January 5th, 2018
For 2 weeks straight, I didn’t dare take Billiam’s blanket off. Billiam is my 16 year old Arabian gelding who absolutely despises Northeast Ohio weather. Recently the temperature has not gone above 10 degrees. And this has brought on the wraith of an angrily prancing horse going to and from the pasture. So why not dare remove it? Because taking it off would end in a horse that was so salty, he’d melt the ice.
Billiam wishes I could send him to South Florida for the winter. And there, he would happily lay in the sun. Munch on lush grass. Lazily amble the pasture... And not pace the gate in anticipation of getting away from the icy, skin slicing winds. He would frolic on sandy beaches, a delightful breeze in his mane and the sun on his back. Well, jokes on him. As an equestrian in an area that experiences extreme seasonal changes, I have a lot of extra work in Winter. And 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, and I’ve seen it on a horse in this land of flux.
Winter is a double edged sword at my barn. Because when the snow flies, the ground freezes. I find clean legs with no mud fever, gunk or funk! However, I do find one incredibly itchy, smelly, dirty horse under a winter blanket. So why do I blanket Billiam? Because I don't have a run-in sheds and Billiam lacks the ability to grow much of a coat. I blame his genetics. This poor horse hardly gets a half inch of growth. I’d find it pretty rough to turn him out without something to protect him from the elements. The last time I had groomed Bill, it was a toasty 40 degrees. I knew the cold was coming, so I would need to blanket him. But he had been bathed in the last month, so his coat was still clean. Surprise, surprise, he's not a roller. Mud? ick. So I wanted to keep it that way. And that's when I grabbed my COAT DEFENSE® daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER.
After being lucky enough to find this magical fairy dust, I have added it to my daily grooming routine. It resembles baby powder, but with a much better, more refreshing peppermint scent. And it's talc free! But the best part is, it’s anti bacterial and anti fungal. So it stops any funk from building up under the blanket. 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. Because he's prone to itch and rub the base of his tail and shoulders, I'm sure to work a good amount in on those areas. So I throw his blanket on, step back, and smile. He's ready for the cold.
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. Because I don’t have an indoor to ride in, and barn time in this cold is kept to a minimum. I'm a guilty horse owner. But it’s time to check him over. So I put on my many layers and head to the barn to give him a good groom. I’ve been using COAT DEFENSE® for a year now. So I’m not surprised when I pull the blanket off and find a shiny, fresh smelling horse underneath. I'm relieved nonetheless. I go about my grooming routine and give him a fresh sprinkle with COAT DEFENSE®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. Or withers worn down from a blanket. And 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 priceless. He’s visibly more relaxed and comfortable. Which is all we want for our horses, right? And if we’re being honest, most of us horse people LOVE to groom our horse. Because there is something so relaxing about going over every inch of our majestic creatures. Cleaning their coat, checking them for any ailments, and giving them a good scratch where they most need it. That classic lip twitching in pleasure to say, “Ah! That’s the spot!”
I was worried at first that this powder might make that grooming experience less. Somehow taint it, like when your horse has a wound and you have to hose it with cold water. Your routine is tarnished. So rather than enjoying it, you dread it. And I couldn’t have been more wrong. Now my routine has taken on a new form. Adding COAT DEFENSE® daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER has enriched it. And I have come to love it, in the most sense fulfilling way. Because I love the smell of my horse, and now it's tinged with the refreshing, natural scent of peppermint. I adore his soft coat, now enhanced by the silky texture of the powder. But the best part is the mindset. I have a complete sense of calm knowing 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. Or purchasing multiple blankets to constantly change and keep fresh. And grooming daily doesn't do any good when you're curry in bacteria and fungus. We want to keep our horse’s comfortable and happy. And it’s really as easy as adding COAT DEFENSE® daily PREVENTATIVE POWDER to your winter grooming.