent that.
Even the best kept hooves can be overcome with thrush in damp, muddy winter conditions. Treat your horse’s hooves with Thrush Medication as soon as you suspect a problem. If the problem worsens or persists, ask your vet or farrier for their opinion.
Combat Common Winter Skin Ailments:
Most winter skin problems are caused by dirt trapped under your horse’s coat. Dirt combined with increased humidity/precipitation and insulation from long coats or winter horse blankets creates the ideal environment for unwanted fungus and bacteria.
Currying is the first step to a healthy winter coat! Use the Currycomb in circles starting at the top of the neck and moving down the body. Be gentle over sensitive areas. Currying loosens dirt, mud, and dust and lifts it to the surface of your horse’s coat. It also lifts your horse’s natural skin oils to the surface, giving your horse a naturally shiny coat.
Our Facebook Fans told us that their favorite Winter Grooming Products is The Grooma Original Groomer. They love that that it easily gets through thick winter coats to remove dried mud, dirt and dust down to the skin. They also said it gives their horse a well deserved massage and reaches all those itchy areas!
Next, use a hard brush (also known as a dandy brush) to remove all the dirt and dust that was lifted and loosened during currying. Start at the top of the neck, following your horse’s hair growth, and use short fast strokes to get down to the skin and flick out the dirt. Here is what one of our Facebook Fans said about her favorite Centaur Dandy Brush.
“My favorite winter grooming tool is the dandy brush! You can use it on the whole body in the middle of winter without worrying about irritating the skin or removing those valuable natural skin oils. The stiffer bristles help get through the thickest of winter fuzz and gives your horse the scratches he’s been dying to itch under his winter blanket”. ~Jen P
Here are some other Facebook Fan Favorites!
Oster Medium Grooming Brush: “I have had it for two years now and all I do is rinse it off once a week! Still looks like new!” ~Kim S
Oster Stiff Grooming Brush: “This gets rid of snow clumps and that nasty frozen mud.” ~Sabine C
Got Stubborn Stains? Apply a no-rinse shampoo to any stubborn manure or urine stains left on your horse’s coat. Here are three of our Fan Favorites!
Equicare Vetrolin Green Spot Out: “I have a big grey warmblood who loves to turn himself different shades of yellow and brown and this seems to be the perfect solution for the winter when it is too cold to bathe him. I also like how inexpensive it is.” ~Anli D.
Trying to combat winter/coat ailments? Try these wonderful products to combat rain rot, scratches, dermatitis, hair loss, and more!
Dr. Rose’s Remedies: Available in a spray or salve, click on the link for a long list of the healing benefits of this all natural product! Here is what one of our staff members told us about her experience with Dr. Rose’s Remedies:
“I did a test with a horse at my barn that had very bad dermatitis on his head. He had been treated by a vet with several different meds, but nothing worked. I gave his owner the salve. Within about 2-3 weeks, the dermatitis was gone, and his hair was back. He looked like a different horse. He became “petable” again. I have also used it on my horse with excellent results–minor scrapes, bites, etc.” ~Sue
Other Facebook Fan Favorites Include:
Shapely’s Original MTG Conditioner: Shapley’s Original M-T-G has been providing horses with quick and effective relief from numerous skin ailments since 1938! Originally formulated for humans, this safe and easy to use solution is the only one needed for relief from a variety of bacterial and fungal skin problems such as rain rot, girth itch, sweet itch or dry skin
Eqyss Megatek Coat Rebuilder: “My favorite winter grooming “tool” is this product…I couldn’t make it thru the winter without it. My horse is thin skinned, and I use it daily to help recondition and regrow the rubbed areas of his coat. This is my miracle product. Rest of the year, I use it on cuts and scrapes to grow hair back in record time.” ~Stacy C
Get Rid of that Dull Winter Coat!
Now that you removed the bulk of the mud, dirt, and dust from your horse’s coat you can work on making your horse shine!
First, spray your horse’s coat with a light mist of your favorite silicone or non-silicone based coat polish. Then spray some coat polish on a clean rag to apply to your horses face and head.
Next, use a soft brush to smooth down your horse’s hair while you work his natural oils and that coat polish into a shine! The soft brush can be used all over your horse’s body, including the head and legs. Here is a Facebook Fan Favorite:
Himalayan Horse Natural Horse Hair Blend Brush: “They are great for finishing a horse for show and daily grooming. The natural fibers are so good for the horse’s coat and really produces a shine even in their winter woolies.” ~Emily R.
Centaur Soft Natural Horse Hair Body Brush: I prefer the “body brush” style soft brush, like this one from Centaur.
Finally, use a clean towel to give your horse one last wipe down. This gets rid of those tiny specks of dust and adds even more shine. You can also use the towel to wipe out your horse’s ear, nose, and around the eyes.
Protect the Mane and Tail
Mud, burrs, snow, and ice can damage your horse’s mane and tail. To avoid hair damage, apply a conditioner/detangler to your horse’s mane and tail. Allow the product to absorb. This will make it far easier to remove knots, burrs, dried on mud, or icy snow from their mane and tail.
Brush or comb the mane and tail carefully, one section at a time to avoid breaking the hairs. Here are some of our and your favorite Mane/Tail Combs and Brushes:
Grooma Round Tooth Comb: “My horse lives outside and often gets clumps of ice stuck in his mane and tail in the winter, this really helps comb it out so he can look and feel better.” ~Ashley P.
Grooma Double Sided Mane Brush: A large, handy, double sided brush that will easily detangle your horse’s mane with one side and smooth it down with the other.
Grooma Equine Rake: The Grooma Equine Rake has teeth that rotate and wobble making grooming easier with less trauma to the hair. With longer teeth and a sturdy handle, you’ll make short work of a long job.