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Pro (cold weather) Grooms

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  • Pro (cold weather) Grooms

    How do you take care of yourself? Being outside for 12+ hours a day in this cold, dryy weather has been beating me up pretty bad... what are your best remedies for

    dry, chapped, cracked lips?
    Spiliting knuckles, brittle nails, and caloused man-hands?
    wind burned cheeks?
    General aches and pains?

    Also, at the end of your long day do you go and workout? I mean I burn enough calories during the day to eat anything I want and maintain weight... but I feel like taking a nice run, yoga, etc. at the end of the day in a warm gym might help me from getting so stiff.

    Any other tips to survive the bitter cold?

  • #2
    I keep Blistex in the green tube in my pocket and put it on non-stop throughout the day.
    Hands are tough! Gloves are a great defense but I love the Aveeno ultra moisturizing lotion throughout the day and I lather my hands with it at night and put on linen gloves.
    I have no hope for wind burned cheeks except to wear plenty of sunscreen and moisturizer.
    General aches and pains seem to get worse in the winter don't they? I certainly take plenty of advil and aleve. My normal routine is 3 advil every 6 hours and sometimes add tylenol in to the mix. Movement and warmth seem to help the most. When I can I swim at nights to stay fit and limber. The swimming burns calories from eating horse show junk and is a fabulous stress reliever. I think everyone needs something besides the horses at the end of the day when horses are your job.
    Good clothing is critical to surviving and plenty of hot tea!
    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


    • #3
      Way back in the day of grooming at Saratoga and other NE cold spots, I used to put plastic bags on my feet between sock layers to keep my feet warm. It helped keep my piggies warm.

      Windburn, I just tried to keep my cheeks covered with a scarf. There is no industrial moisturizer that will help with it. I remember looking super sunburned my face would get so windburned.

      Lips- Mass quantities of Carmex. Ugh, I remember how bad they used to split! Ouch. Only problem with that is that carmex'd lips stick to scarf covering mouth and cheeks.

      Caloused man hands- I gave up trying to have soft, clean, girly hands. It is really good to go get a manicure every few weeks because they soak, mosturize, and exfoliate your hands. Polish will girl your hands up! Highly recommend that!

      As for working out, I was always so drained after fighting to stay out of hypothermia all day, that the first thing I did was take a LONG very hot shower, have a warm *Irish* beverage (for the aches), pop an Advil, and cuddle up in bed early.

      I would really recommend those "Hot Hand" packets they sell in fishing and hunting departments. They stay hot up to 12 hours and are AMAZING in your gloves and toes of your boots.

      Also, eat soup or hot beverages throughout the day. You wouldn't believe how much that will warm you up.


      • #4
        Forgot to mention, the best gloves I ever had were the Neoprene fishing gloves. They are tight, waterproof, not bulky, and WARM! My hands usually sweat in them.


        • #5
          Not a groom but a trainer so I feel you pain.

          The best moisturizer I've found has been the Gold Bond Ultimate Healing lotion. So far it's kept my hands from splitting but it gentle enough to use on my windburned face.

          I don't work out but I do yoga to keep myself from stiffening up. Definitely helps. As does a vetrolin soak at the end of a particularly rough day.
          Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
          My equine soulmate
          Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


          • #6
            Put Vaseline on your cheeks for windburn prevention. Works great when skiing, I guess in a barn you might get dust and shavings stuck to it, but it's worth a shot.

            Or you could get one of those face-covering "bank robber" masks. One of those would stay on and keeps your whole face covered.


            • #7
              When I was a groom for 1 1/2 years, I did my best to not let my hands get wet....used those gloves with rubber palms and fingers for watering.

              I slathered my hands in Bag Balm every night, and covered them with thin cotton gloves.

              Took lots of Ibuprofen for aches, lol.

              I love Burt's Bees chapsticks for winter.

              As far as working out...I was so tired by the time I was done (and really, was never done with having to do Night Check around 9-10) that going to the gym was never going to happen. I barely had energy to ride my own horse at the end of the day most of the time.

              For exercise outside of barn work, I usually would just take my dog for a long walk.

              Cold weather tips? Carhartt overalls & muck boots. Wouldn't survive winter without them!

              I'm not a groom anymore (for many reasons, including those above, lol) but I do PM chores 6x a week and AM chores on Sat. at my horse's current barn, and all these tips help me get through our cold, snowy winters here.
              <3 Vinnie <3
              Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred


              • #8
                not a groom but an avid angler (flyfishing) who loves to fish in the snow, and also used to motorcycle and trail ride full days in the winter months. the blistex that comes in the little beige jar always worked best for my lips, neosporin has a new one out that works really well too.

                a trip to the hunting section of walmart will result in a nice cheap but effective fleece balaclava. so snuggly warm, yet thin so you can still hear. When you get a chill, just one hot breath circulates around your neck and gets you tingly toasty warm down to your toes. You do want cheap fleece though, and not the fancy neoprene ones. The fleece will wick the moisture from your breath away from your skin, the neoprene, even with the little breathy holes, will trap moisture against your nose, etc.

                the hunter's "hot hands" are expensive, a buck a throw, but worth every penny if you know you're spending the day out. they stay hot all day long. The toe ones dont' impress me though, you can barely feel them through a medium thick sock, and unless your boots are really well insulated, they don't stay warm long.

                as mentioned, very important to keep your hands dry. I do the following: thin leather gloves, then surgical gloves over that, then fingerless fleece gloves over that. All these can be found for dollars in the hunting section of wallyworld too. Though keep a spare set of surgical gloves in your pocket as they will tear at the most inopportune time.

                finally, I've yet to find a hand moisturizer that I'm 100% on, but, at the end of the day, I love to use olive oil on my hands. I run hot tap water, pour a tablespoon or two of OO in my hands, cover thoroughly, then rub my hands together under the hot tap water. The hot water makes the OO absorb into my hands, rather than just sit on top and feel oily. A light dry-off on a kitchen towel and I have soft hands that aren't greasy.

                I've never found a good strong facial moisturizer that didnt' make me break out though

                If winter wasn't so uncomfortable and inconvenient I would probably actually like it.
                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                • #9
                  Carmex for the lips is a must. It doesnt taste good like chapstick and such, but works like no other.

                  I agree with the neo fishing gloves. They keep your hands dry and warm.

                  I layer pantyhose with a spandex leggin or such over, then jeans if I need to look nicer, other wise, the same thing with fleece pants then coveralls (I call them a zootsuit).

                  I have a hard time keeping my toes warm though. The warmers are great but pricey! What do you guys do to keep the piggies warm?
                  For a moment there, you bored me to death


                  • #10
                    My face blows up horribly after being out in the cold/wind all day. I came across this Intensive Hydrating Masque at Aveda and haven’t had a lobster red face since. I put it on in the morning & leave it on for the day - no breakout in my case.

                    Just Wish I had something like it years ago! Then I wouldn’t look like a withered auld crone
                    "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


                    • #11
                      Hi! I am glad those grooming days are over. I have felt your pain. Most days when I got home I would have to soak myself in a hot bath. If i didn't do this and just took a hot shower, I would remain cold and not be abelt to fall asleep.

                      Ok here are the products i love and swear kept my entire body from freezing and/or drying and falling off.

                      TOE WARMERS saved my life. Once my feet get cold I am a BEYOTCH for the rest of the day

                      I am addicted to chapstick and used the medicated light blue tube of it all winter long, applying frequently.

                      I never found a good way to prevent my face getting windburned, but the best most hydrating non-slimey face lotion I found is called Boscia Night Moisture, It is expensive, but it really kept my face from drying out and breaking out like other moisurizers would.

                      While reordering my night creme from sephora.com I also got some samples. I think the product might actually be for men but it is called Jack Black Industrial Strenght Hand Healer. This is the BEST hand product I have ever found. Before I found the JB I used Avon's Silicone Glove hand lotion for years.

                      As for having Man-Hands? It sort of comes with the territory.

                      Good luck!


                      • #12
                        Carmex for the lips

                        "Lay it on Thick" lotion from Bath & Body Works for the body, face

                        Satin Hands hand care system by Mary Kay for the hands (start this in the fall before the chapping begins)

                        Good luck!
                        "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                        • #13
                          Johnson's soothing naturals "soothe and protect balm." It's actually designed for a baby's dry cheeks and patches. I use it on my face whenever my face is windburned and red and blotchy. Works great!!!!!!!!
                          Experienced riders are not prone to brag. And usually newcomers, if they start out being boastful, end up modest. -C.J.J. Mullen


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pinkme View Post
                            Carmex for the lips is a must. It doesnt taste good like chapstick and such, but works like no other.

                            I agree with the neo fishing gloves. They keep your hands dry and warm.

                            I layer pantyhose with a spandex leggin or such over, then jeans if I need to look nicer, other wise, the same thing with fleece pants then coveralls (I call them a zootsuit).

                            I have a hard time keeping my toes warm though. The warmers are great but pricey! What do you guys do to keep the piggies warm?
                            Woolrich sells thick wool socks! I have poor circulation in my toes which cause them to turn blue and go numb much easier then a normal person's toes. The wool socks are thick and you need a bigger shoe size, but they sure do work!
                            Experienced riders are not prone to brag. And usually newcomers, if they start out being boastful, end up modest. -C.J.J. Mullen


                            • #15
                              I don't do regular grooming anymore, but I'm in my barn all day or in the ring teaching all day.

                              I use regular old chapstick (original). If I remember to re-apply frequently it works well. As for hands, I always wear gloves in the barn year round, just switch from my crochet/leather ones to nylon grip windstopping polar fleece ones (north face) for the winter. If I'm doing anything that prohibits that type of glove, like cleaning a wound or something, I use no powder latex gloves.

                              I also lather myself in vaseline moisturizing lotion every time I shower or wash my hands.

                              Costco (and others) sell great hiking socks that keep my feet toasty.

                              Hot beverages are good. So is peeing a lot - it takes more for your body to keep a full bladder warm than an empty one.

                              I think my biggest thing is that I try not to go in and out of the warmth of the indoors often. Too much back and forth makes me feel terrible. If you must go in and out a lot, remember to shed layers inside.

                              I've never had a problem with the skin on my face as I have a very short neck and the collars on my jackets usually cover much of my face, and I'm almost always wearing a helmet or baseball cap in the barn.


                              • #16
                                Keep a small towel handy and always always always dry your hands when they get wet.


                                • #17
                                  I haven't had too much of a problem with Vaseline on my cheeks (to prevent windburn) attracting dust and dirt... my face isn't any dirtier than it normally is after a day at the barn. The lotion I use for hands and face is some brand's "Norwegian Formula;" it comes in a square-ish beige container with a pump top, and works really well.
                                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.