Keeping Your Horse’s Skin Healthy in Winter
- Take off blankets daily. Look for rubs. Look for sore spots. Look for pinched skin from buckles and straps. Also, inspect horses for tack rubs. On clipped horses they are easy to develop and see, and in some unclipped horses the extra hair under tack causes sores and rubs.
- Groom your horse daily – you won’t be so cold after a good curry session! And you will be able to find weird new itchy places, scabs, hair loss, mites, lice, scaly skin, and dandruff – the list goes on. Anything new or weird warrants a quick text (and maybe a photo) to the Vet for further investigation.
- Take sweat seriously in winter. A fuzzy horse that sweats is more likely to overheat during exercise, get skin infections from the sweat, and to take a long time to dry, possibly risking getting too cold in the process. Use coolers to help dry, feed electrolytes before you ride if your horse is sweating, and be diligent in your daily skin inspections.
- Be prepared for stain accumulation. You won’t be bathing as often, so take advantage of dry shampoos and spot removers for those stains that pop up in winter.
- Keep your grooming tools exclusive to your horse. Rain rot and other bacterial skin infections are easily transmitted from horse to horse with brushes, grooming gloves, blankets, and saddle pads.
Liv Gude, a former International Dressage Groom for years, founded proequinegrooms.com as a way to unite Grooms in the horse industry. The educational website also serves to entertain and inform horse owners across all disciplines about horse care, grooming, and health. Click here to check it out!