Spring Horse Grooming Tips

Treat your horse to a spring grooming session to help shed their coat. No one will judge you if your horse is plastered in mud over winter - it's an accomplishment just brushing off where your tack goes! Now that the warmer weather is approaching, it's a good opportunity to give your horse a little makeover, especially if you're hoping to get out to some shows later in the year.

In this article:

  1. How to cope with your horse's shedding coat
  2. Tidying up the mane and tail
  3. Finishing touches

How to Cope with Your Horse's Shedding Coat

When your horse's winter coat starts to shed it can seem like it will never end. Hair ends up everywhere: on numnahs, rugs, your clothes, even your car! 

Horse spring grooming

One option is to clip your horse. Some people don't like to clip their horse too late into the year in case it interferes with the summer coat. If your horse is uncomfortable or super hairy though, this could be a good option.

If you're not clipping, you'll have to prepare yourself for tackling the hair!

First, get your supplies together:

Start at your horse's neck and use the curry comb in circular motions. This will help to loosen up the hair. You will want to do this all over your horse's body, avoiding the sensitive face and legs. 

Horse grooming mitt

You can also use a grooming mitt to help loosen up the hair. The rubber pimples remove loose hair whilst giving your horse a mini massage. 

Another option is to use a shedding blade. This is specifically designed to help shed a moulting coat and should be used in the same direction as the hair.

Once you've loosened up the hair, use a dandy brush to remove the hair and any dirt or oils brought to the surface.

To finish off, use a soft body brush to help bring a shine to the coat. You might need to use this with a metal curry comb. Clean the hairs off the body brush with the metal curry comb after a few strokes. 

Top tip: exercising your horse increases blood circulation and can make it easier to remove the shedding hair, so try a good grooming session after a ride. 

Tidying Up the Mane and Tail

Your horse's mane and tail might have been covered in mud over the winter but now it's time to smarten them up.

Start with a detangling spray to make the job easier. Then, gently use a mane and tail brush to remove knots. Work in sections and hold onto your horse's mane/tail so you don't tug hard on it. 

Brushing horse's mane

If your horse's tail is long, you can trim the end with a pair of scissors to neaten it up. You can shape and thin out the top of the tail with a smart grooming tool.

Using a pulling comb is the traditional way to shorten and tidy up the mane. If you are taking a lot of length off though, you might want to start with scissors and finish off with a comb. Cut up and into the mane to avoid a blunt look that is a tell-tale sign you've used scissors!

Finishing Touches

If it's too cold just yet to give your horse a complete bath, remove stains with a water-free shampoo or stain remover

You can also trim your horse's feather and any excess hair under the jaw for a sleeker look.

Horse coat conditioner    

Whilst you might reserve hoof oil for sparkling hooves at a competition, a hoof balm is a good way to keep the hooves strong and healthy. 

Finally, finish off with a spray of coat shine conditioner. This leaves a beautiful shine and repels stains and dirt to ensure your hard work lasts!

What to read next: Perfect Show Prep

 

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