Spring Grooming Ideas:
Some ideas and products to help loosen your horse's
winter coat and spruce him up for spring.
By: Jayne Pedigo
Spring is here. The days are getting longer, and the shows are just around
the corner. But out in the pasture lurks something resembling the Abominable
Snowman. His coat is thick, shaggy and starting to come loose. Running your
hand down his neck only serves to raise a cloud of dust and loose hair.
So how are you going to transform this hairy beast into a sleek and shiny
animal you can be proud of?
One way to make the transformation is to take the hi-tech approach. There
are now a number of electric groomers on the market, such as the Electro
Groom, which comes in a floor model with two motors and a large capacity
debris box with removable filter, or the lightweight Equine Metro 4 h.p. Vac 'N
Blo with shoulder strap and 6 foot flexible hose.
These machines are available through various catalogs, such as Valley Vet
Supply, 1-800-356-1005 or larger tack and equipment stores. Depending on
which model you choose, they come with different attachments which make
grooming and removing loose hair a breeze. Most horses get used to the
noise and the sensation very quickly. I tried one once on my own horse,
Annapolis, who can be very "touchy" and I think he rather enjoyed the
experience once he got used to it.
Electric groomers aren't cheap though. Even the smaller models designed to
be slung over the shoulder are about $150. The larger floor models are in
the $500 range. This is going to be an item more practical for the manager of
a training or showing barn, rather than the individual horse owner.
The Low-tech Approach
I've always been somewhat of a traditionalist. And so, for me, spring brings
with it the ritual of trying to part Annapolis from his winter coat by means of
vigorous scrubbing with a rubber curry, stirring up clouds of loose, dead hair
which invariably goes right up my nose. Once I've loosened a good portion of
the coat, I then go over Annapolis with a body brush in one hand and curry in
the other, using the curry after every few strokes to remove dead hair from
I've done it this way for years. It usually takes a number of weeks for
Annapolis to shed out in the spring, with my assistance generally
concentrated into several weekends.
But I was introduced to something, which I am probably the last person in the
equestrian world to try. When the owner of the barn I board at saw me
standing in a cloud of flying hair, she suggested I try a Slick N Easy Grooming
block, made by Farnam. At first I demurred, but she insisted that I let her
show me how effective it was.
To say I was amazed would be an understatement. The grooming block is
made of fiberglass and not only did it remove the hair that was already loose,
it also appeared to remove the hair that would normally have not come out for
several days or weeks. I worked at Annapolis' coat for about an hour and by
the end he was sleek and shiny. I would say that the Slick N Easy block
probably saved me several weekends worth of scrubbing with a rubber curry.
Slick N Easy has certainly earned itself a place in my grooming box. It only
costs a few dollars and, according to the wrapper, one bar will do 10 - 12
I don't normally do "testimonials" here on this page, but I think this product is
so good that every horse owner will benefit from it.
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