Even though we are heading towards fall in many parts of the country, here in central Texas we’re marching towards “later Summer”. Honestly, it hasn’t been all that hot this year (yay!) but we’re due for some 100 degree days in the near future and I know the heat is not done yet.
Now I’m not vain about many things in life, but how my horse looks is one of those things. I want to be able to see my reflection in Simon’s coat, and this summer he is just looking so fabulous. So much shine all the time, and it’s just from routine care and good nutrition. No fancy supplements here.
I don’t think I’m the be all end all to horse care, but everyone does stuff differently. I want to share what I do, and am curious your habits as well. Would love to pick up some new tips and tricks (like coconut oil) from y’all.
Prior to my Ride
Before I ride, I keep it stupid simple. First, a vigorous curry all over. Simon sheds all summer, so I really need to put in the elbow grease. He’s also been itchy on his neck/back with all the dried sweat lately, so he really likes it.
Post curry, I go over everything with a soft brush. I pick/check feet… and that’s it. Tack up time.
This is where I do the bulk of my grooming. Since we live in the Sahara Desert, Simon typically looks like this after every ride:
We start off with a thorough rinse down to get all the sweat off. Then, I do a liniment wash. Typically I’ve always been a Vetrolin fan, but lately am trying the Absorbine Botanicals line for a change (price point is a bit better). After I rinse him with liniment, I thoroughly scrape all the excess off. Remember, if you don’t scrape your horse the water actually holds in all that heat… so they don’t cool off if you don’t scrape!
That’s not the end of our wash rack time though. In the summer, I constantly battle fungus with Simon’s face. I scrub his face with baby shampoo and then rinse thoroughly. Also, I wash each of his legs from the knee down with Dawn dish soap. This helps prevent fungus, keeps any little scrapes clean and also gives me a very thorough feel of each and every leg.
After that’s done, I stick him under the fan to dry – usually for about 5 to ten minutes. That won’t get him 100% dry, but enough so I’m not fly spraying a soaking wet horse.
When he’s dryish, I “attack my horse with products.” First it’s fly spray all over. Then it’s Sore No More liniment on his front cannon bone area and hind hocks, sometimes I also spray Sore No More on his back. After Sore No More, I check his body for any cuts/scrapes and if they’re fresh I’ll spray Silver Spray on them.
I then check for any signs of dry skin or rubbing at the base of his tail. If there are any spots like this, I put a little MTG on them. Usually I won’t MTG more than once or twice a week, because that stuff can be pretty harsh.
The very last thing I do is apply Swat to his nose and sheath area. Gotta keep those pesky flies away!
Of course, once I turn him out he tries to maul me for treats and eat my bracelet.
Now that I’ve written this, it all seems very boring. 🙂 Whether you were curious or not, that’s my grooming routine in the summer! What do you do differently?