Cold weather presents a new set of challenges when it comes to horse care. When the temperature drops, or when you don’t have access to warm water, bathing your horse sometimes isn’t an option. If you chose not to clip your horse this year, it can seem like you’re brushing a wooly mammoth in vain at times!
We gathered some tips for keeping your horse clean in cold weather, especially if bathing is not an option:
Curry and Brush Often
This is paramount for any horse, but if your horse isn’t clipped consistent currying and brushing is even more important. It’s easy for dirt and dust to get trapped in a horse’s coat, so stay on top of this by using a good curry comb and a hard brush to remove as much as possible.
Baby oil can be used sparingly to help remove dirt and give your horse a nice shine if he isn’t clipped. You can mix a capful of baby oil into a bucket of water and use a warm towel to spot clean areas that are particularly dirty. Just be careful not to use too much where the saddle goes, or you might encounter some slippery hair!
Again, you can use this on areas aside from the saddle and girth area to spot clean and remove excess dirt. Show sheen and/or a coat conditioner can also go a long way to add some extra shine to a clipped horse.
Dryer Sheets for Static
If your hairy horse (or sometimes even your clipped horse) is experiencing some static cling under his blanket, you can run a dryer sheet across his body to help prevent this. Some horses are spooky about taking blankets off because of static. If your horse is well-behaved on the ground, some people suggest using Static Guard spray as well, but be careful not to get this spray near your horse’s face.
If you don’t have access to warm water, or if the temperature is just too cold, you can use a hot or warm towel to bathe spots on your horse. Sweaty spots such as the girth and saddle area, legs, and ears are important to keep clean even when it’s cold. Sweat is a haven for bacteria, and the last thing you want to deal with is fungus or other skin irritations due to poor hygiene. After you towel wash, be sure to also towel dry any wet areas to encourage the skin to breathe.