Grooming Your Horse in the Winter

Woman using curry to shed out horse


Grooming your horse in the winter can feel like a daunting task. Horses love to roll in the mud after snow or rain, leaving caked on mud or mud stains all over their coats. Horse's winter coats collect dirt quickly and are hard to clean. These quick tips for keeping your horse looking clean this winter will make all your friends think you are a professional groomer.

Let Mud Dry
Trying to brush or scrub of wet mud only makes a greater mess and leaves a stain. If you can, bring the horse into a barn and let the mud dry then brush it off best you can.

Braid Tails
If you have horses with long and beautiful tails that you wish to maintain over the winter, braid them. Braiding the tail will help keep snow, mud, and ice from building on the tail and causing the hairs to break. Braiding the tail then putting in a tail sock adds protection.

Spot Cleaning
Keep a spray bottle of vinegar and an old rag handy to clean out a stain if needed. Spray the stain lightly, and then use a rag to scrub the stain. Repeat as needed. Dry shampoo can also be used for this.

Caked on Mud
Horses legs tend to get covered in mud that makes it hard to keep them clean. An old scrub brush with soft bristles is perfect for scrubbing off that mud and seeing your horse's legs again.

Alternative Bath
Giving your horse a bath in the winter is not recommended because while your horse dries it may get cold and catch a chill. A basic sponge bath with warm water makes a dirty horse feel clean and look pleasant. Boil some water and pour into a large bucket. Squirt a small amount of equine shampoo in the bucket. Dip a rag into the bucket and ring it out so it is damp. Scrub dirty spots of the horse with the rag, then re-wet as needed. If you happen to get the horse exceptionally wet put a fleece collar on them. This will help prevent them from getting cold.