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We’ve all dreamed of having a white horse at some point in our lives. They are absolutely majestic and create a sense of fantasy when you see them galloping through the fields. Though undeniably beautiful, it is not a dream to care for a white coat. White coats are prone to staining, yellowing, and looking dull and dirty. However, there are a few grooming tricks you can do to keep your horse’s coat shiny, bright, and white.
Avoid toxic horse-care products
When looking for shampoos for your white horse, you may come across whitening shampoos. These contain harsh chemicals that are very damaging to your horse’s coat. Many whitening shampoos contain blue or purple bleaching aids that remove stains but also strip the hair of oils and leave the follicle brittle. They can also cause skin dryness and irritation. No matter how stained your horse’s coat, never use one of these shampoos.
How to groom a white horse
Start by investing in a cleansing mitt or a rubber curry so that you can scrub your horse’s coat down to the skin. Use warm water and a gentle shampoo like Not So Sweet Itch Body Wash and really put in some elbow grease to remove any dirt or oil. This will also help stimulate your horse’s natural skin oils which will prevent the build-up of dirt and stains.
Next, clip the coat to remove some of the stained follicles and so dirt can’t build up and cause staining. Then create a protective oil barrier by applying Showcoat Leave-In Conditioner. A light application will do, but you can apply a little more in areas more prone to staining like on the legs near the hooves. Finally, between bathings use Grapefruit Coat Refresh daily to keep the coat fresh and clean so stains don’t build up.
What else you can do
There are a few things beyond grooming you can do that will help prevent staining:
Feed your horse a diet loaded with zinc, copper, biotin, fatty acids, and protein to support hair growth
Consider the selective use of horse clothing on particularly dusty or muddy days
Deep clean your horse’s stall
Try applying lemon, lavender, turmeric, sandalwood, or bergamot essential oils which offer natural brightening and lightening
Follow these tips and you’ll keep your white horse’s coat bright and new! If you have any grooming secrets of your own, please share them in the comments below.
Massage isn’t just a great way to relieve equine joint and muscle pain, it can also be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your horse. Learning a few effective massage techniques can help relieve tension and pain, reduce anxiety before a show, and just generally help your horse unwind. Adding the soothing power of essential oils can make the massage experience even better.
Here are four techniques to help introduce your horse to the benefits of massage:
Effleurage: The first step in preparing your horse for a massage. Start by placing a few drops of essential oil mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil into your hand. Then stroke the muscle you plan to massage with an open palm gently while slowly increasing pressure. This will increase circulation, release endorphins, and help the horse relax.
Petrissage: Start working the muscle by kneading and applying more pressure. This will help release tension that causes soreness. Listen to your horse to see how they respond to the different levels of pressure and the areas you are targeting. If you need, add a little more massage oil.
Tapotement: Use both hands to “tap” along the muscle. This motion relaxes the muscle and further stimulates circulation. This is also the best exercise to help release any toxic build up in your horse’s muscles. This massage is great when paired with a cooling essential oil such as mint or tea tree.
Friction: Use your fingertips to apply deep pressure to an area. Be very careful with friction and closely monitor how your horse is reacting. If you’ve ever had a deep tissue massage, you know that it can get a little painful. Friction helps to break any adhesions in the muscle’s deeper layers.
If you are looking for an massage oil to use, I definitely recommend trying out Equi-Spa Cool Muscle Wash and Cooling Tea Tree Gel. These products were developed with a lot of trial and error to see what essential oils my horse loved and which had the best effect. You can also mix your own oil using a few drops of your horse’s favorite essential oils in a safe carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba, or grapeseed. I’d love to hear what oils you’ve found are effective, please share in the comments below.
Rain Rot is a type of bacterial infection that can be triggered by prolonged exposure to moisture and rising temperature. Rain Rot can become an issue for horses during wet months of the year, and while most owners will turn to the various chemical potions on the market to help treat it, I prefer a natural approach using essential oils.
Rain Rot is caused by a bacteria that lives dormant in the skin until it is presented with favorable conditions. It can also be caused by biting insects. Rain Rot is easy to recognize on your horse because there will be peeling lesions and bald spots. If you suspect Rain Rot, you should call your veterinarian to diagnose the condition.
Relieving Rain Rot in horses with essential oils
There are many products on the market that can relieve Rain Rot. However, most of them contain ingredients like chemicals and acids. These are not only unhealthy for your horse and you, but they can be painful when applied. A better option is to use essential oils. The best essential oil for bacterial infections of any kind is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that kills harmful bacteria. Equi-Spa Cooling Tea Tree Gel combines the power of tea tree oil with the soothing pain relief of organic aloe vera.
If your horse doesn’t particularly care for tea tree oil, there are other options you can try that they may like more. Just remember to always mix them with a soothing carrier like aloe vera or coconut oil before applying topically.
All of these oils have antibacterial properties that help address and relieve Rain Rot. Remember when it comes to using essential oils for horses, start slowly by introducing the oil to your horse to gauge their reaction. If they give you the lip curl approval, you’ll be good to go.
I am very passionate about horse grooming. I think it is one of the best parts about owning a horse. It’s a great time to bond, relax, and show your care. Plus, if you do it right, your horse will love it. If you’re just starting out with horse grooming, here are some tips help you become a master groomer:
Learn from the experts
Getting some expert help can really improve your skills. Start by talking to experienced horse owners about their grooming processes. You can also ask your veterinarian for some tips and techniques. There are also tons of resources online that can help. The more you learn, the better you’ll get.
Make it a daily practice
Having a daily grooming routine has so many benefits. First, it will make your horse more comfortable during grooming because they’ll know what to expect. Secondly, it will help prevent and avoid any really difficult grooming challenges like staining, tangles, and itchy skin. Finally, daily grooming will keep your horse in great health because it will ward off microbes and pests that can cause disease.
Invest in the right tools
Tools are everything when it comes to horse grooming. Things your will need in your grooming kit include:
A variety of soft bristle brushes
Having the right tool makes any job easier, whether it’s loosening dirt from the coat or detangling your horse’s tail.
Use natural horse-care products
I don’t just say use natural horse-care products because I developed the Equispa product line, but because I’ve seen the damage that chemical products can do. When horse-care products like horse shampoos, hoof cleaners, and tail gloss are made from synthetic ingredients they cause more issues than they solve. For example, the wrong horse shampoo can dry your horse’s mane, leading to tangles, increasing the amount of grooming needed in the future.
It takes a while to develop a great set of grooming skills. The more you practice the better you and your horse will get. So take your time and enjoy the process, there’s no rush to perfection.
Follow these five tips and you’ll be grooming like a professional in no time. Also, if you ever need any advice on what products to use for specific issues leave a comment below or on Facebook, or email me at the address below, I’m always happy to help.
Horses are herd animals that are used to open plains. When confined in small spaces without adequate companionship or exercise, it can be an immensely stressful experience for them. Travel can be extremely disruptive to their natural needs, but with a few tips, you can help prepare them for their journey so it is not traumatizing.
Make sure your horse is healthy enough to travel
Before going anywhere with your horse, make sure they get a full checkup from their vet. Travel can be can hard on your horse’s health. The stress puts pressure on their cardiovascular system, they’ll be exposed to new bacteria and viruses that can make them sick, and the travel itself is physically taxing. Never travel without permission from your vet.
Keep their carrier clean and dust free
Dusty, dirty bedding can be very irritating for your horse. It can get in their eyes, dry out their skin, and cause respiratory issues. Make sure the carrier is cleaned out and supplied with fresh bedding before traveling.
Give them full access to hay and fresh water
The stress and fatigue of traveling can be very taxing, so your horse will need to eat a little more than usual. Also, dehydration is a real concern on the road, especially in the warmer months. Make sure they have access to enough food and water for the entire journey. Also remember to prepare a contingency supply in case there are any delays on the road. You never know when you may suffer a breakdown, flat, or unusually heavy traffic that could add a few extra hours to your journey.
Use calming oils
Aromatherapy for horses can be a lifesaver on a long journey. Before you get them ready for their trip, be sure to groom them well with their usual Equi-Spa products so that their coat, tail and mane are infused with the essential oils. Once on the road the barrage on new smells will be lessened due to the presence of the familiar Equi-Spa fragrances.
In addition you could try spraying the carrier and bedding with a light mist of Gentle Anti-Septic Lavender Spray. Lavender is lauded for its calming properties and will help promote relaxation, and in many cases drowsiness, helping the journey to pass more quickly. (This trick will work on humans too! If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at night, try a spray or two underneath your pillow.)
One other solution is to introduce Show-Thyme Calming Oil to their grooming routine. This blend of essential oils was specially formulated to promote a sense of calm and well-being. Introducing this oil before the journey will help trigger positive sense memories while they’re on the road, helping the horse stay calm and relaxed.
I also recommend standing wraps and bell boots, but only if your horse is used to them and it’s not hot outside. Otherwise, they can cause problems. These tips will help reduce your horse’s stress when long-distance travel is required.