COVER UP. When cool, keep kidneys warm. So often I see riders in heavy coats walk away from the barn on naked horses. That is ASKING FOR INJURIES. When cool, keep your horse covered until you start to work and while you are cooling out. If really cold, a quarter sheet is a wonderful thing.
This horse is wearing the Irish knit on top. If you use it as the bottom layer, the spaces in the holes of the weave create a layer of air insulation. So, it helps keep them warmer. The good news is that this groom, unlike others, appropriately protected his horse on this cold morning. He may have not wanted to leave the body exposed for a minute. Or, maybe he did not have a surcingle and figured the heavier Irish knit would keep the wind from coming up under the coolers. Regardless, this groom was the only one I saw that really made an effort to keep his beastie toasty. So, I salute him!
Given the opportunity, I might reverse the order of the layers and use a surcingle. Here’s more on dressing horses for work.
A braided tail should be PROTECTED WHENEVER NOT IN THE RING. I understand people worry that they’ll forget to take off the bandage or leave it at the ring. It’s a management issue. Choose the high road. These coolers are rubbing on the braid, which can loosen and break the hair. Heads up! Take the moment to wrap tails. They are delicate.
Cleaning horses on cool mornings is another trick. A bath will tighten backs and muscles, inviting injuries. Most spot removers typically leave a yellow shadow and/or dry out coats. That leaves hair porous! Thirsty! Grabbing onto stains and letting them penetrate! Ever wonder why greys are always dirty?
A better way to get them super clean is to simply separate the hair from the dirt or stain, WITHOUT drying out or coating the hair. I was short-sighted when I named Lucky Braids “Whitener/Dry Wash.” It’s NOT a bleach nor detergent. It simply breaks the bond between hair and anything else, instantly cleaning ANY COLOR hair. So, don’t be tempted by that hose. It is even easier to give a spritz. Let old stains sit damp with the enzymatic spray to get ahead of the stain. Then, if you use only Lucky Braids All-In-One Shampoo and Whitener/Dry Wash, they’ll be EASY TO KEEP CLEAN. The shampoo actually adds oils to enrich the skin and hair. So dirt and stains won’t readily stick.
Most importantly, keep your horses warm. Fair is fair. It will save you money in the long run, as will the very versatile and proven Lucky Braids coat care products.
Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.
As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.
The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.
Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.
It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on LuckyBraids.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.
*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Whitener Spray Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.