Keeping horses looking clean and shiny throughout the winter can be easier said than done, with thick winter coats, wet weather and plenty of muddy fields! However, many horse owners choose to continue riding and competing throughout the cold snap, and need their horses to look presentable without spending hours grooming or risking a chilly bath. So, Eventing Worldwide has teamed up with Wahl to present 10 top tips on turning horses out for the winter, free of muddy manes and tangled tails!
- Use the correct grooming tools! Rubber curry combs are great for getting dirt out of the horse’s coat and giving your horse a well-earned scratch – particularly if they are covered up by lots of rugs during the winter months. A stiffer bristled body brush will loosen mud and dirt but be careful not to use on delicate areas such as the face and legs, or on freshly clipped skin. A soft body brush is ideal for removing dust from the coat and giving a final polish at the end of your grooming session and provides the perfect delicate touch on sensitive or newly clipped coats.
- The Wahl Easy Groom Detangler is great for tackling windswept manes and knotted tails, speeding up grooming time, and because it does not contain silicone you won’t be left with a sticky or slippery finish. By using a conditioning detangler regularly you will reduce the risk of breaking hairs and finding yourself with a sparse, brittle mane or tail at the end of winter!
- Lift dirt from small areas using some warm water, shampoo and a piece of towelling or flannel. Wet and wring the towel out thoroughly, then work the shampoo into the coat in a circular motion to lift dirt before rinsing with warm water, but limit this to contained areas to minimise the risk of your horse catching a chill.
- As most horse owners know, white areas such as legs, tails and faces can be the trickiest areas to get squeaky clean! The Wahl Diamond White Shampoo is designed to enhance and brighten white coats, removing dirt, grease and stains for a fresh finish.
- After washing, consider plaiting the mane and tail for a smart finish if you intend to compete. Make sure that you section the mane evenly. Running a damp sponge over the top, or applying a conditioning detangler will help to keep hair flat and more manageable. Secure with either a needle and thread or elastic bands, pulling the hair tight as you go, so that plaits are steadfast.
- Rinse brushes and thoroughly wash them on a regular basis to ensure that they stay clean and ready for the next groom.
- A clipped coat is shorter and more manageable than a thick, woolly winter coat and is easier to dry post exercise or post downpour of winter rain! Take the time to clip your horse according to their breed and the level of work that they will maintain throughout the winter and remember to have a rug to hand to combat the sudden drop in temperature! The Wahl Avalon cordless clipper comes with a range of blades and is ideal for either full or partial clipping. Before clipping, make sure that you thoroughly groom the horse’s coat to lift as much dirt and grease as possible, as this will help to avoid blunting blades prematurely.
- Use a compact hand held trimmer to neaten up the edges and finish the look. The Wahl Adelar Trimmer ensures a smart finish and offers a range of blade cutting lengths to help you trim legs and finish the face with a quiet, low vibration and easy to manoeuvre device.
- Ensure that you use the correct brushes for grooming after clipping, as the horse may be more sensitive with a finer coat. Use a body brush for a real shine and avoid harsh metal scraping against skin.
- Remember the finishing touches! Applying hoof oil makes for a smart finish and may just distract from the odd stain that has been too tricky to remove!
It’s competition time and one very lucky winner will receive a selection of Wahl grooming goodies to help tackle the worst of the winter weather! The package includes a Wahl Grooming Kit, one Wahl Showman Detangler and one Wahl Shampoo of your choice. As a horse owner, it’s not much fun battling thick muddy coats and tangled tails,but with this array of grooming essentials, you will be well on your way to a sparkling, squeaky clean horse this winter, perfect for competing, hunting, or simply some every day schooling and hacking.
TO ENTER THE COMPETITION, SIMPLY EMAIL A PHOTO OF YOUR HORSE OR PONY AT THEIR ABSOLUTE MUDDIEST ALONG WITH YOUR NAME, NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS TO HELLO@EVENTINGWORLDWIDE.COM BY SUNDAY 18TH JANUARY. WE WILL THEN SELECT A WINNER AT RANDOM AND BE IN TOUCH. GOOD LUCK!
We may pass you contact details to our competition partner, Wahl, if you don’t want your details passed to Wahl then please state this in your email.