The best horse grooming tools for winter!
Grooming in winter is a bit of a different beast than warm weather grooming. Luckily, I have an arsenal of tips and tools that can make this easier for you. Most of these are fine for the fuzzy horse, the clipped horse, or the trace clipped horse. And some are even great to use in warmer weather, too!
- I keep my own hands warm with nitrile medical gloves under my grooming gloves. This is also great if your riding gloves are not quite warm enough on some days.
- I use my grooming gloves all year long, but in the winter, they are amazing for getting through thick winter coats. On all of the barn animals!
Nitrile gloves under grooming gloves = not frozen fingers
- If I’m grooming an unclipped horse, I will definitely spend longer with the curry action, and add a vacuum in to get all of that loosened hair and dust. Part of winter grooming challenges is static, and brushing doesn’t always get all of the dust as it sticks back on your horse.
- If you don’t have a vacuum, don’t worry. Rub your finishing, dandy, soft, or hard grooming brush along a damp washcloth, then start brushing. That small amount of damp will cut the static, allowing your brush to do its job.
- Dry shampoos like Easy Out and spot stain removers are also awesome for grooming, cutting the static, lifting stains, and adding shine. Some have “optical brighteners” which can create a nice glisten on your horse if he’s fuzzy and not so shiny.
My fave grooming products for winter – spot remover and grooming oil!
- I also use washcloths for hot toweling. While time-consuming and muscle-building, hot toweling is the best way to wash a horse in winter. I find the washcloth size is easiest to hold, wring, and maneuver on my horse. They can also fit directly into an instant hot kettle if you just need a cloth or two to touch up stains.
- The hot water kettle is key for bit warming up, cleaning, making a slurry of horse meals, and hot toweling. Also handy to have warm water for tack cleaning, wiping out dirty noses (yours or your horse’s), and quick defrosting of frozen snaps and buckles.
Also good for coffee? Better for horses.
- I also rely on a cactus cloth in the colder months to buff out my horse’s coat. These handy pieces of grooming greatness resemble the texture of an outside doormat, but cactus cloth is great for getting out sweat spots and adding some sheen.
- If your horse is still in need of some added coat conditioning, try a grooming oil. These genius horse sprays are more conditioning than anything and work wonders on shining up a clipped horse as it conditions. Also great for using on any horse under blankets in spots that can rub, like shoulders and hips.
Use stiff brushes and a cactus cloth for deep winter grooming!
- Of course, we want to use the most comfortable brushes on our horses, but winter is a time to stock up on the stiffest brushes. I use them mostly on hooves, my own boots, blankets, saddle pads, and anything else that needs a stern lecture about being clean. For the horse with a thick winter coat, you want to find a stiffer brush that can get through the hair easily and quickly. Your horse will give you feedback about which ones are acceptable!
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Hamilton Beach 40880 Electric Kettle, 1.7-Liter, Silver – for instant hot water
Genuine Cactus Cloth – Natural – 18 X 16-1/2 Standard – Cactus cloth
Shapley’s Easy-Out No Rinse Shampoo 32 fl.oz – Stain remover, deodorizer, and brightener
Shapley’s No.1 Light Oil – Grooming oil and coat conditioner
HandOn Grooming Gloves – for bathing, grooming, and shedding. Use code PEG at checkout for free shipping!