Winter Grooming Tips

By: Taylor Czesnik

When you think about winter time with your horse, what is the most frustrating thing that comes to mind? For some, it’s probably the excessive blanketing, frozen water buckets or even the snow balls jammed into the shoes from a trail ride through the snow.  Personally, it’s the frustration of feeling like my horse isn’t ever truly clean in the seasons where baths are next to impossible, coats are long, and even the blankets only stay clean for what feels like 5 minutes.

Mini Chestnut Horse

First off… Curry, curry, and lastly curry like your life depended on it.

Now for some people, if you’re fortunate enough to travel south for the winter, your horses stay clipped and the rest of this is probably a non-issue.  But this is for the people who savagely winter the storm (literally) and keep those precious ponies of theirs with a nice coat to help them through the tundra months.
I’ve personally managed horse farms in both the lovely Florida winters and in the less fortunate cold winters. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks of my own to help keep a clean horse, while not torturing them through a bath in the snow. Here I’m going to share with you some tips for winter grooming. 

Hand with curry comb brushing brown horse

First off… Curry, curry, and lastly curry like your life depended on it.

No other form of grooming is going to remove all of the dirt and oils from the skin unless you curry their entire body properly.  With that being said, having the opportunity to take a few months of no bath time and really get back to the grooming basics will do wonders for the health of your horses skin and coat.  When you curry and get all of the oils to work their way from the skin through the coat it’s the body’s natural way of conditioning itself. My personal preference? An old school metal curry on the horses body; I’ve found it pulls up more dirt than a rubber one and really can get through the coat with ease.

NOTE: When using metal curry combs please do not use it on your horses face or legs, they will not be appreciative, use a rubber curry mitt on those sensitive areas.

There are some horses that will be sensitive to a metal curry, especially to start, I recommend using it lightly until your horse is comfortable with it and then applying more pressure to really get into the under coat, you’ll be shocked with how much dirt you can remove!

Second, a spritz of Apple Cider Vinnegar once or twice a week will go a long way! 

Keep some in a spray bottle (If the vinegar smell is too offensive, feel free to dilute a bit with water.) I recommend a good round of currying, spray some ACV on the coat and then curry it into the coat even more.  The ACV will help strip the coat of any excess oils and will leave them with a softer, cleaner feeling coat!

Lastly, don’t forget your body brushes!

The long flick brushes are great for a quick dust off and especially good if you’ve curried a lot of dust out from the undercoat. After a flick brush, I always spend a lot of time with a good body brush to get the hair to lay back down. A good body brush will also help pull the oils through the coat and make your horse shine!

Keep them nutritionally balanced with Excel Supplements. 

Proper grooming along with keeping horses properly balanced nutritionally with ExcelEQ ProElite™ will help sustain your horses coat health through the winter months! 

Related Articles:

Winter Equine Nutrition 

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