Spring is here! To prepare for the duration of the spring season, let us provide some useful information about grooming your horse as the temperature rises. During the transition from winter to spring, your horse should receive a generous wash, shedding control, trim, and foot care. Keep reading for some tips to provide your horse with a clean and shiny coat this spring.
After a harsh winter, it is important to give your horse a thorough cleansing bath. Choose a warm and sunny day to bathe your horse. First, generously wet the skin with water. Use your shampoo of choice and a bucket of warm water to lather and cleanse your horse. Using a sponge or wash glove, cleanse your horse starting from the neck down to the legs. Never put soap or shampoo on your horse’s face, only water. Dunk the tail in the soapy water and cleanse it with your hands. After rinsing your horse’s body, use a sweat scraper to remove excess water and soap. If soap still remains, rise and repeat scraping. Any leftover soap can cause irritation, allergy, or dandruff. Wash your horse’s face with water and a small sponge or towel. Finally, use a different sponge and a commercial sheath or udder cleaner to cleanse the genital area and under the tail. Providing your horse with a deep cleanse before spring will have them feeling and looking amazing!
Generally, the first thing you will notice as your horse transitions from winter to spring is shedding. Good grooming is essential all year round, but most importantly while spring shedding occurs. A thorough grooming is crucial to remove any mud, dirt and loose hair from the winter. To eliminate shedding, use a metal/rubber curry comb, shedding blade, or grooming mitt on their body. Start with light pressure and gradually increase to cleanse of unwanted hair. Use your tool vigorously in a circular motion across your horse’s neck and body to loosen hair. Begin on one side of your horse and brush in the direction of the hair from the neck to the hind area, and don’t forget about the underside and belly! Repeat this process on both sides of your horse’s body. If your horse is not too sensitive, you can also use curry comb/mitt on their legs. Never use a blade or curry comb on sensitive areas of the face or legs.
After using a curry comb or a shedding blade, use a stiff bristled dandy brush with brisk strokes to remove any dirt, hair, or dead skin cells that have been loosened. Next, use a soft bristle body brush on delicate areas like the head, behind the ears, and the legs. After this process your horse will be free of their dirty winter coat and thriving in a shiny, clean spring coat.
To speed up the shedding process of the winter coat, use the clipping method. Prior to clipping, ensure that your horse is clean and dry. Use electric clippers to clip the entire body (head and legs) or opt for a hunter clip, blanket clip, or trace clip. The goal of clipping is to leave your horse looking clean and neat. Always ensure proper clipping techniques or consult a professional before beginning.
Mane and Tail
After cleansing and grooming the horse’s body, it is important to clean their mane and tail as well. Untangle the hair of the mane and tail with your fingers, removing any debris and burrs. Use a detangling product and a brush to work out any knots. Carefully brush the hair beginning at the bottom and working upwards. Then, use a wet dandy brush or a water brush to lay the mane flat on one side of the neck. Depending on your horse’s activity, you may opt to trim or thin the hair of the mane and tail by using a small metal mane comb.
After the winter season, it is important to clean your horse’s hooves as well as trim them. Clean each hoof carefully from heel to toe. Clean the depressions thoroughly to prevent any infections. During cleaning, you should also check the growth of the hoof. Trim and replace the shoes when necessary. Hoof trimming is essential to keep your horse standing square and moving straight. Hooves should be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks.
In conclusion, proper grooming and care is very important after your horse withstands the cold winter season. In order to prepare your horse for sunny spring days, give them a proper deep cleaning. Follow these steps to ensure that your horse is radiating happiness and comfort this spring!