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Winter Grooming Dilemmas

This topic contains 28 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  carrie_dobrin 2 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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  • Mapale Original Poster Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Why can’t my horses shake tangles out of their manes and tails instead of into them? We could make it a game – I tangle, they untangle – it would work so much better than the current system. Does anyone have a way to prevent tangling that does not involve braiding? My mare runs with the witches every night, and presents me with a new puzzle daily.

    Where do hoof picks go and how do they go there? And why do they all leave at the same time? I buy them in threes, and they depart in the same multiple.

    Why does winter grooming my gelding generate enough electricity to power a small city? Better yet, how do I groom him in spite of it? (Note: he holds a grudge – one shock and he won’t look at me for two months – oh the inhumanity). Because he is a fur ball of electrical fire, I try everything: I don’t wear wool, and I don’t wear rubber boots, I put water on the brush, I spray him with mist, I curse both Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison, and when all else fails, I stand on one foot and hum the Battle Hymn of the Republic while patting my stomach with my free hand… so far nothing works, and I’m out of ideas…

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    For tangles – grin and bear it. For the electricity – rub all over the horse with a fabric softener dryer sheet before brushing. For hoof picks – either nail them to the wall, or put them on a chain and wear them around your neck.

    I spray the mane and tail with baby oil (or rub it in with my fingers). It doesn’t prevent tangling, but does make it easier to get them out and is about the least expensive way to go.

    The dryer sheet thing is also good for removing blankets – rub one on the horse under the blanket, and there will be no shock when you take it off. My guy doesn’t hold a grudge against me, but he would try to climb out the window if he got a shock.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Mapale Original Poster Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    J-J,
    Thanks for the baby oil idea. I put an entire bottle on forelocks, manes, and tails for both horses. Of course she had a tangle this morning, but it did slip out easier. Her mane is over 2′ long in places – and she loves to collect weeds in it when she rolls.

    The baby oil also worked to improve static. I put it on my fingers and rubbed the brushes with it and then groomed. (I can’t use the dryer sheets because of the perfumes – instant migraine.)

    Took the horses out to a friend’s farm today, found three hoof picks in the trailer, even the one that was formerly tied to the barn door and is always* kept there. Guess there must have been a convention.

    Daughter was grooming Ben Franklin’s kite – AKA Mischief – and shocked him with the brush. Oh boy. It took me five minutes of massage to get his eyes back into his head, his head back down, and calm enough to saddle. His coat is so long – it sizzles with electricity. It’s going to be a bear of a winter if coats are any indication. Both are wooly bears – much thicker coats than previous years.

    Told hubby about your hoof pick idea and he said he didn’t think he could kiss a girl with a hoof pick necklace – so that idea is definitely out. He said an ankle bracelet maybe – but only if I could figure out a way to keep it from thumping on the floor when I walk. 😉

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I suppose you could wear the hoof picks on your waist, like a chatelaine. Baby oil is a wonderful thing, and cheap. I would never not have a bottle of it in my tack trunk. It also helps with winter hands, so both you and the horses benefit.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    WitchHazel fan, myself.. and mudknots…. and the more Southern States : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Mapale Original Poster Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    I don’t have witch hazel either, so I put that on my list, too. Whatsa mud knot?

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Mud knot: common racetrack thing yet by no means exclusive. Tho there are several ways to accomplish this, I somewhat loosely french braid horse’s tail from the top, continue a regular braid from the bone to the end, then wrap the end loosely back up around the bone, secure with thread or tape but take care not to bind or interfere with circulation. Check at feed times, or whenever you are near enough, for warmth and colour. For manes, and ‘specially as gloriously long as Carma’s, a looser running braid might work…

    This is a short term fix method and one should take care to be conscientious about tail management due to the ease in which circulation can be inhibited or obstructed. Too tight a braid (mane or tail) and the hair will break and/or pull out. Too loose defeats the purpose as well. Good for mud season but not bug season, needless to say. Tail bags are an option, too, I would think? but I am not familiar with them and have never used one personally.

    I think maybe “Bounce”? makes an unscented dryer sheet…. somebody does, I don’t recall whom, sorry! Latex gloves? Spray starch can buffer static but would require regular and thorough grooming with extra care in saddle pad maintenance.

    Love Witch Hazel, right up there with cider vinegar. I use it for just about everything I don’t use cider vinegar for : D

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Would have called it a “mud tail” in the olden days. I really don’t like to interfere with the tail, especially with a nitwit who thinks practically everything I do is “itchy” and tries to rub it out. What do you use the witch hazel for? I don’t like the smell, but if it is a miracle cure for something, I would give it a try.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    I don’t care for the greasy/slimy sense of baby oil, or it’s aroma. I struggle on a good day with my hands being tactile-insensate and oils can be the bane of my grip. WH is not quite as friction free, or so it seems for me. Witch Hazel is equally softening as baby oil but washes off far easier and cleaner, and is more readily absorbed, leaving less of a slick-ish residue. Great on calluses, and chapped/cracked/bloody hands, even works well as a hoof dressing on occasion when wanting a clean hoof for presentation.. or just a nice clean hoof : ). Works well on minour, superficial wounds, too!

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    naturalpasture
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 61

    I can’t help you much with the static problem or the disappearing hoof picks. (I’ve had one hoof pick for the last 4 years.), but I do have some experience with tangles in manes. I had a horse with a really thick, 10 inch long mane who would get dreadlocks. (You could brush her mane out one day and the next day – especially if it was windy – it would be a complete disaster. And then to top it off sometimes she would get weeds or burrs in the mix.) I found the easiest way to get them out was with a squirt of Show Sheen and a dog slicker brush. The brush being the most important tool. The Millers Forge brand of slicker brushes are my favorite – sturdy and virtually unbreakable. Despite the fact that it is supposed to be a dog brush, I haven’t found anything that works better on a horse mane (or tail)!

    Mapale Original Poster Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    How do you hold on to a hoof pick for 4 years!? Naturalpasture, you must be very organized! The slicker brush is an excellent idea! I have one for the dogs, so I’ll try it. What is great is the ability to tuck in the tines of the brush and release a tangle without pulling out hair. I’ve been using a thick tined comb and a mane brush, but mostly my fingers. Her mane is very long and thick – near the withers it drapes down to the top of her foreleg and that is where the tangles are the worst. Because of her skin sensitivity, conditioners have to be thoroughly rinsed out and used infrequently or she gets a rash, so the baby oil replenished some of the needed oil. I’ve used Show Sheen and Cowboy Magic, but it seemed lately the tangles have gotten ridiculous – DAILY.

    Pheets,
    I’ll try the witch hazel – it is a good astringent – and would be handy for lots of things.

    The braid idea would work if her mane was less long and full, but because of the weight of the braid it causes breakage. I tried it once only to find a clump missing the next day. It is one of her best features, truly beautiful, so it’s worth the effort to preserve it.

    I’ll look for the unscented variety of dryer sheet. I didn’t know they made them! I had considered using spray Downy, not sure how his skin would react to it?!? Hydroelectric plants are jealous of how much electricity one brushing can generate. I’m expecting a call from the DOE at any moment. When he gets shocked – I get a jolt – it is understandable why he hates it so. I hate it for him.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Winter has its beauty, serenity, philosophical purpose more often than not but from a horsing pov, it kinda sx. No other way to put it. It complicates the simple. Each season has its fun points as well as complications, I guess, ay?

    Winter sure can be beautiful tho….kinda like CarmaGirl’s mane…Requires specific attention but ohso worth it : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Mapale Original Poster Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    I found the unscented dryer sheets – but in the meantime it rained here and Mischief has defined his own meaning for ‘mud knot’ in that he has become one. A solid knot of crusted mud from head to tail – in a furry coat that is long and thick. Winter = mud season.

    I wish I could develop a fondness for winter, Pheets, I mostly miss leaves on trees and lush pasture for my horses. I can bundle up and deal with low temps, but for me, beholding the beseeching arms of barren branches grasping at gray skies is its own brand of melancholia. The fallen leaves on the trail create hidden hazards as I can’t see the holes, elevated tree roots, and rock outcrops under the secretive veneer. Later on, enough rain or snow will crush the fallen leaves and the floor pattern of the trail will clarify. Then I’ll enjoy the whispered footfall, but it’s a whoosh-whooshing danger to fragile tendons now. I ride on my feet this time of year.

    Winter brings at least one re-enactment of Frost’s “Brown’s Descent” as I will invariably find the slippery spot and wake up at the bottom of the hill. (“What do we live for but to make sport for the neighbors?” ~Austen) The horses carry an extra twenty pounds of clay in their feet which I remove every day – only to find it impacted again the next day sometimes with a rock thrown in for good measure.

    But thanks to my friends here, I’ve got some new ideas to handle the snafus of the season. A new mane comb, baby oil, witch hazel, and some unscented Bounce. The horses and I thank you.

    A little kindness takes off the chill.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    Lay-Z Loper Lay-Z Loper
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 5

    +1 for the unscented dryer sheets!

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    pheets, does witch hazel work on small scabs? Boo came with an abundance of them on her face and behind her ears. Vet said softening them would be a good idea. Baby oil works but is a dirt magnet. The scabs don’t seem to hurt (she loves having her face rubbed), and I’m not trying to peel them off, just soften them up.

    Mapale, I keep the hoofpick in a grooming box, take it out when I need it and return it when I’m finished. naturalpasture, mine stay put too!

    As for manes and tails, Prim’s tail dragged the ground but didn’t get witches’ knots in it the way her mane did. I’ve always used Show Sheen. Static electricity? That’s a new one–and it is DRY where I live! Shall I tell you about our warm, beautiful weather? Probably not. 😉

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