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6 caring tips for looking after your horse's skin in the winter

The colder months can be hard on a horse's skin, but these six tips will help you keep his largest organ in top condition.


Between clipping, wearing rugs and braving the elements, winter is tough on your horse's skin. There are plenty of things that go into helping your horse have healthy skin, to include nutrition, grooming and overall protection.


  1. Managing your horse's rugs. Using rugs as layers will help keep him at the correct temperature as its easy to remove or add a layer. A light cotton sheet next to the skin can be washed more regularly to keep his coat looking and feeling pristine.

  2. Grooming Leaving your horse bare and without a rug is vital for his skin to breathe during winter. Set aside time for a proper groom every day. This will stimulate his circulation and remove built-up grease.

  3. Wash down after exercise Sweat rash can appear in the saddle area, especially after exercise. With a small amount of shampoo added to a bucket of warm water, gentle sponge down the areas that get hot and sweaty. Always thoroughly dry your horse with an old towel after washing.

  4. Keeping tabs on his coat With an unclipped horse it can be harder to keep tabs on skin conditions due to his dense winter coat. You should be checking daily for cuts and scrapes. The earlier infections are detected, the easier they'll be to clear.

  5. Looking after his legs You must keep an eye on his legs for rain scald and mud fever. At the earliest of an infection, wash the area with Hibiscrub and cold water. Dry thoroughly and apply a moisture repellent cream. If the problem gets worse consult your vet. Do not leave it too late.

  6. Feed well A healthy horse is a happy horse. If he's in good condition mentally and physically he's less likely to suffer skin complaints.


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