It’s that time of year where our cute ponies turn into mud monsters and our beautiful grey horses turn brown…ok so it’s not just the greys!
As the weather gets wetter, the fields get muddier and it makes grooming a bit of a task but grooming through winter is essential to keeping you horse happy and healthy.
The horse’s skin can be quite sensitive especially when there is lots of water and mud. Mud fever and rain scald are the most common problems and it is very hard to get rid of once the bacteria gets into the skin.
To help prevent these and keep your horse’s skin and coat in good condition, a good groom is recommended to remove any mud from the coat, especially the legs.
A plastic curry comb is great for getting rid of the ‘dried on’ mud and also helping the old coat shed. A flick brush will then remove any dust left behind on the coat.
Body brushes are great for brushing into the coat and stimulating the skin and require plenty of elbow grease!
Checking for lice, feather mites, excess dandruff and any sore patches too is a must. Lice can be common in horses with a low immune system and all of these can cause itching and irritation with may result in skin sores.
Take your gloves off and use this time to check for any changes to your horse, any new lumps or bumps. It is better to identify them as early as possible and then you can decide whether to call the vet.
The legs are probably the worst area for being muddy and wet. Ideally it is best to brush mud from the legs if you can.
If the mud is wet hosing the legs can help but you should ensure they are dried thoroughly, an old towel is great for absorbing the water. Leaving the legs wet can weaken the skin and leave them more susceptible to mud fever.
Cleaning the hooves out is also a must. With the wet and damp conditions out in the field horses become more prevalent to thrush. Picking the feet out, washing them and then applying a good hoof oil/balm can help keep the hooves in good condition.
After any exercise if your horse has worked up a sweat, it is important to wash them thoroughly and ensure they are dry before rugging up again.
Using a hot cloth (cloth and warm water) can help clean the coat without having to use lots of water as you would when bathing normally. This way the horse doesn’t get to wet especially if you don’t have warm drying facilities.
Remember, you need to keep your tools clean too. Keeping your grooming kit clean will ultimately help keep your horse clean and healthy this winter.
Shop grooming products here at Tack Room Trading.