Winter Grooming

Well, here in Nova Scotia, bathing season is long gone. And this makes my grey-loving-OCD heart, very, very sad. I live for bathing season. Keeping Abbey clean is something I live for. Grooming her, keeping up with her diva self is quite enjoyable for me, and her. I am honestly extremely lucky when it comes to owing a grey because, Abbey loves being clean. If Abbey gets dirty, watch out, her (and I) are on a mission.  

I thought I would share some tips and tricks I have picked up along the way, when you can’t full bath, but want to try and stay on top of it during the muddy months, or if your like me, you enjoy it and own a grey!

1 – CLIP! If you are able to clip, DO IT. A huge time saver when it comes to grooming, and makes it so much easier for keeping and getting the winter crud off. Full clip, blanket clip, trace clip, any clip, does make grooming so much easier for the winter! Helps in drying time as well, after a good sweaty ride! *I don’t recommend clipping if your horse is turned out 24/7 and you don’t blanket* 

2- If you can blanket your horse, DO IT! And hope and pray you don’t have a blanket destroyer! Blanketing alone I find helps so much! Even though, sometimes I wonder how Abbey manages to get stains all the way up on her back.  

3– A spray bottle with rubbing alcohol = huge time saver for those sweaty rides! I do a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol because Abbey has sensitive skin so I don’t want to risk drying her skin out. Rubbing alcohol is really good for a number of different things. I use it to help with sweat marks after a good ride (it really helps dry them up much faster), and it’s really good for thrush and mud fever! I get all these goodies from my local Dollar Store!  $5.00 (CDN) or less and you have it! 

4 – Gold Bond with Zinc (the green bottle) = MAGIC!  A friend of mine actually told me about using this product because Abbey is prone to mud fever on her leg with lymphangitis. It is half the price of any brand name product you can find at the tack store (big bonus!). I find gold bond powder works so well on helping keeping any moisture from sitting on her legs, keeps her legs as dry as it can, along with any mud fever spots she may have. Also, it makes her legs look way cleaner than what they might actually be. 😉 I’m normally not out at the barn in the mornings before turn out, so I apply it the night before and I still find it works wonders! I puff some on, and brush/pat it into her legs. 

5 – Fragrance free baby wipes. Another product you can purchase at the Dollar store for cheap, cheap, cheap! I, personally, purchase them in a large quantity resealable bag from Walmart or the Pharmacy that I work out of. Baby wipes are that multipurpose product (much like the water/alcohol mixture!), they are great for wiping your horses face clean, those stubborn poop stains from the blanket straps, your own hands, and any tack that may have dust lingering around on them from the arena. I, also wipe down the clips on Abbeys blanket so they don’t freeze over in poop, and so they stop staining her coat!

6 – Santa Fe Coat Conditioner & Sunscreen, needs no introduction. It’s amazing. Smells great, works even better! I purchase this product from my local Greenhawk store! It’s great for helping Abbey’s coat spring, summer, fall, 365 days of the year honestly.  I especially love it in the summer because of the sunscreen properties it has (with Abbey being a grey and all, got to protect my girl!). But I love it even better in the winter because it helps keep her coat looking fresh, smelling great, and I find it helps restore any moisture that may be lost from her blanket – it also, helps keep the static down in her mane and coat. This coat conditioner also does wonders in helping keep out and get any knots out in her tail. I also find, it repels any dirt from sticking around on the ends of her tail a lot better than doing nothing about it. A big bonus for this product is that it, doesn’t cause my saddle pads to slip! I personally find it completely safe to use around the saddle area. I wouldn’t go crazy and spray the whole bottle, but a light spray as you’re moving down your horses’ body, totally fine in my non-professional opinion!  

7- Waterless shampoos! Now, this isn’t a personal favorite product of mine, but I do have a bottle of green spot remover I keep on hand in case we do a winter clinic and she needs to just have some touch ups. I am still searching for a great waterless shampoo, but so far my green spot remover does the trick.  

Since most of us can’t full bath during the winter months it is a good chance for the coat to build back up on the their natural oils that have been stripped away from the summer baths and prep for show season, Their natural oils are always good at helping combat those stubborn stains on their own.

There are of ton of other things you can do to help with your winter grooming routine, but these are just a few of mine that I find work wonders!

❤ The Nervous Equestrian

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