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Hair today, gone tomorrow

Posted in Management

Now winter’s over, speed up your horse’s coat shedding process with our helpful hints


If your horse wasn’t fully clipped this season, he probably still has some straggly winter coat hanging around. Not only does it look scruffy, but it’ll make your horse itchy and – let’s face it – moulting hair gets everywhere! 

While winter coats will disappear with time, there’s nothing to stop you giving the process a helping hand. Here are some great ways to quickly get rid of unsightly hair, resulting in a happier, healthier and smarter looking horse. 

1. Curry comb magic

This grooming kit staple was designed for this exact purpose, and using one regularly and thoroughly will work wonders to get rid of fuzz. It’s best to stick to the rubber versions for use on your horse’s body and keep the metal ones for removing hair from other brushes. 

While you’re giving your horse the once over, keep an eye on his facial expressions. He’ll be sure to let you know when he is – or isn’t – enjoying the experience and in which areas he likes being groomed most. 

2. Hand in glove

For a real hands-on approach, try a pet grooming glove. Ideal for removing moulting hair, stimulating circulation and removing mud, simply slip your hand inside the glove and use the outer brush as a grooming tool. The added bonus is your hands will stay clean, too.

Did you know?

Some people believe using artificial lighting before sunrise or after sunset tricks the horse’s body into thinking summer’s here, and speeds up the shedding process. 

3. Go naked

If it’s warm enough, or just for five minutes or so if it’s borderline, why not turn your horse out rugless? He’ll love the chance to scratch his back with a good roll and when you look at the hair left on his rolling patch, you’ll see just how effective your naked turnout time has been. 

If he’s turned out with others, why not encourage their owners to do the same? That way the horses can help each other to lose their winter jackets via a spot of mutual grooming.

Did you know?

You can buy equine vacuum cleaners that suck the hair out of horses’ coats!

4. Warm up first

Exercising your horse before a grooming session will open the pores of the skin and this will encourage the hair to come out more easily. Try it and see!

5. Tools of the trade

You only have to search the internet to check out the numerous tools designed to aid hair removal. From grooming blocks to stripping blades, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Remember to take care when using sharper instruments, though.

Top tip

If your horse’s coat is significantly thicker than usual, unusually fluffy or long, or the warmer weather doesn’t shift it as you’d expect, talk to your vet to eliminate health issues. 

6. Bath time

If you’re lucky enough to have heated showering facilities at your yard, you’ll be able to bathe your horse any time. If, like most horse owners, you don’t, pick a warmer day to give him a wash, or fill buckets with warm water, rather than using a cold hose. Undoubtedly, your horse will feel better after his bath and, most likely, he’ll have much less hair, too. A good hair removal tip here is to use a curry comb in a circular motion while his coat’s wet and foamy.

Top tip

Avoid wearing fleece clothing around your horse while he’s moulting. It’s a magnet for hair and you’ll soon have more winter coat than him!

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