Freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and slippery ice present horse owners with a host of concerns for the safety and comfort of their animals. However, most horses thrive in the winter weather. Taking a few extra measures to make sure your horse is warm and dry in the cold and snow will make for a healthy and happy winter season.
Keeping your horse clean through the winter not only keeps him looking good, but it’s essential for his health. It’s important to remove blankets regularly to thoroughly brush and remove any dirt, dust, and mud that has built up. Left unaddressed, a dirty coat can lead to bacterial and fungal infections. Comb through the mane and tail regularly with a detangler to fight knots and snags. Spritzing the coat with a waterless bath product will help keep him fresh and clean through the cold months when baths are not always a possibility.
- Invest in a blanket with a neck. This will help keep your horse warm – and his mane from becoming extra tangled.
- Spray ShowSheen® Hair Polish or Santa Fe Coat™ Conditioner on your horse before putting on his blanket. Our fans swear this reduces static, and helps prevent blanket rubs.
- Just before your horse comes in from the cold, put a few towels in the dryer. A rub-down with the hot towels is a nice treat for your horse when he comes into the barn, plus it will help remove dirt from his coat.
- For quick-touch ups in between baths, a waterless bath product like Miracle Groom® will clean and condition without water.
Hoof care is very important, too. Take care to pick your horse’s hooves daily, removing debris and any ice and snow that accumulates. Also keep an eye out for thrush, an infection common in the winter. Applying a thrush remedy to the sole for a few days should quickly eliminate the problem.