1. Lots of currying
The curry comb should be your best friend for winter grooming. Longer winter coats easily collect dirt and dust, and every time you groom your horse you are going to want to lift that grime up and out of the hair. Once you’ve brought it all up to the surface of the coat, you can simply brush it away with a stiff brush. This is a good daily practice for dirty winter horses.
2. Braid that tail
Braiding or wrapping your horse’s tail in the winter is going to save it from mudsicles, or worse, poopsicles! Since your horse doesn’t need his tail as much in the winter to swat at pesky flies, it’s OK to put it up out of the way. Detangle the tail thoroughly with a wide tooth comb and ShowSheen® Hair Polish and Detangler, then braid from top to bottom, securing with a rubber band. You can either put it up with vet wrap, or leave it hanging. Take the braid out every now and then and comb through, you’ll be impressed by how thick it is!
3. When in doubt, Miracle Groom®
Bathing is near impossible in the frigid cold of winter, but ShowSheen® Miracle Groom® is definitely the next best thing. The “Bath-in-a-Bottle®” features a 5-in-1 formula that cleans, conditions, deodorizes, detangles, and shines – all without water! This ready-to-use spray is great for spot treating or just giving your horse a full once-over when he’s getting stinky. It will lift dirt and dust, maintain a clean shine, remove stains, and leave your horse smelling fresh.
4. Spot clean your whites
We feel for you, horse owners committed to grooming your greys, palominos, appaloosas, and paints in the wintertime. It’s a battle. We know you’d give anything just to be able to bathe that pee-colored horse mid-January, but we’ll offer you the next best thing: ShowSheen® Stain Remover & Whitener. This fast-acting spot remover lifts stains, getting whites their whitest again. Just spray onto the stained area, work in thoroughly with a rag, wipe it down with a damp towel or sponge and watch the stain disappear.
5. Fight static
If your horse wears a blanket in the winter, you know the drama of static electricity. Removing a blanket can create a little lightening storm between the fabric and your horse’s coat, freaking your horse out on a whole new level, and that can turn a horse blanket-sour pretty quick. Here’s a secret: spray your horse liberally with ShowSheen® Hair Polish & Detangler before blanketing, and you will greatly reduce the zap later. Your horse will thank you for this one! Just be sure you don’t plan to ride right after!
6. Detangler Gel for wind dreads
Horses with long, flowing manes living outside deal with a less-than-desirable hair style in the wintertime: dreadlocks. Dreads are caused by wind, which tends to pick up in the winter months. Constantly wind-blow strands curl around each other and tangle, forming dreads that can be a challenge to remove during winter grooming. The solution is ShowSheen® Detangler Gel, designed to untangle the toughest knots. Apply just a pea-sized amount to your worst wind-dread and you’ll see a little goes a long way: the gel contains Argan Oil of Morocco for advanced detangling. It also deep conditions the hair, keeping the mane silky soft and less likely to tangle again when your horse ventures back out into the howling winter wind.
7. Start smooth when clipping
A clipping job without ShowSheen® is like toast without butter. If you clip your horse in the winter, you want those blades gliding smoothly and evenly for the cleanest possible clip with sharp lines and even finish. The best way to make that happen is by thoroughly spritzing your horse’s coat with ShowSheen® Hair Polish and Detangler beforehand, which is going to give you a clean, smooth canvas to begin your clipping masterpiece.
8. Watch for creeping infections
Winter is prime time for fungal and bacterial skin infections. Whether it’s rain rot from hanging out in wintery precipitation, scratches from kicking around in the mud, or flaky skin from who-knows-what, Silver Honey® spray or ointment is going to be your answer. It treats a range of fungal and bacterial conditions. At the first sighting of funky grime on the skin, start treating it with a daily application of Silver Honey®. The problem should clear up in a few days, and any itching and irritation will be soothed.
9. Keep Hooves Running
Cold weather means different challenges for hooves. While walking in fresh snow can clean out hooves nicely, it is important keep an eye out for thrush as wet weather persists in some areas and drying if there is little moisture in others. Managing moisture in paddocks and turnouts can help with the wet/dry/wet/dry cycle – and using Hooflex® Conditioners as a moisture barrier can help keep hooves in ideal condition. Bonus! If applied before turnout, Hooflex helps release pesky snow balls from hooves. If hard winter ground has caused hoof bruising, Magic Cushion® to bring near-instant relief. Last, use a quality supplement like Hooflex® Concentrated Hoof Supplement to counteract slow-as-molasses hoof growth in the winter.
10. Keep the blanket clean, and the horse will be cleaner
You do not want your horse’s blanket to be the cause of any of that winter skin irritation, so be sure to keep it clean! A dirty blanket is a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria, and is not going to do its job of keeping your horse any cleaner. Wash your blankets regularly with Leather Therapy® Saddle Pad and Blanket Wash, and follow up with Saddle Pad and Blanket Rinse. This combo is uniquely formulated for equestrian fabrics, including waterproof blankets. It will break down heavy stains and eliminate odors. There’s nothing like a fresh, clean blanket on a fresh, clean horse!
11. Have a roll in the snow!
Fresh coating of snow on a sunny morning? Strip your horse naked and LET HIM ROLL. He will leave a nasty, brown snow angel behind, and you’ll see a cleaner horse emerge. Automatic winter grooming. Amazing!