Winter as an equestrian is full of new challenges. Mud-covered legs and tails, cold, damp weather, and hairy coats can result in new frustration added to your grooming routine. You feel like your horse isn’t clean enough or now that you scrubbed them clean, you must wait hours for them to dry. And no one has time for that… Instead of your usual routine, it’s time to switch the focus to easy no-bath solutions that keep their manes, tails, and coats clean, dry, and healthy.

Hack 1: Powders and Dry Shampoo

One of the more obvious challenges is when the temp drops, we must give up bath time, especially if access to a heated barn or heated water is limited. But how do we get our horses clean after a sweaty winter workout?

We love a good dry shampoo or grooming powder for this scenario. The powder will wick away the sweat and dry your horse as you curry away. The powder also creates a dry environment that prevents bacterial or fungal growth.

Equiderma Dry Shampoo for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

Equiderma Dry Shampoo or Coat Defense Daily Preventative Power is perfect for the job. These all-natural powders will dry sweat, prevent microbial growth, and soothe any skin ailments that can pop up due to the winter elements.

Hack 2: Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

Isopropyl Alcohol offers a list of benefits and is a must-have in your winter grooming tote. After your ride, try spritzing down the sweaty areas with a light coat of Alcohol 70%. Then, curry it through the hair and finish with a soft brush to reveal a smooth, clean coat. When mixed, alcohol displaces water molecules. This allows the sweat to be evaporated off your horse’s coat in much less time. The alcohol also acts as a disinfectant, preventing skin infections from forming due to the lack of bathing.

Hack 3: Stain Removers

If you have a light-colored or paint horse, no-rinse shampoos will be your best friend year-round, but especially in the winter. While powders and alcohol work wonders for drying sweat and preventing fungus, they won’t necessarily help you tackle those dirty stains. No-rinse shampoos or stain removers provide the benefits of a bath with no water needed. Simply buff away the stains to reveal a clean, shiny coat. Stain Master Spray from Carr & Day & Martin is a FarmVet favorite for ridding of manure and dirt stains.

Shapley's Easy Out for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

Shapley’s Easy Out is a no-rinse shampoo favorite for lighter-colored horses. In addition to eliminating stains and odors, the product has a purple tone that enhances the natural colors of the coat, mane, and tail. This is a perfect option for the palomino and grey manes and tails that you cannot wash during the colder months.

Hack 4: Coat Moisturizers

Every product we’ve highlighted thus far has one task in common – drying. But the cold weather can also dry out your horse’s skin and coat, so once we add in all the sweat-wicking products, we can end up with dull, brittle hair if we’re not careful. This is where coat moisturizers come to the rescue. Adding detanglers and moisturizers to your horse’s mane and tail will play a large role in keeping them healthy despite the harsh weather.

The Infused Equestrian shiny. A Mane and Tail Conditioner for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

We love The Infused Equestrian’s shiny. A Mane and Tail Conditioner as a no-rinse, intense conditioning treatment for manes and tails.

Dreamcoat Spray from Carr & Day & Martin for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

Dreamcoat Spray from Carr & Day & Martin is another high-end coat gloss and conditioner with a unique non-slip formula. It can be used on their full-body to maintain their hair coat.

Healthy Haircare Product’s Coat Moisturizer for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

Healthy Haircare Product’s Coat Moisturizer (you may know this as “the pink stuff”) is a heavy-duty moisturizer that replaces vital oils for maintaining a healthy coat. We love this as a finishing product after you use alcohol to dry your horse.

Shapley's No. 1 Light Oil  for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

If your horse has extremely dry skin or hair in the winter, mix a bucket of warm water and Shapley’s No. 1 Light Oil and use a grooming mitt, cloth, or sponge to wipe the mixture all over your horse’s body. This soothes your horse’s skin, adds healthy oils to its coat, and helps lift away built-up dirt. This treatment can especially be helpful for clipped horses.

Hack #5: The Right Tools for the Job

Because you’re operating on a reduced bathing schedule, efficiently removing dirt and mud becomes even more important. There are a few items to add to your grooming tote that make all the difference.

Epona Tiger's Tongue for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

The Epona Tiger’s Tongue is a sponge-like tool that can be used dry or wet and is perfect for removing dirt, scrubbing white legs, buffing hoof walls, removing sweat marks, and more. The texture of the sponge also helps stimulate the hair follicles for an overall shinier, healthier coat.

HandsOn Glove  for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

The HandsOn Glove is another favorite for easily removing dirt and grime. With short rubber bristles like that of a curry comb, these gloves slip onto your hands, so you don’t have to worry about your grip tiring out as you curry away. It’s like you’re petting your horse but currying at the same time!

Electric Cleaner Electro Groom Vacuum for winter horse grooming available at FarmVet

There’s no better way to finish up your curry session than with the Electro Groom vacuum. This easy-to-use animal vacuum is quiet and easy to maneuver around as you groom your horse. Fitted with multiple attachment options, it is perfect for clean-up after turnout and before or after rides to effectively remove dirt, mud, and grime, leaving your horse’s coat shiny and soft.

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Learn More

Looking for more grooming advice? Learn how the pros do it here.

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