My Horse is SO Itchy and Smelly Under His Blanket!

For 2 weeks straight, I didn’t dare take Billiam’s blanket off. Billiam is my 16 year old, blood bay, Arabian gelding who absolutely despises Northeast Ohio weather. Recently the temperature has not gone above 10 degrees, which has meant an angrily prancing horse quickly going to and from the pasture. Taking his blanket off would end in a horse that was so salty, he’d melt the ice.

 Billiam dreaming of a beach in South Florida...

Billiam dreaming of a beach in South Florida...

Billiam wishes I could send him to South Florida for the winter, where he would happily lay in the sun and not pace the gate in anticipation of getting away from the icy, skin slicing winds. He would frolic on sandy beaches, a warm breeze in his black mane and the sun on his back. Well, jokes on him.

As an equestrian in an area that experiences extreme seasonal changes, I am constantly inundated with an array of horse skin conditions. Mud fever, rain rot, rainscald, horse scratches, cannon crud, blanket rubs, bug bites, sweet itch, etc. You name it, i’ve seen it on a horse in this land of flux.

 Ah, missing summer days!

Ah, missing summer days!

Winter is a double edged sword at my barn. When the snow flies and the ground freezes, as it has in these last few weeks, I find clean legs with no mud fever, gunk or funk! However, I do find one incredibly itchy, smelly, dandruff covered horse under a winter blanket. With no run-in sheds and his inability to grow much of a coat, I’d find it pretty rough to turn him out without some sort of blanket.

The last time I had groomed Bill, it was a toasty 40 degrees. I knew the cold was coming and I would need to blanket him, he hadn’t been bathed in a month or so, but his coat was still shiny, dandruff free and he didn’t smell. I wanted to keep it that way, so I grabbed my Coat Defense Daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER.

After being lucky enough to find this magical fairy dust, I have added it to my grooming routine. It resembles baby powder, but with a much better, more refreshing scent and it’s also anti bacterial, anti fungal and talc free! Billiam doesn’t mind as I sprinkle a good amount along his top line, back, rump and down his tail bone. I set the container down, grab my grooming gloves and get to work rubbing it in. The powder settles into his coat, I grab a handful here and there to make sure he has a good amount on his withers, under his mane and base of his tail, places he is prone to itch or rub.

It’s now been two weeks since that grooming session and I’m feeling that guilty pit in my stomach for not taking off his blanket for that long. I don’t have an indoor to ride in, and barn time in this cold of weather is kept to a minimum, but it’s time to check him over. I put on my many layers of socks, gloves, hats and parkas and head to the barn, it’s time to face the cold and give him a good groom.

I’ve been using Coat Defense for a bit now, so I’m not surprised when I pull the blanket off and find a shiny, fresh smelling horse underneath. I smile with relief nonetheless. I go about my new grooming routine, give him a nice fresh sprinkle so he continues to stay fresh, clean and itch-free.

This is the first winter I haven't had a tail rubbed into a bushy mess, withers worn down from a blanket, a mane itched away or found my eyes watering from the smell of my horse when I remove his manure and mud stained blanket. The peace of mind Coat Defense has brought Billiam and I is beyond words. He’s visibly more relaxed and comfortable, which in turn makes me a lot more relaxed and comfortable!

If we’re being honest, most of us horse people love to groom our horse. There is something so blissfully encompassing about going over every inch of our majestic creatures, cleaning their coat and giving them a good scratch where they most need it, lip twitching in pleasure to say, “Ah! That’s the spot!”

I was worried at first that this powder might make that experience less, or somehow taint it, like when your horse has a wound and you have to hose it with cold water. Your routine is tarnished and rather than enjoying it, you dread it. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My routine has taken on a new form, adding Coat Defense Daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER enriching it with another earthy scent, softer textures and a sense of calm as I know this is going to help Billiam feel better. There aren’t too many items that can make that much of a change, but this one actually does.

If you’re currently battling the winter blanket ordeal, stop. It’s not worth trying to give your horse a wet bath in the winter, purchasing multiple blankets to constantly change and keep fresh, or grooming daily without any success of actually preventing any of these issues. We want to keep our horse’s comfortable and happy, it’s really as easy as adding Coat Defense Daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER to your grooming session.