DIY – Horse Shampoo

SOURCE: Sassy HorseWoman

This DIY natural horse shampoo recipe is one of my favorites to have on hand. I use it for my horses, dogs, kids, and my own hair with great results. I love all the natural horse products on the market today, but not always the price tag! In my experience, this recipe works just as well as the $30+ per liter brands and is super easy to make.

The main ingredient in the top natural shampoos is usually a coconut based soap, and for this recipe, I always use Dr. Bronners Organic Liquid Castile Soap. In my experience, it’s by far the best in quality and price. In a pinch, you can use it straight from the bottle, but the addition of oils, glycerin, witch hazel and essential oils really gives it an extra boost (it can also be too drying on its own). Since I have lots of essential oils I usually go for the unscented option, but you can also choose one with it already added (Tea Tree is awesome!) to save a step.

DIY Natural Horse Shampoo Recipe

1 cup Dr. Bronners Liquid Soap (find it here)
1 tsp. Jojoba Oil (find it here)
1 tsp. Fractionated Coconut Oil (find it here)
2 tsp. Vegetable Glycerin (find it here)
2 tsp. Witch Hazel (find it here)
Essential Oils (optional)

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Horses and the Heat

Horses and the Heat

Photo: Thinkstock Erica Larson, News Editor for The Horse

“With summer’s sunny days can come extreme heat. Such situations can cause worry for owners as they struggle to help their horses adjust, stay healthy, and remain comfortable. But with a well-thought-out management plan, horses can stay cool and comfy in the midst of summer.

To help get you started on the right track, TheHorse.com caught up with Nancy Loving, DVM, an equine practitioner in Boulder, Colorado, to find out what the most important things to consider are when caring for horses in extreme heat.

When dealing with hot temperatures, Loving said the most important thing an owner can do is provide his or her horse with plenty of fresh water.

“Clean water should always be available; an average horse needs five to seven gallons of water per day in cool weather, while in hot weather, requirements for maintenance and to compensate for losses in sweat may prompt intake of 20 gallons or more per day,” she explained. “Horses in a herd should have access to a couple of water tanks spaced a distance apart so dominant horses don’t prevent a thirsty, more timid horse from drinking.

Adding an electrolyte supplement to your horse’s diet could help keep him drinking and restore the electrolyte balances disrupted by sweating, and horses should have access to a salt block or receive a daily salt supplement (no more than a tablespoon per day) to allow them to meet their dietary sodium chloride requirements.

Additionally, she added that for a horse that doesn’t drink well, offering a watery gruel of a supplement (such as complete feed pellets) rather than feeding them dry can help increase the horse’s water intake.

Insects are another concern that accompany increasing temperatures, Loving said.

“Hot weather brings insects so don’t forget to use fly sheets, insect repellant, and during active insect times of day, it can help to bring your horse into the barn and use fans to create airflow that foils the ability of flying insects to hover around your horse,” she added, as many biting flies are poor fliers.”

Read more here.

Source: The Horse – Erica Larson, News Editor

The Importance of Spring Grooming Your Horse

The Best Horse Directory Online

Source: Dr. Foster and Smith

“Horses are clipped, bathed, brushed, and combed for more than just looks. In fact, your horse’s health depends on a rigorous, year-round grooming regimen. Grooming removes dirt and mud, where bacteria, insects, and pathogens can hide. It helps increase circulation and distribute natural skin oils. It also allows you to spot injuries, insect bites, and external parasites you otherwise might have missed.
Good grooming is especially important in the spring. Most horses develop a long, shaggy winter hair coat to protect against cold temperatures and constant winter precipitation. Once the weather warms, however, longer coats can be dangerous for work, field, show, and pleasure horses. In fact, horses across the country succumb to heat exhaustion every spring. Longer hair causes your horse to heat up faster during exercise or work and take longer to cool down. In addition, long hair also hinders the drying process, which may promote bacteria growth and skin infections during the wet spring weather.

Three ways to help horses shed winter coats
It is easy to help your horse loosen and lose his winter hair coat. In fact, there are numerous methods and grooming products designed to aid the natural shedding process. The method and tools you use depend on your horse’s attitude towards grooming, as well as your personal preference. Basically, spring grooming can be broken into three categories:

  • The natural approach – many horse owners choose to do nothing about their horse’s shedding process. Eventually, your horse will naturally lose his longer, winter hair coat. However, natural shedding can be a long process. Shedding is tied to photoperiod or the length of sunlight in a day. Therefore, in some parts of the country, the natural shedding process could take months. During this time, active horses could overheat. In addition, horses who sweat excessively to cool down, lose fluids and important electrolytes.
  •  the traditional approach – the most cost-effective way to assist shedding is with select grooming tools and a lot of elbow grease. Use a curry comb to loosen dead hair. Once a section of your horse’s coat is loose, use a body brush to remove the loosened hair. A shedding blade can also help remove longer hair along the back and flanks. Repeated full body grooming sessions over a few weeks will completely remove your horse’s winter coat. Since this method requires vigorous brushing, however, care needs to be taken with thin-skinned breeds and around sensitive areas of your horse’s body. Also, monitor your horse’s electrolyte levels and, if necessary, use an electrolyte supplement until his winter hair coat is fully removed.
  •  the high-tech approach – the fastest way to remove your horse’s winter coat is with full-body clippers and precision trimmers. In just a few hours, the bulk of your horse’s winter coat can be removed. Then a regular bath, brush, and comb grooming routine will keep your horse beautiful and ready for activity throughout the summer. During the start of spring, however, blanket any freshly clipped horse when the night temperatures plummet.

There is a spring grooming method to suit any horse, personal preference, and budget. Regardless of the method you choose, however, ensure your horse is safe at all times during the grooming process. A quality halter and lead or quick-release cross tie helps maintain control of your horse and keeps him – and you – safe while you groom. In addition, remember that one of the most important ways you can influence your horse’s coat health is with proper nutrition. Protein, vitamins, and minerals all contribute to healthy hair coats and help keep your horse beautiful and in top condition no matter the season.”