Warm Weather Grooming Tips for Horses
In some ways, grooming your horse in the summer is easier than the winter – you don’t have to deal with a thick winter coat. But you do have bugs, sweat, and all of the usual horse dirt to dealt with. Here are some handy warm weather grooming tips for horses:
Keep up with the daily grooming! You can absolutely use your grooming gloves every day – they are not just for shedding and bathing. Daily grooming will give you the first signs that your horse is itchy from bugs. You may also find your horse is showing signs of a warm weather dermatitis or skin condition. Grooming is part cleaning, and part observing changes in your horse.
Warm weather sometimes brings more mud into your horse’s life. If this is the case, be sure to groom your horse when the mud is dry. Or, you can pop your horse into the wash rack and rinse it away.
Sweat marks and dried sweat on your horse in warm weather make him crusty and dull. Daily grooming removes that dried salt layer, which takes the dullness away. That sweaty and salty on your horse will contribute to a bleached out coat, too. Removal of the sweat marks makes your horse look better, and helps to keep his coat shiny and rich in color.
Bathing your horse in warm weather is a great way to get your horse spic-n-span. You can easily simplify this process by skipping the bucket of suds and sponge. Wet your horse, then just put a dollop of shampoo right on your horse’s gloves. This is the best way to guarantee the shampoo gets to where it needs to go!
Fly sheets are a great way to protect your horse from bugs, keep the direct sun off his coat, and help to keep him cleaner. You will want to periodically clean your horse’s fly sheet to keep odors and stains down.
Shedding happens all year long, but in much smaller doses. Thoroughly grooming your horse daily keeps the coat’s hair coat free of loose hair, creating a sleeker finish. This also helps your horse have a more comfortable time under his saddle pads.
Shine is perhaps the best part of grooming your horse in the summer. The natural oils on your horse’s skin, called sebum, are what creates that shine or bloom. Your grooming actions with the gentle nubs of your grooming gloves helps the sebum cover your horse’s coat as it also brings up dirt and dust and dander.