Tip of the Week
We're havin' a heat wave.
A tropical heat wave.
To quote Ms. Monroe in one of her steamier movies. And with blanket season in full swing, it creates problems. Most notably unintentional swaeting and itchy horses.
If you suddenly have warn weather during the winter, be sure and get those blankets off during the day. Unintentional swaeting can lead to a number of skin issues, including a fungus growth not unlikt "rain rot".
As for itchy horses, we add a bit of oil to wash water when sponging horses clean of sweat after riding. A few drops of baby oil, or a comercial product like Skin so Soft or Alpha Keri can do wonders to ease itchy skin. And we brush and brush. A good stiff brush on a horse with all of his hair or a medium brush on one that is shaved does the trick. Most importantly, it brings the oils to the surface of the hair coat. But the side benefit is horses are into mutual grooming, so you are further bonding with your horse when you provide this service.
If you see any unusual scaling, dandruff, of patches on your horse's skin, don't wait, get the vet involved. And stop all topical applications of any thing other than water, especially oily or greasy products. This is also a time of year when skin trouble erupt because the blankets hold dirt, spores, fungus and bacteria near the skin.
Remember, cleanliness counts for both your horse and his blankets.