Tips for Shedding Out Your Horse
Its that time of year again! You can tell it really is spring because you walked out side, petted your horse, and came up with a handful of winter fluff! Most of the time, after grooming during shedding season, you end up covered from head to toe in hair. Shedding is unavoidable, but we have some tips to make your spring go by just a bit more smoothly.
One of the best things I have found for shedding season is one of those gray slick and easy grooming blocks. They really grab the hair with minimal mess and are great because you can even use them (carefully!) on legs and face.
Another tool is a big looped metal shedding blade. This tool removes huge clumps of hair in a single stroke and usually you end up covered in that hair.
Show Sheen, or other silica/conditioning sprays, are helpful during shedding season because they help reduce static and can help you get the brush or block through the fluff and down to the slick coat underneath.
Shop Vac's can really help with the fur mess. Just make sure you desensitize your horse to the vacuum before using it! They are not only helpful for cleaning up, (your barn owner will thank you!) but another way to use it is to use it WITH a shedding tool, so it sucks up the hair as it comes loose.
Always start at the front of the horse and work your way back, going with the direction of the hair. It often helps to spray the horse with showsheen and curry it in down to the skin, then use a grooming block in the direction of the hair. It often helps to keep a shop vac nearby and suck up the hair as it comes out. If you horse is very heavily shedding, often a grooming block is much more effective than any brushing, as the hair just sticks to the brush and you!
Bathing your horse is a great way to remove all of that grim and extra hair that has accumulated over the winter months. Use a horse shampoo or a clean rinse dish soap like Ivory, and curry the soap into your wet horse. I find it is also helpful to curry with a rubber curry when rinsing, especially if your horse still has a thick winter coat. If your horse has flakey skin and dandruff from a winter with no baths, a moisturizing shampoo is very helpful to get back that shiny coat and healthy skin!
If it is too cold to bathe, you can always use a towel and hot water to do sections of your horse, however if they are shedding, this sometimes ends up being more of a mess than it is helpful!
Shiny from the inside out!
One of the best ways to get a great coat and quick shed out on your horse is to feed him food that will enable him to have healthy skin and coat. A great supplement to add to his food for shiny, healthy coat and skin is rice bran- it adds healthy fat to his diet unlike straight corn oil. Vitamin A also plays a huge role in skin health, so make sure your horse's diet is well balanced and that he is getting the vitamins and minerals he needs for a healthy, glowing coat.