Today marks the first day of Spring, and as a horse owner, that brings me much excitement and much stress. I’m excited for show season, being able to put away my ponies’ blankets for good, and riding outside. BUT, the spring season also means muddy paddocks (I don’t know about you, but it seems that my horses are professional rollers), SHEDDING, and flies. As you may have guessed, the theme of today is grooming. It’s important to get a jump start on good grooming habits now so that you’ll be a well-oiled machine by the time show season officially starts. Below is a list of my favorite grooming and bathing products that are must-haves in my spring grooming kit.
1. A shedding blade. You may scoff or roll your eyes, but no self-respecting rider should be without one. Using a shedding blade daily from now until early or mid-May will help your horse transition from wooly mammoth to sleek and shiny show pony. You’ll be thankful when his or her winter coat winds up on the floor, instead of all over your cute ROOTD.
2. Ecolicious Waterless Wash Deep Cleaning Spray. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but it works wonders. When you don’t have time for a full bath, use this waterless “shampoo” to make your equine friend glisten and gleam. Special bonus: it smells great, too. I spray this on daily after I curry and brush, then rub in circular motions using a towel. I ordered this from The Tack Shoppe of Collingwood, one of my favorite online tack stores.
3. Dawn dish soap. Yes, I bathe my horse with this stuff. It gets really soapy and sudsy and leaves my horse’s coat shiny and healthy. It’ll even bring out dapples if you use it often enough. In my opinion, it works better than any shampoo that’s actually intended for horses. It’s cheap, comes in a giant bottle, and will last you forever. What’s not to love?
4. UltraShield EX Fly Spray. Although we (hopefully) won’t have to worry about flies for a while, it’s important to have a bottle of fly spray on hand in preparation. This stuff is the real deal–it has sunscreen, aloe, and repels dozens of types of insects. You can even use it on your dog!