Cushings horse owners- How the heck do you groom them?!?
I moved my old man (turning 27 this spring) down to me this past weekend. I am over the moon to have him with me again and to be able to keep a much, MUCH closer eye on him than just a few check ups a year.
The day after he moved in, I had my vet do a good going over of him, since, while he's had good basic care, I haven't been impressed with any of the professional care he's gotten in his time away. As I suspected, the vet started him on pergolide. His normally woolly coat is FAR woollier than ever before and it is is CURLY.
So, here's my question: how the HELL do you groom coats like this?!? He's not in any work (I may start hacking him a little, but nothing serious), and he lives out, so there is no reason to clip him right now. But his coat is crazy. I've tried grooming him a few times, and no tool or curry comb seems to really make a dent! I am sure part of the problem is he is in dire need of a bath, but it just doesn't look likely until we get a real warm day.
Otherwise, he's happy and healthy and still a complete maniac. He has some cataracts and his teeth need to be addressed, but he looks pretty good (the vet pointed out to me how the Cushings has changed his shape and how it will hopefully improve with meds), and has settled in very, very well and loves his BIG field with it's HUGE run ins. His new buddy is not too bad, but is a young whipper snapper (19), and kind of obnoxious.
Congrats on being reunited with your grand old man! You must be both thrilled.
My oldster has a very long thick coat. I kick all the mud off first with a rice root brush, and then I find these cheap plastic curries have the tine length and stiffness to get down into the thickness.
Then honestly, I use a leaf blower on mine and blow the dirt off sort of like vacuuming but in reverse. Obviously this is done outside far away from anything I don't want a cloud of dust settling on.
Then I'll brush him with a long stiff natural dandy so we don't turn into one giant ball of static electricity.
I have an easier time grooming him on really cold days, I take his blanket off and wait for his coat to poof then I don't have to quite wrestle with the thickness. Sure is arm tiring this time of year though.
Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.
I got a couple of those human hairbrushes used for blowdrying and styling. The old guy is really itchy right at the heave line and they get right down to the skin. Then I use the plastic curries, but really they just have too many teeth to get down deep
I've thought about buying one of the little Dirt Devil vacs that a COTHer uses for mud removal on her horse, in fact I got right down to the page to order on the Dirt Devil site but I had some trouble with my account and my password so I gave up.
Really it's just endless, the only time I ever catch up is in the summer right around clip time.
THere are one for dogs and cats! The one for cats works great too! I didn't even know they made one for horses! Thats cool!
I guess I did not realize there were dog and cat sizes. I jst destroyed another long tooth thinning rake on our Newfie. Decided I would upgrade to a show sheep thinning rake (about $25) but I will check out the dog size FURminator too....cuz the Equine is really pricy! Thx.
I found my large dog Furminator in Home Goods last year----for $27!!!! My guy has Cushings but with the Pergolide, he isn't as hairy as some. The Furminator worked OK, but I have better luck with a Shed Flower, a shedding blade, a human vented hairbrush, and a vacuum. He'll start shedding around March and I'll spend many many MANY hours scraping scraping scraping with the blade. I bought a new one last year and the teeth are much sharper than on my old one. I always unfold it, hold an end in each hand, and put some weight into it.
The fat fluffy barncat loves the Furminator and I think it works better on him.
As for everyday grooming in non-shedding season on the super hairy type, I think the hairbrush would work really well getting down to the skin. Could you use a trimmer and go with the hair to shorten it? Like when trimming legs?
This guy has ALWAYS been a fuzzball, and I've trying to use the method of grooming I used as a kid before I learned how to clip him- shedding blade, curry, brush...but the shedding blade barely touches him (it knocks the big chunks off, but doesn't do anything else).
I have the Grooma version of the Oster curry...does very little.
I like the idea of a hair brush, so will play with that some. And I have a vacuum, so will see if he remembers what that's all about!
Part of the problem is that his coat, in places, feels like someone who used to much gel. Very stiff and crunchy, and it really has the curls set in. I assume this is from being greasy and dirty, then really set in with all the rain and snow over the last month, plus just being a dirtbag. It just makes grooming him challenging. I am way to used to my sleek, clipped, going horses!
My old guy I would shave once a month for a long time.. but later years I wanted him to have his coat so in the very long areas I took my regular clippers and would clip downward to remove the long hairs that would even get matted.
I did notice on the Pergolide it got much easier and he didn't grow as much hair so maybe as time goes on and he is on the Pergolide longer it will get better.
Also I have put day sheets on and let them do some of the hair removal. I also put rubber door mats around poles in their stalls and they will scratch on them and they take off some of the hair themselves.
Lastly, congrats on having your ole guy back in your care. It's really the best... I love it too....
Live in the sunshine.
Swim in the sea.
Drink the wild air.
I guess I'm the only one who says "I don't!" My Cushings pony has a coat so dense nothing gets through it. Since it's only 12F ("feels like 1F") with the wind, I'm not going to do anything to it! I brush the "outside" of the coat when it is muddy, but won't attempt to truly groom to the roots until he starts to shed.
I only got him in August, and he wasn't on Pergolide then and actually had a reasonably "normal" coat, so I am hoping that come spring he will actually shed out.
However, I am sure the bath will help a lot! A muddy or sweaty/dirty long coat is a nightmare!
What I used on my very hairy mini last year was a dog shedding rake like this:
I have tried a furminator on my dogs and it is very tedious. I think it would work on horses, but would take a long time. It can break the coat rather than pull out the hair unless the hair is very loose.
Personally I'd try an undercoat rake first; it worked great on the mini.