Proper care of heavy feathering
I recently purchased my first draft horse, a 7yo Shire mare. I have been working with Clydesdales for 7 years now, but have never been solely responsible for the care and maintenance before. So I'm wondering about the best way to maintain her feathering, as well as any other care pointers.
Her feather is not in great shape right now, as she has spent most of the past 3 months in a muddy field, but I gave them a thorough scrub with horse shampoo and a really good rinse on Sunday. She does not appear to have greased heel or any signs of mites, so for the most part, I'm just wanting pointers to keep them bug and infection free and get the best length and thickness she has to offer.
I've browsed around google for a few hours now, some say use pour-on Ivermectin (for cattle) others say don't use cattle products. I've heard mention of sulfer and MTG. And then oh so many say "great feather takes extra care to maintain," but neglect to mention HOW... I know washing them too often can cause over-drying, which would make them itchy, but never cleaning them gives way to fungus, mites, and other conditions. How often is best? What products do you rub in to the skin, and what ones do you want only on the hair, but not against the skin? Which do you rinse out and which to leave in? Any tips would be appreciated.