How to remove sweat from your horse’s winter coat!


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  • I certainly hope you have more time than I do, this can be a long and sometimes daunting task. But never fear – I have some ideas to help you.


  • Do consider a body clip or a trace clip of some sort if this is a daily undertaking to dry your horse and get rid of the sweat marks.


  • Horses with winter coats that are doing a lot of sweating can risk overheating, and that dampness can create the perfect situation for a lovely winter skin infection.


lightly sweaty gray horse in saddle area


First, you will also need to decide if your horse’s hairy sweaty-ness is enough that you need to wipe off most of the sweat with a damp cloth.


  • Sweat usually dries a bit dull, and cutting it with water tends to make things less dull. Or skip this step.


  • Then – get your horse dry. This involves coolers, rubbing with towels, solariums if you have one, time, and patience. I have never used a blow dryer on a horse, I can barely use one on myself and then I end up burning my scalp. Some people swear by hair dryers.


wool cooler and fleece cooler

Pick your fabric of choice – wool or fleece!


  • I prefer to use coolers. A sweating or wet horse standing in the cold while naked needs to have the wet spots covered. You can layer coolers, and swap them out if you need to. There are coolers that even wrap up to their heads and cover belies. Wool coolers are generally best, but lots of fleece ones out there are just as nice. Fleece ones are also machine washable if that makes a difference for you.


old photo of a horse with straw in his blanket

Stuff your horse’s cooler with straw or hay for drying. This is legit, and also delicious for your horse all while giving him a yoga sesh.



But most importantly, you want the drying process to take your horse’s body temperature back to normal without his temperature going below normal.


  • Cooling out your horse is winter should revolve around your horse’s body temperature and how wet and sweaty he is. Much of this will be influenced by how cold things are, so take that into account, also.


Now that your horse is dry, you will need to buff and polish your horse to remove the dried sweat from his winter coat.


  • Nothing beats a good curry session or time with grooming gloves. You may also find that adding the vacuum helps lift the dried sweat out.



green hard brush and girth

Mix up the brushes.



  • If you have some stiff brush options, you may try a dandy brush that has longer bristles. Or you can switch from natural bristles to synthetic ones. Brushing against the hair coat might help, too, or it might just tick off your horse. Lots to play around with here.



When it’s all said and done, you still might see some dullness to your horse’s coat.


  • You might be able to then give a quick wipe with a damp towel, or perhaps add a shine product. Hot toweling is another great option if you have lots of time, a few coolers, and need to do a deep clean. Video of toweling technique below!


cactus cloths both sides showing

Sweat removing superstar – the cactus cloth.


  • Cactus cloths are the horse loofah equivalent, and super at removing any bits of dried sweat.


  • You may also consider using different saddle pads and maybe adding a girth cover. Some of the newer fabrics and technologies might soak up more of your horse’s sweat, which might help, too.





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Shires Cactus Cloth
$16.30 ($16.30 / Count)
02/22/2024 03:37 am GMT
Farnam Slick 'N Easy Horse Grooming Block

Good for grooming, shedding, and bot egg removal

02/22/2024 02:07 pm GMT
02/22/2024 08:58 am GMT
02/22/2024 08:58 am GMT
02/22/2024 03:52 am GMT


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