How To Overcome The Unique Challenges Of Grooming Your Horse In Winter

Keeping a horse exercised with a thick winter coat makes caring for them a little harder as thick winter coats retain more dirt, sweat and heat.  Thick coats are of course designed to keep them warm which means after exercise, a horse won’t cool down as quick.

Following a ride it is important to thoroughly remove any sweat and dirt, but with cold temperatures washing them isn’t a practical option.  It takes so long for hair to dry and the horse may get a chill.  What can we do instead?

There are options available depending on how woolly your horse gets during winter.

Grooming tips pre ride: 

Firstly, having the right grooming tools will ensure you can remove dirt and dander and sweat from thick long winter coats.  Brushes with firmer longer bristles like a dandy brush or a curry comb are helpful. If your horse has a dense but short winter coat, a tool like the Mane & Stable grooming block or shorter bristle grooming brush are effective.

Make sure your pre-ride groom is thorough, think of it as a warm up for you to get the blood flowing!  Pay particular attention to the areas on the horse where the bridle and saddle will sit to ensure they are clean to avoid any irritations.

Grooming tips post ride:

After removing the tack assess the areas your horse has worked up a sweat.

If the horse hasn’t got much of a sweat up, use the Mane & Stable towelette to wipe over the saddle and bridle areas on the horse.  Alternatively use a curry comb or the Mane & Stable grooming block to massage the areas where the saddle sat using circular motions to aerate the hair and skin and massage the underlying muscles.

If the horse is sweaty, prepare a bucket of water or a spray bottle of water that you can use to dampen a sponge.  With the damp sponge wipe the sweaty areas, rinsing between applications until all the sweat has been cleaned.

Use the Mane & Stable towelette to remove any excess water in the hair and dry the coat thoroughly using circular motions to raise the hair and promote a quicker drying time.

When dry, give the horse a brush to smooth the dry hair flat again using a curry comb, grooming block or bristle brush appropriate for the thickness of your horses coat.  The horse can be rugged up and put back with his buddies…and you’re done!