Horse Grooming Tips For Winter

Colder temperatures and shorter days pose unique challenges for horse owners. Follow these tips to make your winter grooming routine easier.

As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, the hair on our horse’s body grows longer. And as all horse owners know, this poses some unique challenges. We still want to ride and keep our horses exercised, but a thick, winter coat makes caring for them a little more difficult.

Even though the temperatures are cooler, horses sometimes actually sweat more than they do during the warmer months because their coats are thicker. They continue to sweat after exercise because that thick hair, which is designed to keep them warm, retains more heat and so they don’t cool down as quickly.

Following exercise, horses need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any residual dirt and sweat, but it’s often too cold out to wash them, and if we do wash them, it takes an eternity for them to dry. Also, we don’t want our horse to get chilled, so what do we do? Fortunately, although we can’t do anything to change the angle of the earth in relation to the sun, there is much we can do to make winter grooming easier.

The primary challenge all horse owners face is how to get their horses sufficiently groomed before riding and properly cooled out and cleaned up after riding because it is too cold out to bathe them, even if they have the luxury of warm water, or because their winter coat is so thick that they take forever to dry off. Don’t put away your saddle until spring; it is possible to keep your horse clean and well groomed during the winter months.

The degree of difficulty you are faced with depends on how thick your horse’s winter coat is. Some horses grow very little additional hair in the winter, others, particularly older horses, grow so much hair that they begin to more closely resemble mountain goats. So if your horse grows a moderate winter coat, consider yourself lucky!

Tools designed specifically for winter grooming include a winter curry comb, a shedding blade and brushes with coarse bristles. Another great grooming tool is a slicker brush, which is actually made for long-haired dogs. This brush is great for reaching through long, thick hair to the skin to remove dirt, dander and dried sweat. All of these winter grooming tools are designed to penetrate a thick coat. A shedding blade, while designed to expedite the removal of winter hair in spring, also works double duty to remove caked-on dirt from your horse’s coat.

It is important to thoroughly groom your horse before riding or any other form of exercise. Sweat and dirt trapped beneath the surface can cause skin irritations. Additionally, the cleaner your horse is before exercise, the easier he will be to clean up following exercise. Pay particular attention to the areas around his ears, under his jaw, behind his elbows, along his girth area and the saddle area. You also need to make sure that any tack you use is also clean, so as to avoid irritations.

When it comes to pre-exercise grooming, there is no substitute for elbow grease. You simply need to spend more time brushing your horse to do a thorough job.

Here are few additional tips to help you get your horse clean and looking good:

  1. After a thorough grooming, wipe your
    horse’s face down with a damp towel. This will help pick up lingering dust.
  2. Spray a damp towel with COWBOY
    MAGIC® Super Bodyshine™ and
    give your horse a quick wipe down. Super Bodyshine™ will pick up the lingering dust that your brush didn’t, help repel dust and reduce static electricity in your horse’s coat.
  3. Spray Super Bodyshine™ in your
    horse’s tail if he has “broom tail” from static electricity.

During the winter months, the goal when grooming your horse following exercise should be to get him as clean as possible by using as little water as possible. If it’s not too terribly cold out and/or you have warm water to bathe him with, go ahead and do so. Use COWBOY MAGIC® Rosewater Shampoo to remove sweat and dirt without stripping your horse’s coat of its natural oils.

Follow this with COWBOY MAGIC® Rosewater Conditioner to loosen and dissolve any mineral and chemical buildup, as well as sweat residue. Both products contain panthenol and silk conditioners that nourish and moisturize the hair and coat. Just like their owners, horses get dry skin in winter, too!

After bathing, whisk away as much excess water as possible. To dry your horse quickly, rub him briskly with a dry towel. Leave the wet hair standing up, rather than slicking it down, to encourage quick drying. If you have a cooler, use it. The cooler will help wick away moisture and prevent your horse from getting chilled. Stand or walk your horse in the sunshine until he is dry. If it’s not sunny or warm enough to be outside, then put your horse in his stall or someplace where he will be protected from any drafts that could cause him to become chilled. If your horse does become chilled, get him moving by walking or jogging him around. This will warm him up and help him to dry quicker.

Once your horse is dry, spray his coat, mane and tail with Super Bodyshine™. This will serve two purposes: It will help repel dust and dirt, making your next clean-up easier, and it will help reduce that annoying static electricity that plagues horses during the dry, winter months. Finally, brush his coat fl at again.

If it is too cold out to thoroughly bathe your horse following exercise, or if you don’t have hot water, you can still sponge off the sweaty areas. If you can, get a bucket of warm water, even if you have get it from the kitchen sink or use a plug-in water heater (be sure to follow safety instructions if you use one). Squeeze out excess water from the sponge and vigorously rub the sweaty areas on your horse. You don’t want to get him too wet. Work on a small area, then thoroughly rinse out the sponge and move onto the next area. After you have cleaned him with a sponge, use a towel to vigorously rub the areas clean and dry. Let the hair stand up until it is dry, then spray it with COWBOY MAGIC® Super Bodyshine™ spray and brush it flat.

Another great tool for cleaning your horse before and after exercise is COWBOY MAGIC® Greenspot® Remover. This “shower in a bottle” removes wet or dried sweat instantly. Spray a small amount onto the area you want to clean, massage it in using a damp towel to activate the ingredients and then repeat with a dry towel to pick up and absorb the dirt, dander and sweat. Greenspot® Remover is an all-natural, non-sudsing cleaner. It contains silk conditioners and panthenol to condition the hair and skin, and shea butter to make your horse shine. And, of course, if you want to remove a manure stain, it works wonders on that, as well!

When you are finished, your horse may still look as fuzzy as a mountain goat, but he will be clean, shiny and ready for the next day of winter riding.

Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness for Horse Owners

Emergency Preparedness Tips for Horse Owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time of year there is plenty of storm and emergency preparedness talk – as there should be. Whether it’s tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or fires, being prepared is crucial.

While making your family emergency preparedness plan (Red Cross has some very helpful information), don’t forget to come up with a plan where your horses are concerned. Below are some tips for horse owners – share these with all the horse owners you know. The tips apply largely to hurricanes, but even if you don’t live in a hurricane-prone area, it is wise to have a plan for when natural disasters strike. Print our out Emergency Preparedness List and share it with other horse owners as well.

Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Tips for Horse Owners

Printable version

Make a Written Emergency Plan

  • Decide how you will determine when it’s time to evacuate (strength of storm, watch vs warning etc.)
  • In the event you must evacuate, have multiple routes and destinations planned in advanced. Plan on evacuating at least 72 hours prior to the storm in the event of a hurricane.
  • Locate large animal shelters in your state (or neighboring states, depending on the distance you will travel when evacuating).
  • Check your local and state government websites, many have emergency prep or evacuation guidelines for horse owners.
  • Work with other horse owners in your area to come up with a community disaster plan to help each other.
  • Gather a list of all important phone numbers (Animal Control, Vet, Local Police etc) – Keep a laminated copy in your wallet in the event you don’t have access to your computer or cell phone contact list. (Print our Emergency Contact form to fill out)
  • Make sure your horses are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  • Animal identification – it’s important to have 2 forms of ID for your horse (microchip, grease marker to write a phone number on your horse, etc)
  • Documents – Have a negative Coggins for each horse, if you will be crossing state lines you may also need a recent health certificate.
  • In addition to your family’s emergency prep kit, put together one for your horse. It should include: medications, leg wraps, bandages and tape etc. (You can find our Horse First Aid Kit Checklist here).
  • Store 2 weeks worth of feed in waterproof containers.
  • Store 2 weeks worth of hay in a dry area under a waterproof tarp.
  • If you will be evacuating, make sure you have a full tank of gas and the horse trailer is in good working order.

 

Share with us the steps you taking when preparing for a storm with your horse.

 

First Aid Kit Checklist for Horse Owners

First Aid Kit Checklist for Horse Owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be talking about Emergency Preparedness next week, but a crucial first step is making sure your barn has a well-stocked First Aid Kit for horses (and humans). Keep your First Aid supplies in a clearly labeled waterproof container. Make a point to check the First Aid Kit regularly and replenish if needed.

These days someone always has a cell phone handy – but to be safe, write down the location of the closest landline near the First Aid Kit. Depending on where you are located, you might also want to right down simple directions to your location, in the event you need to relay the information to the 911 operator.

Share this Printable First Aid Kit Checklist with fellow horse owners.

First Aid Kit for Horse Owners

For a printable version of this First Aid Kit Checklist Click Here.

Don’t forget to laminate the Checklist and attach it to your First Aid Kit, for easy inventory checks.

For Horses:

Phone # of Veterinarian and local Animal Hospital
Adhesive cloth tape
Bandages
Buckets
Clean towels
Epsom Salts
Gauze pads
Hemostat
Hoof Boot
Hoof pick
Ice packs
Leg wraps
Lubricant
Rectal thermometer
Roll cotton
Rubbing alcohol
Safety Scissors
Surgical gloves
Wire cutters
Wound ointment
Wound cleaner

For Humans:

Adhesive cloth tape
Alcohol swabs
Antibiotic ointment
Antiseptic wipes
Aspirin
Bandages
Blanket
Breathing barrier
Gauze pads
Hydrocortisone ointment
Instant cold compress
Non-latex gloves
Oral thermometer
Safety Scissors
Tweezers

Nighthawk Ranch – A Unique Summer Camp Experience

Cowboy Magic Nighthawk Ranch

 

Summer is underway which for many means – summer camp! In Guffey, Colorado, there is a very special camp underway. Nighthawk Ranch is a non-profit camp for kids ages 10 to 18 battling cancer. The goal of Nighthawk is to provide a safe and healing environment where these brave children are able to enjoy themselves, build up their self esteem and look towards a brighter future.

The camp runs for 4 weeks each summer and during this time fellow comrades fighting a war against cancer are able to come together and take a break to just enjoy being a kid again.

Each camper is responsible for looking after a horse for the week, the same horse they will learn to ride. Kathryn Ory, (Ory Photography) who volunteers her time as the camp photographer, noted that “most of the campers start the week a little standoffish towards each other, and somewhat timid around the horses. By the time the last day comes, they are totally different children! It is amazing to see the changes in them. I am so fortunate to witness it first hand.”

Justin Dunn (Justin Dunn Mustang Horsemanship) runs the equine therapy program. The horses that the kids care for and ride are all owned and trained by Justin. The horses are all trained and ridden bitless in his JDMH Signature sidepulls by Buckaroo Leather.

In addition to caring for their horse and learning to ride, campers get to experience other activities, like building log cabins, crafts, ropes courses, archery, camping and a cattle drive.

Tom and Dorothy Evans started the camp to provide a unique high mountain working ranch experience that encourages achievement through a variety of activities. They fund the camp out of their own pockets with the help of donations and the generosity of volunteers. There is never a cost to the camp attendees and their families.

Heath Marshall (Heath Marshall Horsemanship), is also donating his time this summer by providing an unforgettable experience for campers – a mounted shooting demo. Heath brought with him Cowboy Magic® products so the campers would have plenty of supplies on hand when grooming their horses.

Nighthawk Ranch is so much more than a summer camp, it’s a truly memorable experience for children and their families. Visit their website and Facebook Page today to learn more about Nighthawk Ranch and their mission.

Tony showing his love and gratitude to his therapy horse, Bo. This is the 2nd summer Tony and Bo have spent together, their bond is evident.

Tony showing his love and gratitude to his therapy horse, Bo. This is the 2nd summer Tony and Bo have spent together, their bond is evident.

Tony and Bo Nighthawk Ranch Cowboy Magic Ory Photography

Photos by Ory Photography.

 

20 Horse Quotes from Cowboy Magic®

If you browse Pinterest you’ll find there are no shortage of fabulous Horse Quotes, but what are your favorites? We have picked a handful of our favorites and we’d love for you to add yours – comment below with a classic quote, or write your own! You can also submit your favorite quotes to our Facebook Page. We will update the list with our favorites next week.

 

20 Horse Quotes from Cowboy Magic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Horse Quotes

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.

W.C. Fields

 

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. 

Winston Churchill

 

I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of the man, than the outside of the horse.

Ronald Reagan

 

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

John Wayne

 

A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care. Put your hand on your horse and your heart in your hand.

Pat Parelli

 

I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

BaileyAnn Neal

 

No heaven can heaven be, if my horse isn’t there to welcome me.

Author Unknown

 

For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins.

Melissa James

 

Horses lend us the wings we lack.

Pam Brown

 

A man on a horse is spiritually, as well as physically, bigger then a man on foot.

John Steinbeck

 

A horse gallops with his lungs, Perseveres with his heart, And wins with his character.

Tesio

 

I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a horse.

John Galsworthy

 

A pony is a childhood dream. A horse is an adulthood treasure.

Rebecca Carroll

 

There are many wonderful places in the world, but one of my favorite places is on the back of my horse.

Rolf Kopfle

 

We have almost forgotten how strange a thing it is that so huge and powerful and intelligent an animal as a horse
should allow another, and far more feeble animal, to ride upon its back.

Peter Gray

 

In their eyes shine stars of wisdom and courage to guide men to the heavens.

Jodie Mitchell

 

The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse.

Author Unknown

 

No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.

Herman Melville

 

One can get in a car and see what man has made. One must get on a horse to see what God has made.

Author Unknown

 

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact
with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.

Sharon Ralls Lemon

 

Thank you for your submissions – we picked 2 of our favorites:

God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses.

R.B. Cunningham Graham

There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse.

Robert Smith Surtees

 

Photo by Ory Photography

Trainer Heath Marshall – Heath Marshall Horsemanship