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How to clean your pony’s feathers

Posted in Grooming

Find out how to keep your pony's feathers in tip top condition with our handy guide


If your horse has long, bushy feathers, you’ll know how much hard work it can be to keep them clean and well maintained. We’ve got some steps that just might help you tackle mighty feathers and have them back in great condition in no time.

Let’s clean those feathers:

  1. Start by rinsing off as much surface mud and bedding as you can – this is also a great time to check for any hidden cuts or grazes.
  2. Next, grab a bucket of warm water and dip your sponge or brush in to wet it. Using a brush makes it easier to scrub out any stubborn mud or stains.
  3. Apply the shampoo directly onto the brush as this is the most efficient way to remove tough stains (purple shampoo is best for horses with white feathers). Reapply shampoo as and when it’s needed, as well as dipping the brush into the warm water to rinse off mud as you clean.
  4. Once his feathers are all lathered up, rinse them off with water (use warm water if it’s cold) and repeat stage three if there are still some stains gripping on.
  5. Finish off the process by towel drying your horse’s legs and voila, you have gorgeous feathers again.

Now you’ve done the hard work of getting them clean, you’ll want to make sure they stay well-maintained. Here are our top tips for ensuring this happens…

  • brush through the feathers often to stop them from getting tangled and to remove debris that he’s collected from the field, as this could cause irritation
  • feeding a good diet with omega 3 in it will help to provide your horse with a shiny healthy coat – including his feathers
  • wash mud off feathers daily when your horse comes in from the field
  • keep an eye out for feather mites. Symptoms can include flaky skin under the hair, redness of the skin, itching, crusty scab lesions and hair loss. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check through your horse’s feathers while grooming them as they hide so much underneath
  • if you’re heading for the show ring, why not produce dazzling white feathers by whitening them with chalk or wood flour? There are equestrian companies who sell products designed to do just that

Did you know?

Some people use pig or baby oil on feathers to deter mud, help keep the skin in good health and promote hair growth.

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