With winter on it's way out, spring is ready to move in. Even though mud season is looming, it is hard not to get excited about the amazing weather to come. Good weather means great riding. There is only one impediment to hopping in the saddle - shedding season.
Horses are already beginning to loosen up their winter coat. The lengthening daylight is the stimulus to hair removal. Sleek summer coats are waiting underneath all of that grime and fur. For those of us who leave our steeds to weather the winter au naturel, we are faced with heavy mats of old hair and patches of mud, shavings and any substance your horse may have rolled in, and all that stuff really sticks; the horses look like old rugs left in an attic for decades. Brushing doesn't loosen this stuff; you are forced to stop every few sweeps to untangle and comb out the brush. Shedding blades leave the dirt, shavings, and other "bits" behind.
Using a prepared cleaning spray works at untangling clumps of matted hair but those sprays are really expensive. You can make your own for a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can choose favorite herbal scents to create your own horse coat spray, your signature eau de equine!
Here is how:
1. Purchase an empty spray bottle.
2. Visit a natural health or herbal products store and select some essential oils. They can be a little pricey, but you will only be adding 10-12 drops to your spray bottle so you don't need much. The oils are actually a great buy, as they last a long time; choose lavender, rose, mint, tea tree or citrus. If pests are starting to emerge in your area you can use geranium, citronella, lemongrass, or cedarwood oils.
Note: Tea tree oil is fantastic for skin conditions. Add 1 cup aloe vera juice to soothe itchy or dry skin.
3. Add 1/4 cup of pet dry shampoo liquid to the spray bottle. The shampoo usually comes in a spray bottle and you will want to dilute it to add to your horse coat mix so you will only need about 1/4 cup.
Note: For a fly spray, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar or plain vodka.
4. Fill the spray bottle with water and you are ready to go! You won't believe how great your winter "woolly bear" will look after a good brushing and your best friend will smell even better. Everyone will wonder just what product you are using.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr
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