How to Maintain the Silky Feather in Clydesdales
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The Clydesdale breed may be the most recognisable draft horse breed in the world, after Anheuser-Busch made these massive equines their mascots. However, not all Clydesdales wake up as pristine and clean as their televised counterparts.
Between pasture time, lessons and everyday activities, these horses can get pretty grimy. The Clydesdale's distinctive leg feathers can get knotted, muddy, and discoloured. To keep these feathers white and silky, you should follow a daily cleaning regimen for your Clydesdale.
Mix, in a large bucket, 1 gallon of animal-grade mineral oil and enough animal-grade sulphur to make a milkshake consistency. Please note that your horse's feathers should be dry and free of mud before you apply the mixture.
- The Clydesdale breed may be the most recognisable draft horse breed in the world, after Anheuser-Busch made these massive equines their mascots.
- The Clydesdale's distinctive leg feathers can get knotted, muddy, and discoloured.
Apply the mixture to your horse's legs with gloved hands. Massage it into the skin from the knees to the fetlock/pastern area.
Rinse off this mixture after several days of turnout and find your horse's feathers to be white and silky. The sulphur prevents "scratches," a common fungal problem, while the mineral oil repels dirt.
Rinse the horse's legs off after exercise. Use lukewarm water in the wintertime and cool water in the summer. This combats stains and the build-up of dirt. Towel or air dry the horse's legs.
- Apply the mixture to your horse's legs with gloved hands.
Shampoo the fetlock area. Once or twice a week, shampoo and condition the horse's feathers. For extra whiteness, use whitening shampoo, which is usually a leave-in and rinse-out product. These products help repel dirt and keep the feathers soft and silky.
Groom out dirt on a daily basis. Firmly curry up and down the horse's legs with a rubber curry comb. Start at the knees and continue to the top of the hooves, using a circular motion.
- Once or twice a week, shampoo and condition the horse's feathers.
Use a stiff body brush to put the hairs back in place. For especially long feathers or bad knots, use a gentle horse hairbrush to do the combing.
Apply sheen products for special days. Applying a show shine spray can make your horse's feathers repel dirt and stay softer longer. These sprays sometimes have whitening agents in them that can get rid of stains at the last minute.
- Mix and apply the sulphur in a well-ventilated area and keep the sulphur out of your eyes and mouth.
Gwendolen Akard started writing professionally in 2004 for her high-school newspaper and hasn't stopped since. She began writing for various websites in 2008, focusing on fitness and music. Akard is pursuing bachelor's degrees in philosophy and music at Tufts University.