Chances are, your horse either has “feathers” year-round, or only during the coldest winters (depending on the breed).
The fact that I left these “hairy heels” unclipped used to send my trainer over the edge. And with a little Irish draft in her blood, my mare sports perennial leg-hair. But feathers do serve a purpose.
First, they provide protection for the sensitive tendons and ligaments that run along the backside of the cannon bone.
And second, these long hairs (when kept clean) wick moisture away from delicate skin to prevent fungal infections including scratches and rain rot.
That said, “feathers” tend to trap grime. It’s unwise to take a curry to these sinewy and sensitive soft tissues of the leg. I’ve discovered a great trick that comes in especially handy during prime shedding and mud season (horse people call this “Spring”). And it doesn’t even require stepping foot in a tack shop.
- Flea comb (Yes, for a dog!)
First, angle down toward the hoof and comb. Then flip the comb so that the tines face the horse’s armpit and repeat like so:
Add this to your daily grooming routine and you will be rewarded with beautifully clean, dry, fungus-free horse legs. What spring-cleaning practices have you adopted?