Autumn is coming and I’ve been thinking about my horses’ beauty routine. I love my horses so much, and it’s natural I want only the best for them. Horses are such gentle creatures and rely on us for everything, so it’s only fair we give them the same care and attention we’d give ourselves.
So, with that in mind I’ve found seven items that are essential to my grooming-kit and thought I’d share them with you. Grooming is an important part of caring for a horse, especially during the colder months, and it’s vital you use the best products and tools.
So, without further ado…
1) Brushes & Combs
Grooming a stabled horse is essential to remove the dirt, mud and dust from his coat but it’s also a special moment that improves the relationship with your four-legged friend. They can feel our love for them and there are many other health benefits such as stimulating circulation, keeping the coat free from parasites and preventing skin disease. It’s also a good practice to build their muscle tone.
This is why I always try to find the best brushes and combs, in the same way I choose beauty products for myself.
My attention was lately grabbed by this flexible comb for the mane and tail, and you can see it in the second picture. It’s called “Tangle Wrangler” and costs £6.95. I know my horse would be happy to try it… has anyone tried it? Let me know.
There is also a vast range of brushes and combs that are very classy and durable over at HorseHealth
- Always invest in good quality brushes and keep them clean, as you don’t want to groom your horse with dusty and dirty tools. What is more, if you keep the brush clean, it will last longer.
- Don’t use your brushes on other horses in order to avoid any kind of infections and contamination of parasites.
While navigating the web looking for good sponges for my horses, I bumped into this flower-shaped sponge and with my great pleasure I discovered that it’s filled with a delicate eco-friendly shampoo. “Made from ethically sourced ingredients and always certified cruelty free!” What I particularly appreciate is the list of ingredients that they avoid to minimise allergy risks and irritations. It’s important to know what is safe and what is not, for our horses’ health and for our environment.
The filled sponges come in five flavours and I think children and kids will appreciate these sponges while taking care of their ponies! Have a look at their website: http://www.mrsconns.com
3) Trimmers & Clippers
As the summer is nearly over, your horse will grow a thicker coat to store heat and protect himself from the cold and wet weather. On the other hand, a heavier coat means it will take longer for the horse to cool down after exercising and working. That’s why clipping is necessary during the winter and, since he will lose his natural protection, he will need an efficient and comfortable stable, waterproof rugs and the proper seasonal equipment. The end of September is the right time for clipping and my advice is to choose a good quality tool that does not damage his skin.
Here you can find trimmers and clippers for every need, from light to heavy duty.
By the way, if you you’re into ‘clip art’ your horse could get a fantastic haircut with the help of stencils. There is a website that sells a vast range of clipping stencils. If you would like to clip like a pro, without stencils, look at what Melody Hamer is able to do relying on her freehand:
Whether your horse is clipped or not, his coat will need all of your attention during the colder months and it’s important to keep the natural oils that protect it from the winter weather conditions.
Do you remember the famous Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner ? It is became famous because may women started to use it for their hair and in my opinion, everything that is safe for me, is safe for my horses as well. After all, human and horse hair is made of keratin! The difference lies in other things, like the type of skin, PH and other needs that can be different.
A good shampoo is a must to take care of your horse’s coat and I would suggest Wildwash as an alternative to the well known brand I just mentioned. Wildwash is a UK based company whose “shampoos and products are Made in England and contain absolutely NO Parabens, Phthalates, Phosphates, Sulfates, Petrochemicals, Synthetic or Semi Synthetic Fragrances or PEG’s.”
If you groom your horse daily with the proper tools, you will need less product and there will be no need to use aggressive detergents to clean his coat. Less is more, and always check the list of ingredients and be sure it doesn’t contain damaging substances. Wildwash is a brand I find honest and safe, so let me know if you have tried it for your pets!
5) All in one: hair detangler, polisher and repellent spray
Shampoo and conditioner are often not enough for the manes and tails of our horses. Flies and insects can be really annoying for them and sometimes there is a need for further protection for horses coats, especially when clipped. This product is a must in your grooming kit, because it’s not only a hair detangler, but also repels dust and keeps your horse’s coat clean longer. When applied before turnout, it prevents mud and dirt from sticking, reduces static and smells good!
You can find it here and it costs £15: http://absorbine.com/products/grooming/showsheen-hair-polish-detangler/
6) Hoof Hardner
Even horses need a little pedicure, sometimes. Especially during the the winter months it is a good practice to check their hooves and look for signs of thrush, mud fever, sores and cracked skin around the heel area. A good barrier cream should prevent damage, but sometimes it’s not enough. A very good product is “Hoof Hardner” by Keratex: “It works by cross-linking the keratins and proteins within the internal structures of the hooves, making them stronger from the inside out. Because it absorbs into the hooves, it will not ‘come off’ in the field, it will continue to work within the hoof whatever the weather and whatever the field conditions.”
7) Food Supplements
‘Beauty comes from within’.
We are what we eat and for animals it is exactly the same. Skin and coat problems are the first signs of something else going on in the body, for example itchy skin could mean some food allergies. Most supermarket oils also contribute to poor skin, because they can be inflammatory and an inflammation can trigger anything from skin irritation to aggression, anxiety and more. Even though you feed your horse properly, he may need a little help in particular phases of his life, due to periods of stress or just age. Vitamin E, Biotin and antioxidants in general, can help maintain his coat, skin and hooves in perfect health.
Hopefully these little pointers of mine will give you some ideas on how to ensure your horse is in the best possible shape for winter. We all love our horses and if you’re anything like me you’ll want to give your horse the best of everything. It’s not cheap owning a horse, but it’s better to use the best products to ensure his good health, rather than risk any substantial vet bills, and/or the happiness of your horse.
Please feel free to let me know of any advice you have regarding beauty products for your horse.
All the best.