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Winter Grooming

This is a discussion on Winter Grooming within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Is ice on a horses eyelashes a bad sign?

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    10-03-2013, 03:36 PM
  #11
Yearling
I'm in Alberta too, so I know what you mean about the temperatures.

I check my two boys daily. Cold is okay. Wet and cold is bad. But you know that

I keep towels out in the barn to rub them down when they are wet (could be wet from riding or wet from doofus standing out in the snowfall) and use stiff brushes to "fluff up" the hairs. Then a nice blanket on while I feed them and I check on them in an hour. If dry, blanket comes off and they are fine. If still damp, I fluff them again and reblanket with a fresh one. Never had to go more than two blankets.

I also use the heat from my hands to carefully melt off the ice from their eyelashes.
     
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    10-03-2013, 03:58 PM
  #12
Weanling
Check ebay for winter riding boots- last year I found a beautiful pair of O'Sullivans that have fleece inside all the way to the toes... yummy! I think I paid $27 for them!
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    10-07-2013, 05:11 PM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Gate Farm    
I'm in Alberta too, so I know what you mean about the temperatures.

I check my two boys daily. Cold is okay. Wet and cold is bad. But you know that

I keep towels out in the barn to rub them down when they are wet (could be wet from riding or wet from doofus standing out in the snowfall) and use stiff brushes to "fluff up" the hairs. Then a nice blanket on while I feed them and I check on them in an hour. If dry, blanket comes off and they are fine. If still damp, I fluff them again and reblanket with a fresh one. Never had to go more than two blankets.

I also use the heat from my hands to carefully melt off the ice from their eyelashes.
Interesting about the "fluffing." Makes sense!
I didn't even think about ice on the eye lashes, thanks for the tips :)
     
    10-07-2013, 09:49 PM
  #14
Foal
If you don't plan on clipping, if your mare gets really sweaty, keep a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol mixed with a little bit of water.
Alcohol dries faster than sweat. If you spray her with alcohol when your finished riding and throw on a fleece cooler, she'll dry in less than 1/2 the time if would normally take for her to dry.
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    10-07-2013, 10:02 PM
  #15
Green Broke
A horse vacuum is the way to go!! They are really great at getting all the dirt off, especially from way down deep.

I'd also be very cautious about working your horse into a sweat in the winter. It gets hot under all that hair! Think about how you feel working hard outside in a winter coat. I know I frequently strip down to my under armour, a long sleeve shirt and my gloves. Horses don't have the luxury of taking off their coats.
That brings me to my next point... Invest in a hair dryer and a fleece cooler. The last thing you want is a sheet of ice over your horses girth, saddle area, flanks, chest, etc. Make sure she is dry before she goes away, and the blow dryer will speed up the process.

Another thing you may consider is makin up your own clip if you don't mind light blanketing. For example clip the chest, shoulders and back to the flanks, leave the belly hair and neck hair alone. We frequently do it at our barn to help keep the lesson horses comfortable while working.
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    10-07-2013, 10:06 PM
  #16
Weanling
Always get the mud off the whole horse. Horses have the ability to fluff their coats to trap body heat between the layers of fluffed hair.....kinda like a bird in the winter. Ever notice the little sparrow looks as if he/she is on steroids in the winter? They are fluffing to trap body heat. A muddy coat cannot fluff.

My pet peeve is people who won't curry the mud off the winter coat.
     
    10-07-2013, 10:32 PM
  #17
Trained
Greenhawk, it's in Canada and their Mountain Horse winter riding boots are the best I have found.
     
    10-08-2013, 12:43 AM
  #18
Foal
Definitely go with a good hair dryer like SlideStop said! That's what saved my butt last winter. The rubbing alcohol works quite well as awell! My favorite from last winter was to put on plenty of socks, steel toed boots, pyjama bottoms, and insulated coveralls, then just go bareback...Barely felt a thing if I fell off!
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    10-08-2013, 03:01 PM
  #19
Foal
Thank you everyone, I will have to buy a hair dryer for the barn. Great idea! A vacuum sounds interesting too, I'm sure she would love the massage ha!
Her being grey I really dislike it when she is covered in mud even in the summer so that won’t be a problem, I always work it out of the coat. Nasty stuff.
Clipping is not an option, my barn doesn't do blanketing and I prefer to allow her to live as natural as possible. No shoes or blankets for this girl.
     
    10-08-2013, 03:31 PM
  #20
Green Broke
I'd encourage you to do what's best by your horse, regardless if it "natural". Let's face it, there isn't anything natural about riding horses, calling a farrier, or currying dirt off them. I friend of mine is dead set on keeping her horse "natural" and I feel terrible for the poor guy as he has stumbled over small pebbles for the last TWO years. IMO, asking a horse to do something he isn't equipt to do, in this case walk over rocks all the time, just isn't fair.
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cooler, grooming, pasture board, winter, winter coat

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