Eight Ways to Care for Your Horse While Social Distancing
By Amy Smith
April 30, 2020
This pandemic, along with subsequent social distancing and quarantine measures, has taken a toll on us all in many ways. Limitations we’ve encountered can be frustrating after a long winter, so Corro has thought about what we can do despite them. This new normal provides us the opportunity to focus on horse and barn care that sometimes get pushed aside. And, while spring cleaning might not be as exciting as spring training, it’s not only productive, but truly necessary. Here, we’ve outlined eight ways to care for your horse, tack, and barn this spring—so let’s get to it!
We may not be able to compete right now, but your horse can always use some primping.
1) Wash, Rinse...Replace
Did you know that hair care companies aren’t required to list expiration dates on their bottles? This is true for horses and humans. A good rule-of-thumb is to refresh these products every one to two years. A body wash or shampoo, coupled with a moisturizing conditioner is an easy and budget-friendly refresher. Additionally, investing in an antibacterial or antifungal shampoo might be a good next step if your horse is prone to skin irritation or infection, especially during these wet spring weeks.
2) Brush Up
Another way to help stave off skin irritation and infection are clean brushes. Usually, finding time to ride is hard enough as it is, so keeping up with cleaning and disinfecting brushes is a challenge. Now, with some time on our hands, we have the chance to clean or replace our dingy combs, brushes, and hoof picks. If you decide to give them a good deep cleaning, just be sure to pay attention to what they’re made of as synthetic and natural brushes should be cleaned a bit differently. Need a tutorial on how to clean your brushes? Click here!
3) Clip It
It’s that time of year when hair is in the air. Horses naturally begin to shed their winter coats when the days start to get longer. And, depending upon your horse’s health and natural shedding schedule, the process can vary in how long it takes.
While the fur is flying, there are a few nuisances that can occur. The first being hair everywhere -- on your clothes, on your saddle pads, in the barn aisles, etc. The second is the lengthy time it takes to properly shed your horse out each day. Finally, your horse might let go of their hair in unsightly patches. One way to combat all of these is to speed the process along by clipping your horse. Don’t fret if you’re new to clipping, there are a ton of options out there. From cordless and multi-speed clippers to 5-in-1 and pocket trimmers, Corro has you covered.
4) Grooming Totes and Kits
It would be a little silly to store clean or new brushes in a dirty grooming tote or kit so cleaning or replacing your grooming storage goes hand-in-hand with refreshing your grooming tools.
Did you know that the term “tack” is short for “tackle,” which refers to the equipment required for a task or sport? Now you do. You’re welcome!
Clean tack is good for both the horse and rider. When we regularly clean our tack it helps to not only keep it in good working condition for, what could be, a lifetime, but we’re also able to spot any repairs that may pose a safety hazard. “Ugh, but who has time for that?” Tack cleanliness in the time of corona -- we’ve all got time for that.
6) Blanket Care
Blanketing changes with the seasons and just like tack, proper care, cleaning, and storage of blankets will extend their life. Now is a great time to wash, re-waterproof (if necessary), and properly store your blankets. If they’re in-season and you’ll continue to use them, keep them off the ground on a rack. If you’ll be tucking them away for several months, maybe make sure they’re stored in a breathable bag or container.
Now that our horses and their tack are sparkling, let’s take a peek at what we can do around the barn to spiff things up.
7) Pitch In
Whether you’re a barn owner or a hands-on boarder, there’s something therapeutic about cleaning a stall. During these challenging times, stall cleaning might be something else that both horse and rider can benefit from -- and, because every barn has one, try to avoid or replace that one pitchfork with a missing prong or loose fork.
How often you’ll need to routinely clean a horse’s feed bucket will likely depend upon the horse’s feed and what kind of residue it leaves. Additionally, it’s advised that water buckets and tubs are rinsed daily. However, spring is the perfect time to give all buckets a good scrubbing -- I mean, you don’t continue to use your bottle without washing it, why should your horse?