Winter is long and cold, but horses still get dirty. Here are a few tips for bathing your equines this season.
This is your horse.
This is your horse on winter mud.
Time to do some cleaning!
Groom your horse first to remove any mud and dirt. Fill a bucket with hot water. The hotter the water, the better it will pick up dirt and dust.
Soak a towel in the bucket of water, wring out as much of the water as you can, and rub the hair briskly in both directions. Rinse out the towel and repeat, working over small sections at a time.
When you finish an area, take a dry towel and rub the hair in the same manner. Your last stroke should be against the direction the hair grows so it is standing up; this will help it dry quicker. As soon as you finish toweling, cover your horse with a cooler to keep him from getting chilled and to speed drying. Once dry, spray the coat with a coat conditioner to moisturize the hair and help repel dust, then finish with a regular brushing.
Note: You can also use a sponge, though, I don’t think it gets them as clean.
You can wash your horse’s tail in cold water, as long as you wash below the tailbone. Use a sponge for the top part.
3. Special Areas
Pay particular attention to ears, under the jaw and at the back of fetlocks. They are prone to being irritated by dirt and sweat that can lead to winter sores. You can also clip under the jaw and fetlocks to help prevent sores.
Note: In my part of the world, these are also prime targets for ticks! Super gross.
Vacuums and portable hot water heaters (as small or as large as you want) are available for purchase if you want to get more creative with winter grooming. They can be costly, but will save a lot of elbow grease.
Thanks to my mom for providing such a beautiful model!