Now's the perfect time to give your grooming kit a bit of TLC with the help of Brush Therapy from Shadow Horse.
Brush Therapy offers effective and easy cleaning in minutes. The powder dissolves in warm water, whisking away deep down dirt and grime from brush bristles and combs so thoroughly that they look like new. Brushes will be stripped of debris, bacteria, and fungi while trapped hairs will loosen and be easily combed out.
Brush Therapy powder comes in an easy to use sachet that contains enough to clean about six to eight brushes. Simply rinse your cleaned grooming kit with clean water and spread your brushes out on a clean towel in the sun to drain and dry before using them.
Brush Therapy effervescent brush cleaner from Shadow Horse is £4* per sachet.
Available from www.shadowhorse.co.uk
A review of NAF Off Extra Effect fly repellent for horses by Your Horse reader Cynthia PayneRead More
Using a plaiting spray gives you a helping hand so you can achieve neat and tidy plaits.
NAF Plait it Up was voted our winner in a recent review of plating sprays in Your Horse magazine.
The team from Tim and Antonia Browns yard in Northamptonshire used the product and you can read their review below.
The spray nozzle on this product is easily directed just where you need it and very little was needed to get a good result.
The product left the mane feeling tacky which makes it easy to produce good plaits that stayed securely in place all day. Any stray hairs were also held neatly in place.
As only a couple of sprays is needed for each plait the bottle will last quite a while, making it excellent value and our testers highly recommended it.
Price £9.99 for 500ml
To find your nearest stockist, visit www.naf-equine.eu/uk
Your Horse reader, Sara McComb has been using the range of natural products from Botanica for two years. Read her review below to find out why Sara recommends these products are a must for every tack room.
I totally love and couldn't manage without the range of products from Botanica. This Herbal range contains a combination of Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, Comfrey and Oil of Lavender, making them anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.
The Botanica wash and cream are totally amazing. I use them on my horses, dogs, sheep and even myself and for such a variety of things. The wash cleans my horses coats, it's natural and herbal and it helps heal and sores. The flies hate it and it smells fantastic.
The cream is my absolute favourite (usually used after the wash) it heals and soothes so many skin problems, from bruises, cuts and grazes, to mallanders, and bites (on both me and my horses). It even works wonders on cracked, sore skin and sunburn.
The multi-purpose spray helps to keep your horse's coat looking great. It seems to repel dust and dirt leaving a shiny and sleek coat. It also repels flies.
Since discovering Botanica I haven't needed loads of lotions and potions and a great side effect is when I apply it to my horse, I get it on my hands leaving them soft and moisturised. Botanica is my must have product in the yard now (and in the house).
I'd give Botanica a 10/10
Cleansing Wash £55.99 for 5 litres
Herbal cream £29.99 for 500ml tub
5-in-1 Multi-Purpose spray £12.99 for 750ml
If you'd like to create a show winning shine, just like super groom, Alan Davies, you can with his new collection of grooming brushes. He's created a set of brushes that will perfect the shine on your horse’s coat that'll be the envy of everyone you see. “This set of brushes will enhance the shine on an already well-groomed horse,” explains Alan. “My pack will help you turn your horse into a show ready horse maximising his shine without the need of using sprays.”
The Alan Pack consists of seven brushes and a useful curry comb, all packed away in a handy grooming bag. Here’s how each of them works.
Mr Flicky will remove dust residue and shavings from your horse’s coat, mane and tail.
Polisher makes your horse super shiny removing any final traces of dust from his coat.
Mr Glossy as the name suggests will make your horse the shiniest in the ring thanks to the very soft long horsehair bristles.
The Face Brush, which your horse will love. This small brush has very soft but effective natural horsehair bristles that’s easy to use on your horse’s sensitive face.
Quarter Marker, if you’ve dreamt of creating quarter marks like Valegro, well it’s now possible with this easy to use brush.
The Stud brush is a hoofpick that’s been cleverly designed to clean stud holes and properly clean frogs too.
Unique All-rounder is a rubber brush that removes all hair from rugs and numnahs.
To find out more visit www.eqclusive.com
*price correct at time of publishing
Whether you own a grey horse, or a horse with white markings, keeping his white bits white can be a full-time job. Using a shampoo designed for greys can help banish grass stains and other grubby marks quickly and effectively.
A team of grey horse owners put a selection of grey shampoos to the test. Here's their reviews of their favourite five.
NAF Show Off
This shampoo offers a deep clean so your horse will shine. It's suitable for all coat colours not just greys and the results are dazzling. As you use it, you can see the dirt lifting out and with very little effort. Very little shampoo was needed to tackle even stubborn stains. Once dry your horse's coat will feel clean soft, and his white bits will shine.
Price £7.99 for 500ml*
To find your nearest stockist visit www.naf-equine.eu/uk
Hawkins Organic Blanc Canvas
This whitening shampoo gently removes dirt and stains, leaving your horse's coat clean and white. It's made from all natural ingredients and is extremely effective at removing stains. A little extra shampoo was needed to removed some stubborn stains, but it rinsed out quickly and easily. It's pH balanced and contains only natural ingredients with no nasty chemicals making it perfect for sensitive skin.
Price £9.95 for 500ml*
Order online at www.hawkinsorganic.com
Your and Your Horse White Pearl
A clear shampoo that's easy to use and lifted light stains quickly and easily. Older stains on the wither and hock needed some additional shampoo to shift them. This shampoo took very little rinsing and once dry the horse's coat felt soft and looked really clean. A little goes a long way with this shampoo, so don't be put off by the price.
Price £17 for 1 litre*
Order online at www.eqclusive.com
This shampoo needs diluting in warm water before getting to work on your horse's coat. the shampoo feels quite oily, but mixed well with the water to produce an easy to apply solution. You can see the dirt lifting from your horse's coat as you massage it in - very little effort was needed to get food results. Once dry your horse's coat will look super white and feel soft. It may look like this shampoo is expensive, but if you follow the manufacturer's instructions it works out that one tub will make nearly 24 buckets at a cost of £1.40 per wash.
Price £17 for 475ml*
To find your nearest stockist visit www.zebraproducts.co.uk/stockists.html
Groom Away Ultra-White shampoo
A little goes a long way with this shampoo, although you may find you need a bit more shampoo to get rid of old, or stubborn stains. It doesn't produce a huge amount of lather, but you can see the dirt coming to the surface as you work the shampoo into the coat. It rinses out easily leaving the coat soft to touch and clean.
Price £5.99 for 400ml*
For more information visit www.flyawayltd.uk
*prices correct at the time of publishing
Used by: YH associate editor, Allison Lowther
Used for: 12 months
This is a powerful set of trimmers that coped well with thinner hair on the face and slightly thicker hair my horse's legs. They are a little longer in the body than other trimmers I've used, which made them a little tricky to use on those awkward areas, but the overall finish as good.
They were easy to hold and there's was very little vibration. A fully charged battery gives you around 50 minutes of trimming time. The batteries also charge really quickly (45mins).
These trimmers aren't the cheapest, but they've performed really well and the more I've used them, the more I like them. If you're looking for a good quality trimmer that copes with a variety of different hair thickness, these are worth considering.
*price correct at time of publishing
Used by: YH associate editor, Allison Lowther
Used for: 12 months
These lightweight trimmer have a short, wide body that made them comfortable to hold and use. I particularly like the position of the on/off switch which is on the side of the trimmers, so there's no danger of accidentally knocking it.
There's was very little vibration and they're quiet too. They trimmed well, leaving a neat finish even in those hard to reach places.
I really like these trimmers and with 60 minutes of trimming time on a full charge you'll easily have your horse looking neat and tidy.
*price correct at time of publishing
At this time of year it can be a full-time battle keeping mud fever at bay. The key to stopping it is to protect your horse’s skin from the wet and mud. Applying a barrier cream to his legs before daily turnout can really help. Here, we’ve selected five of the best.
NAF Love the Skin He’s In Mud Gard Barrier Cream
Price £12.50 for 1.25kg *
A nourishing barrier cream that will help protect your horse’s skin from the wet and mud. It contains MSM to support healthy skin and hair growth, as well as rosemary to soothe sore skin.
Nettex Muddy Marvel Barrier Cream
Price £8.15 for 300ml *
This antibacterial and moisturising cream will keep your horse’s skin health and protect from the wet.
Equinat Aromaheel Mud & Wet Ointment
Price £16.95 for 200g *
Made from natural ingredients known for their antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. This ointment works as a barrier, softens scabs and soothes skin.
Price £50 for 400ml
Aloe vera and lavender oil help to eliminate bacteria and protect your horse’s skin.
To find your nearest stockist visit www.zebraproducts.co.uk
Equimins Mud Block Cream
£8.90 for 500g *
A range of ingredients including tea tree oil and lavender oil help to support your horse’s skin and keep it healthy.
* Prices correct at time of publishing
Lightweight and very quiet trimmers perfect for nervous horses, suitable for light to medium density coats. Two rechargeable batteries. A fully charged battery will give approximately 30 minutes trimming time, four comb guards.
Price £59.99 *
Tested by YH associate editor Allison Lowther
These trimmers are a good weight and felt balanced in my hand. They trimmed around the chin and features of fine coated horse neatly and quickly. The noise from them is minimal so both horse’s I used these trimmers on were more than happy to stand quietly while they were trimmed. The battery lasted for 30 minutes and I easily got all my trimming done in that time. The shape and short body of these trimmers made them easy to manoeuvre around tricky areas. Very good trimmers at a very good price.
*Price correct at time of publishing.
Order online at www.masterclip.co.uk
Cavalor NorPlus is a skin friendly, gentle shampoo that removes stains and produces an illuminating shine for all coat colours. It works very well on those difficult areas, like white legs. It's pH neutral and contains a mixture of vegetable extracts that clean without irritation.
Price £17 for 475ml*
Tested by Your Horse reader Jools Long on her grey horse Stan
Definitely read the instructions before you start using this shampoo as you have dilute a certain amount of the product in water before you can start bathing. The solution felt quite oily but was easy to apply to Stan's coat with a sponge. As it was massaged into the coat you could all the dirt lifting out of his coat with very little effort.
Rinsing proved quick and easy, and when dry Stan's coat looked and felt clean. He also seemed to dry quicker, perhaps this was due to not having to use lots of water to rinse.
You may look a the price and think it's a little pricey, but if you follow the manufacturer's instructions it works out that one tub will make nearly 24 buckets at a cost of £1.40 per wash, making it, in my opinion very good value for money.
* Price correct at time of publishing
This easy to use patch can quickly help to ease stiffness so your horse can move more freely and restore mobility.
Simply apply the patch to any sore or stiff joints and let the combination of ingredients - omega 3, green lipped mussel, hyaluronic acid and menthol get to work. After just 30 minutes your horse should start to feel the benefits.
To find your nearest stockist visit www.lintbells.com
This practical first aid kit is all cleverly contained in its own back pack so it's ready for whenever you need it. The equiMedPak's pockets and pitches mean everything is clearly visible and easily to hand in an emergency. As well as all the first aid essentials, it included a phone charger and torch to help you deal with most medical emergencies.
Such a great idea and for one £70.83 - surely a must for every tack room?
To order or find out more visit www.equimedpak.com
This simple, yet effective groomer is a useful addition to your grooming kit. It helps to remove loose hair and dirt from your horse's coat quickly and easily. You can also use it to remove dirt and hairs from rugs and numnahs.
After just a few short strokes from the specially designed metal blade on the Sleekez Horse Groomer and you'll start to see your horse's undercoat lifting. Finish off by using a soft brush or cloth over your horse's coat to reveal a lovely shine.
To order visit www.eqclusive.com
With a file full of positive case studies and six years of treating horses with microcurrent therapy under her belt, human and equine therapist Dawn Rothwell is keen to spread the word about this non-invasive treatment.
“I was first introduced to the benefits of microcurrent using Alpha-Stim technology after meeting with veterinarian Ava Frick who runs a highly successful pain clinic treating horses and dogs using the device in the USA”, says Dawn. “After using the Alpha-Stim myself I’ve managed to develop various methods of using it with horses that have all been successful.”
How MET works
An MET machine like the Apha-Stim unit produces two sequences of minute, cell-specific electrical currents that work at the same level as those that naturally occur in your horse’s body. The electrical currents enhance cellular processes, which can initiate and sustain the chemical and electrical reactions that occur in the healing process. MET has been proven to restore full function to damaged structures in a fraction of the usual time, reducing scar tissue and resulting in a far better outcome.
What can MET help
Here are just some things this therapy can help with
- Reduces healing time of open wounds
- Calms horses and reduces stress
- Disperses swelling, bruising and inflammation
- Reduces and eliminates pain
- Reduces inflammation and improves circulation
- Repairs bone, nerve and soft tissue damage
- Breaks down scar tissue
- Disperses lactic acid helping to prevent the onset of Azoturia (tying up)
- Reduces and prevents muscle soreness
- Boosts soft tissue performance
- •Boosts the immune system
- Kick-starts and accelerates regenerative healing in internal and external tissue
It really works!
From her extensive file of success stories Dawn shares just a few of them, proving how amazing MET is.
Stormy Lady was suffering from arthritis in both hocks, and her owner, Sharon Hoyle, had been told there was also arthritis in her shoulder. Her vet had recommended that Stormy Lady should be put to sleep. After just one MET treatment Stormy Lady was sound. This was followed up with a further two treatments and she’s now back in full work. Following this amazing result, Sharon has bought her own Alpha-Stim to manage her other two horses - one with kissing spines, the other with ligament damage.
Ikke was a trigeminal head shaker and was admitted to Leahurst equine hospital for tests and treatment. The vets described him as one of the worst they’d seen, recording his head shaking 60-80 times per minute. The owner Mrs M Morris was desperate and asked Dawn to take a look. After only one treatment the head shaking appeared to have stopped. This was followed up with daily treatments for 4 days and Ikke still shows no signs of head shaking. He’s now back in full work and competing regularly.
To book an appointment, call Dawn Rothwell on 07825529054 or Shaun McGrath on 07887977977.
Daily CES treatment with the Alpha-Stim is available from £35 per month and is available from www.alpha-stim.co.uk
The Alpha-Stim M for pain relief retails at £599 excluding VAT.
The manufacturer says:
The WildWash brand, renowned for their natural and healing pet shampoos and cosmetics, have spent the last two years creating an amazing range of 4 horse shampoos. These shampoos showcase the most innovative and ground breaking natural ingredients, which will set new standards for horse care products.
The range includes: Gentle, Medicated, Ultra Shine and Whitening
Price per 1-litre bottle: £24.95 (mixing bottle £4.95)
Tested by Your Horse editor, Imogen Johnson.
"I first used the ‘Gentle’ wash in this range for my mare who has very sensitive skin. It comes in a large 1-litre bottle, which is heavily concentrated for use when diluted. With the Shampoo you get an additional mixing bottle. To this you add a little of the concentrated shampoo (you fill to a clearly labelled ‘fill line’) then top up the bottle with clean water.
"The key thing about this product for me is that I was amazed at how little I needed to use and how long the bottle lasted. A little goes a very long way!
"What’s more, I found I could squirt a little of the diluted solution straight from the bottle onto a sponge, then onto my horse which saved water, shampoo, time and mess! It also meant that if I only wanted to tackle a small area, it was easy and meant I didn’t have to drench my horse.
Post wash, over the next few days her coat looked great and any areas of dry, flaky skin (she "suffers form sweet itch) seemed to be much improved.
"All in all this product is easy to use and does a really good job. You might, at first, shy away from the price tag (£24.95) but I felt it was worth it. One bottle seems to last and last."
While the warmer weather is here, it can mean your horse is more susceptible to skin conditions and the problem of flies can make his life a misery.
Equimins Neem shampoo will clean and revitalise your horse's coat while moisturising and protecting his skin. Neem is well known for its effectiveness when it comes to supporting skin health, as well as helping to control flies and insects making it a great choice to use at this time of the year.
A 500ml bottle of Neem shampoo has an RRP of £7.25.
For more information visit www.equimins.com
The days of bathing your horse with a bucket of cold water and a sponge could soon become a thing of the past thanks to the portable hot water system. The Hippo Shower is easy to use and is available in in a range of personalised colours, including pink.
The boiler only ignites when water passes through the unit, and when it does click into action there’s very little noise to startle your horse, plus there’s no pilot light sat there, waiting to be blown out by the wind.
The whole unit is very neat; it’s all mounted on a custom-made trolley with the gas bottle hidden, and safe. The Hippo Shower also uses a special hose that stores pressure helping to increase your water pressure to wash your horse more effectively.
So, essentially you can have hot water on tap available at your yard all-year round meaning no more cold baths, you never know your horse may even begin to enjoy bathtime!
Price £350 (Personalised colours are an extra £25)
Nettex Coat Shine is the ultimate coat dressing for horses. It produces a stunning high shine that will simply dazzle the judges this season.
This non-oily formula seals and coats the hair to repel dust, dirt and stable stains, leaving your horse feeling fresh and looking great for longer. Simply spray directly onto the coat or apply with a cloth and then brush through to leave a lasting shine. Cost effective as a little goes a long way.
When applied to a clean coat, Nettex Coat Shine is ideal for using before clipping to reduce those unsightly clipping lines. It’s also a great product to apply under rugs in the winter to prevent shoulders from rubbing No wonder it’s the choice of champion show riders such as Lynn Russell!
Part of the Nettex Grooming range, Nettex Coat Shine is used by Team Hester, seen here with Fiona Lawrence Carl’s head girl. It is a product every horse owner should consider if they want their horse’s coat to really shine this season.
RRP: £4.99 for 200ml, £9.65 for 500ml
For stockist information, visit www.nettexequine.com or call 01634 257150.
The team at online retailer Eqclusive has put together several sets of Haas brushes to suit different coat colours and Your Horse Gear Guide editor Allison Lowther put the set for bay or chestnut horses to the test. Here's her verdict:
The haas brushes
The brushes are well made and are all I need to keep my mare Wish’s coat clean and shiny.
Each of the brushes in the set has a specific job to do and every pack comes with advice on what order to use the brushes so you get the best results. You use the Millitary brush for removing dirt which it does easily, followed by the Cavalier brush to clean the top of the coat. To complete the look and to really produce an amazing shine there’s the Coat Gloss brush and the super soft Diva Exclusiv which used sheepskin to polish the coat.
I’ve been using these brushes for five months and Wish’s coat looks great and with minimum effort. I no longer need to use hard dandy brushes to get rid of mud, the Millitary brush does this for me. They even remove most stains from her white socks too.
They may be a little more expensive than other brushes, but my grooming kit only consists of these three brushes and a mane and tail comb, that’s all I need.
* At time of publishing - April 2016