For much of the year, a mud-encrusted horse can be dealt with easily enough with a quick trip to the wash stall. When temperatures are near or below freezing, however, you won’t be able to rely on water to clean him up. Try this five-step method to deal with winter mud:
1. Allow it to dry. Wet mud is nearly impossible to remove from a horse’s coat. Put your horse in a dry space and return a few hours later.
2. Tackle the worst with a shedding blade. The “toothed” edge of a shedding blade will cut through the thickest mud. Reserve this tool for the hindquarters, shoulders and other similarly-padded areas and use a light touch, only enough to scrape off the mud.
Click here to learn how to protect your horse’s hips when walking through doorways.
3. Curry, curry, curry. With the worst of the mud gone, use a currycomb—one with long, flexible “fingers” works best—to remove the rest.
4. Break out the brushes. When no more mud is visible, give your horse a good brushing.
5. Do one last wipe. Use a well-wrung damp towel to wipe away the last of the fine dust. Then brush again with a clean soft finishing brush. Removing all dust will be nearly impossible, but by focusing on areas where tack will sit, you’ll get what’s important.
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