Grooming your horse is important in winter as it is in summer. However, because of the changes in the weather and in the temperature, there are a few things you need to specifically consider before you start grooming. Take a look at the tips below to see how you can ensure that your horse is well-looked after in the winter days.
Bathing with Warm Water
When it comes to keeping our horses clean, bathing is necessary. But this is not something that can always be done in colder weather. Especially when the winter weather is too harsh, and temperature becomes below freezing, bathing is not an available option. You can still wash a horse with short hair coat if you have a heated grooming area and warm water facilities. This is not recommended for horses with thicker coat though since a thick coat takes too long to dry off.
Since bathing has to be limited, this means you have to adapt other cleaning options. Using a rubber curry comb in a circular motion on your horse’s coat will help to remove any dirt, dried mud or loose-hair. You can then use a stiff brush to brush these away. When it comes to cleaning areas such as the face legs and sensitive areas, you can use a soft brush or a grooming towel.
Use Your Hands to Check Cuts and Bruises
Bathing always makes it easier to identify cuts, bruises and swelling on your horse. However, you can still use your hands to identify these small injuries when there is no bathing. Running your hands up and down the legs of your horse will help you to check for bumps, cuts and bruises. It will also help to identify changes such as swelling, heat or ticks. Identifying these will help you to treat your horse soon and keep it healthy.
If you blanket your horse in winter, regular grooming is still necessary. Before you blanket your horse, make sure to groom your horse. While you do not have to do a thorough brushing down every time you blanket the horse, at least a quick brushing is necessary. This will ensure that its skin is clean and dry before you blanket. In areas where there are constant temperature changes, it is necessary to change between sheets and blankets.
Use Winter Turnouts When Outside
Taking care of your horse in winter is not only about warm water baths and regular grooming. When it comes to protecting your horse when it is outside, investing in a winter turnout is a good idea. Winter turnouts are a type of horse winter rugs used to protect the horse from colder temperatures. These are ideal for when your horse is out in the field in winter days. They are waterproof and protect your horse from the cold.
With the changes in the weather, make sure to change your grooming techniques. This will help you to take care of your horse better and make sure it is both healthy and clean during any time of the year.