Get ready to put in some elbow grease. Shedding season is here!
With spring and warmer weather here, your horse will start shedding out their winter fur. Get ready for lots of hair everywhere! Their thick winter coat will come out in chunks, but leave them looking sleek and slick in their summer body. You can make the process a whole easier with some handy tricks and tips! If you want to speed things up, then you’ll need some special tools and a plan.
Get the Right Grooming Tools
A rubber curry is simple, affordable, and will get the job done. They’re oval shaped, which allows them to fit easily in your hand. You’ll likely build up a sweat, but don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease. This tool is designed to be used in circular motion. It gets really deep and brings loose hairs to the surface. A stiff brush can be used afterwards to flick away hair and dirt.
Similar to a rubber curry, a grooming glove stirs up loose hair. You slip it onto your hand and get started in circular movements. Get ready for the hair to fly!
There are a ton of specialty products designed for this very season. A SleekEZ has metal teeth and a wood handle. It’s very handy for shedding out your horse’s winter fur. Some equestrians like using a Furminator, which collects hair with its small teeth.
Another great tool is a vacuum. It really gets deep down! Say goodbye to dust, dirt, and loose hair. You can buy a horse vacuum or use a shop vac, but either way be prepared to desensitize your horse to it. They can be quite frightening at first.
Consider Clipping Your Horse
Many riders wonder if they should clip their shedding horse. There are a few reasons you might want to. Many times, the weather will get very warm quickly. Your horse might not have enough time to shed out their winter coat. If you ride, they’ll sweat terribly! Furthermore, your horse may shed unevenly. This can become an eyesore if you’re showing.
If you do decide to clip, you’ll have to monitor the weather carefully. In spring, the temperatures can drop quickly. Your horse may need a sheet or blanket to keep them warm.
Bathe Your Horse
A good scrubbing with horse shampoo can pull up loose hair and wash it away. You’ll want to wait for a warmer day though. While you’re at it, tackle your horse’s mane and tail. A good conditioner will treat any dry and broken ends from over winter. If there’s a chill in the air, you can use a cooler to help dry your horse off afterwards.
One helpful tip is to cover your horse in baby oil overnight. The next day give them a warm-water bath with shampoo. The dead hair will slide from the follicles. It can be a bit messy though!
Some Miscellaneous Ideas
Other than rigorous grooming, some riders have developed “hacks” to speed up the shedding process. These are a little more unique and unconventional…
- Feed flax or black oil sunflower seeds
- Make sure their diet is filled with proper minerals and vitamins
- Add artificial lights to mimic sunshine
- Exercise your horse and groom them afterwards
- Blanket in late winter
- Get them a scratching post for their field
- Consult your veterinarian, if Cushing’s disease is a concern
Don’t worry! Shedding season doesn’t last forever. With these tips and tricks, you’ll speed up the process and have a sleek horse in no time. A good windbreaker jacket will keep the hair off you until this season is over.