When you purchase something using the retail links in our posts, we may earn a small commission.
This winter has been a long, cold, snowy mess in most parts of the United States. And while we don’t get snow here in Arizona, I can tell you we are all tired of cold temperatures, wind, and rain. For a few glorious days last week, we had some beautiful weather! I could finally feel springtime making its way here. And, as soon as the weather warmed up…the winter coats started shedding out. Spring grooming…here we come!
Time for spring grooming! By this I mean, of course, hair getting all over EVERYTHING and the horses still looking like woolly mammoths! All kidding aside though, spring grooming helps to remove mud, dirt, and that annoying shaggy hair while increasing circulation and incorporating the natural oils produced by the skin into the hair.
Shedding is a messy business, so dress appropriately and don’t make dinner plans right afterward!
Remove the first layer of loose hair with a curry comb, grooming mitt, or shedding blade (my personal favorite). Last year I saw a SleekEZ shedding blade online and decided to give it a try. I was super skeptical but was pleasantly surprised. I found it was a bit easier for me to hold during grooming and you could get those quick, short strokes that help to remove hair. If you have small hands like I do, it might be worth giving it a try.
Starting at your horse’s neck, curry in circular motions, working down and back towards the hind end. The circular motion helps loosen dead skin cells and hair. Be gentle on sensitive areas like legs.
Then use the shedding blade in the direction of the hair growth, avoiding legs. Shedding blades are too “sharp” for leg areas. Once you have removed most of the loose hair, use a stiff body brush to smooth the hair. Notice any injuries, parasites, and irritations that may have gone unnoticed during the winter.
If you simply cannot take the spring shedding season, you can opt for a body clip. I used to do this for a few of our hairier horses in the spring. While it does take about 3-4 hours, it can save you the hairy mess.
Manes and tails should be detangled and combed out. My favorite detangler is the Eqyss Survivor Equine Detangler! This stuff smells amazing, easily detangles thick manes and tails, adds moisture to the hair, and boosts the shine. It is a bit expensive compared to some other detanglers, but a little goes a long way.
Tails should be trimmed or ‘banged’ to avoid your horse stepping and pulling the hair out. After you have combed out the tail, grab the end of the tail just below the fetlock. Trim everything below this point on an angle — back to front. The goal is to give a clean look. If you do this on a regular basis you’ll increase the thickness of the hair at the bottom of the tail.
I hope this helps you to get started with your spring grooming. In the meantime, we are heading back out to tackle the woolly mammoths (aka Friesian horses during shedding season) in our pasture.
I’ve been around horses my entire life, but my Friesian journey started just over 20 years ago. Our horses have always been a part of our family. They have traveled with us as we relocated from Vermont to New York to Iowa and finally, to Arizona. I can’t wait to share our story with you!
Mar 13, 2021
LET'S BE FRIENDS ON INSTAGRAM