Grooming Hints & Tips
One of the many stunning trademarks of the Gypsy breed is their abundant hair and we all love seeing that well groomed, healthy glow on our horses. Grooming is a part of every horse owner’s life and whether you are preparing yours for a show, getting ready to hit the trails or just spending some quality bonding time with your feathered friend. This article looks at some helpful hints, tips and tricks that can make grooming sessions easier and more productive.
This article is brought to you by The Hair Affare and was written by Samantha VanSickle of Starfire Gypsy Horses www.starfiregypsy.com & www.thehairaffaire.com
The EquiFuse System
CitraFoam Shampoo and CFS Shampoo work together to promote hair that is healthy, clean, soft, supple and absolutely glistening.
The CitraFoam Shampoo is a totally plant based product that is sulfate free and perfect for horses with sensitive skin, allergies or overly dry hair. It will not strip the hairs natural oils and it will soothe dry, itchy, irritated skin. It can be used on the entire body but for our grooming program we use it primarily on the mane and tail as well as extremely “itchy” areas.
The CFS Shampoo promotes a skin deep clean that will lift stains and dirt with ease without damaging or irritating the skin. This product has taken the place of all “whitening” products in our barn. This is the perfect shampoo for show preparation and it’s also safe and economical for everyday use. It will quickly cut through the buildup and grim found at the base of the mane, tail and/or feather. It will leave your horses coat sparkling clean and feeling great! This product also has moisturizing qualities so it will not leave the hair dry and brittle like other whitening products on the market. CFS is very concentrated and one container contains enough shampoo to bath 350+ horses (around 250 Gypsies or “heavy hair” breeds). For areas that are heavily stained it may take a few consecutive baths to remove all stains but you will see a noticeable difference after only one application.
For use on the entire body we add 1oz of CitraFoam to a foamer, then spray over entire body and rinse. (If the horse is really dirty use a rubber curry to work the shampoo down to the skin). This product can also be used full strength on the mane and tail. You can also use a bucket and sponge to apply which is what the directions say. I've just found that by using the Foaming unit that I can make the product last longer and it's quicker to apply.
The CFS shampoo can be applied by mixing 1oz with water in a foamer or by mixing 1/2 oz in a bucket of water and applying with a sponge. This product can also be used full strength on manes, tails, white socks or anywhere else on the body that has deep set stains. After applying the shampoo, use a rubber curry or your fingers to work the shampoo down to the skin to help loosed dead hair, dander and dirt. For feathered breeds it does a fantastic job of getting the feather sparkling white and if used on a regular basis the feather will stay that way.
Mix 1/2 oz of CitraCreme in a bucket of water, soak tail and then pour over the mane. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse. Can also be used full strength on the mane, tail and feather to repair dry, damaged or brittle hair and will help to alleviate the dry, flaky skin that causes itching and rubbing.
A product saving tip: Mix 1oz of CitraCreme in a spray bottle with water, shake and then spray onto the mane and tail (or feather for draft type breeds) work in by hand and rinse. For horses with very thick hair this also allows you to lift and separate the hair while spraying to help get the conditioner all the way to the skin.
For use after bathing-
After the horse has been rinsed but the coat is still damp put 1oz of Rehydrinse in a 32oz spray bottle then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use to make sure the product is properly mixed. Spray over the entire body (including feather) and leave in. You can also use this product as directed on the bottle by adding 1oz to a gallon of water and sponging over the body or you can add 1oz to a foaming unit and apply to the entire body that way as well. This product is safe for use even in the saddle area as it will not make the hair slick or slippery.
For use on dry hair-
Add 1oz of Rehydrinse and 1/2oz of Gleam to bucket with 1 gallon of warm water and soak the entire tail for 3-5 minutes. Wring excess water from the tail but DO NOT RINSE. You can towel dry if necessary in cold climates. Repeat this process as often as necessary to restore your horse’s tail to its ideal, soft, tangle-free state. This treatment is also perfect for tails that are kept braided. After removing the braid use this treatment, then comb through the hair and re-braid.
Gleam can be used on wet or dry hair. When using after a bath take a dime size amount in your palm, rub hands together and distribute through the mane, forelock and tail while still wet. After the hair has dried it will be silky smooth and you can run a brush right through it. Gleam can also be applied to the feather before blow-drying to keep the hair from forming knots caused by the high volume of airflow. This product is also fantastic between bathes to quickly remove knots and tangles while adding shine and moisture.
CoolOut is a naturally derived fragrance free powder that absorbs sweat and dampness on the equine coat. Designed for post exercise grooming, this unique formula instantly soaks up sweat and moisture leaving the coat both dry and manageable. A fast acting anti-bacterial additive creates a sheer veil on the coat, used to prevent against bacterial and fungal skin disorders which makes this product fantastic for treating lower leg issues such as scratches and other ailments that tend to affect draft type breeds.
All of the EquiFUSE products can be used individually and they will each surpass all standards in their results but when they are used together as a system then the results are absolutely astounding!
What you'll need:
For all organic stains, such as urine stains, red clay, or just plain dirty, give this a try...and even though its aimed at white tails, this method is very effective on all colors of tails that need a good clean...particularly mares...as urine will eventually make dark hair bleach, and the vinegar rinse will help with this.
You can repeat this process the next day or a few days later if you feel the stain needs another treatment. Follow up with a weekly shampoo , and condition, condition, condition.
As you can see, with a long term stained tail, this process needs to be done at least a few days before showing, sometimes just the one treatment is not enough so make sure to start the process well enough in advance.