Thursday, February 16, 2017

Surviving the Spring Shedding

Who needs a groundhog to tell us how many weeks of winter are left?  Just look at the barn aisle floor after giving ol’ Misty a good currying!

Yes, our horses tell us spring is coming when the layers of winter hair start falling off!  It's a nose-tickling, barn-cluttering, comb-clogging process to rid our faithful friends of their shaggy warm coats.  Check out these helpful hints for making it go as quickly as possible…

  • Body clip – It’s a slow process, but it sure makes short order of even the longest coat!  It’s a 4-6 hour job but, once complete, you’re done for the season!  However, Mother Nature always throws us a few last frigid days or nights, so be sure to blanket your horse if the temperatures fall into the mid 40's or below.
  • Curry – Whether it’s wire or rubber, it's still a workout every day.  The benefits for your horse are that it’s more natural process, and he’s less likely to get sick with lingering cold snaps.  The benefit for you is that you’ll build up some arm muscles!
  • Slick block – This square block of fiberglass literally pulls out the dead hair without clogging like a curry comb.  It’s quicker than combs and leaves a shine to their coat.  
  • Shedding blade – While this is a little less work than a curry or slick block, you do have to be careful not to break your horse’s skin with the sharp teeth. 

No matter what technique you use, there is still the hair to deal with, and it gets in and on everything, it seems!  I swear I’ve coughed up hairballs after a good spring grooming!  But, it’s small price to pay for the sunny, warm days of riding that are just ahead of us.  

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