Professional Animal Division U.S.A.

Winter Coat Touch Ups

By Liv Gude

Winter coats on horses are functional! On some horses they are also very cute! But sometimes, they are “too cute” with those wacky, extra long, winter hairs they can get. Like around the cheeks and the chestnuts and coronary bands. Here’s a quick touch up routine that can spiff up your wooly mammoth. Lickety split. This is a simple way for you to tidy up your horse’s winter coat. Great for people who attend clinics, have lessons, show in the winter, are annoyed by the “yak” look.

First order of business – bridle path. Usually, the bridle path is trimmed regularly, so this should be easy to knock out. I prefer to keep a bridle path clipped on horses with wide and thick manes. The excess hair may create a bump on the top of his poll. The prevents the bridle from resting evenly and flat against him. A bridle path helps your horse be more comfortable and looks nice.

While you are up there clipping around your horse’s face, let’s address the wacky ear hair that pokes out. You may prefer to keep the inner hair exactly where it has grown, but the wispy strands that poke out to the sides can be tidied up a bit. Fold the ear like a taco, and buzz your clippers down the ear where the sides meet. Your horse will still have lots of ear protection, but his stray hairs are gone. You are creating a nice sharp outline of the ear.

Winter is also the time for those crazy long “elephant” or “goat” hairs to sprout on your horse. Everywhere. Use the clippers in the SAME direction as the hair grows to buzz them off. You should apply very little pressure. A common location to trim is on the underside of your horse’s head, between the cheeks. This trimming will give your horse’s head a more refined look, even if it’s a winter coat. Those hairs on the undersides of your horse’s jaw bones can also get snagged in his bridle.

Now work your way down to the elbows, knees, and fetlocks with your clippers. These areas are totally crazy with stray hairs. Use the same technique of light pressure in the same direction of the hair to trim up the legs. As with all things hair, it does grow back!

If your horse stands in the rain or weather, you may want to keep the tail ends of the fetlock hair there, it’s believed to help channel water away from the heel bulbs.

For the coronary band, you can use your clippers to create a clean edge along the hoof. This helps you inspect his coronary band during your daily grooming routine. This can save you some major dollars and heartache by catching hoof cracks early, and your horse’s hooves look nice.