7 Horse Grooming Supplies

Grooming is an important part of caring for a horse and maintaining horse health. A daily maintenance regiment can help prevent nagging skin and hoof conditions from occurring and escalating down the road—scratches, thrush, etc. After a tough winter for horses and riders alike, your grooming kit may be in need of resupply. Here are seven horse grooming supplies you shouldn’t be without this spring!

1. Curry Comb/ Shedding Blade: Your horse brushes can only do so much! A good curry will help lift dirt, dander, and shedding hair from your horse’s healthy coat. The course rubber fingers on the Oster Curry Comb and the Jr. Grooma Groomer are ideal for the job. For unclipped horses, a shedding blade with metal teeth does wonders for thinning out a thick winter coat and removing caked on mud. Don’t use this product on your horse’s face or legs.

2. Brushes: Every horse grooming kit should contain at least two types of horse brush—a stiff brush (to remove dirt, mud, and dried sweat) and a softer body brush (to clean dust and add shine). Personally, I’m a huge fan of flick brushes because the long, flexible bristles make brushing off dirt and dust easier and more efficient. The high quality and wide selection of Winner’s Circle brushes has made this brand particularly popular. To keep your brushes clean and looking like new, try soaking them in Brush Therapy.

3. Horse Clippers and Clipper Blades: A good set of horse clippers makes the task a whole lot easier. Check out the Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster—a model well suited for full body clipping. The 2-speed Oster Turbo A-5 is great for smaller jobs, such as clipping the ears, legs, and face. To prevent scratches, keep pasterns trimmed and dry. On the go, use the battery operated Wahl Pocket Pro to trim your horse’s whiskers.

4. Mane, Tail, and Coat Spray: Before running a comb through your horse’s tail, help protect it. Car & Day & Martin Canter Mane and Tail Detangler eases tangles, conditions, and adds healthy shine. Until the weather warms up enough to give your equine companion a full bath, Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover provides the no-rinse solution to dissolving manure, dirt, and sweat stains.

5. Hoof Pick and Hoof Conditioner: Hoof care is a critical part of keeping your horse healthy. Pick feet on a daily basis, especially after turn-out and before and after your ride. Wet conditions foster the growth of thrush. By removing mud from the frog and sole areas, the risk of thrush development is significantly mitigated. Condition and restore brittle hooves on an as needed basis with Absorbine Hooflex Therapeutic Conditioner Liquid.

6. Liniment: As the spring/ summer horse show season begins to ramp up, our horses’ muscles and tendons are working harder than ever. Help relieve soreness and inflammation with horse liniments like Sore No-More and Vetrolin Liniment Gel.

7. Fly Spray: Be prepared for bug season. There are many great products on the market to keep your horse pest free. Choose fly spray based on the types of bugs in your area and on the sensitivity of your horses’ skin. Ultrashield Ex is a quality product that protects against mosquitoes, biting flies, fleas, ticks, and gnats. Swat Clear Ointment is the perfect solution for protecting cuts and other sensitive areas from house flies, stable flies, and face flies.

For more horse grooming supplies, check out our Horse Care section.

Your Turn: What’s In Your Horse Grooming Kit?

We love hearing from riders! What’s your horse grooming routine? What horse grooming supplies are must-haves for you and your horse? What are your favorite horse care products?

Muck Boots Are a Must-Have for Spring Stable Chores

The advent of spring in the equestrian community has been affirmed! Horses and riders are returning from their winter hideouts in Ocala, Wellington, Aiken and Thermal. Outdoor riding rings across the country are becoming serviceable, and the spring horse shows in Culpepper, Saratoga, and Parker are on the horizon.

With the arrival of spring, barns, paddocks, and horse show grounds will inevitably become ankle deep with mud. Whether you’re a trainer, rider, groom, or spectator, a reliable pair of waterproof muck boots will keep your feet dry and comfortable in any wet or muddy venue.

There are a ton of options to choose from when shopping for a muck boot. After testing some of the boots myself and surveying my fellow horse savvy co-workers, I am able to offer a few thoughts that will help you choose the muck boot that’s right for your feet!

Mudruckers

Mudruckers Muck BootsMudruckers makes quality products while keeping your budget in mind. The unisex Mudruckers Tall Boot is 100% waterproof with a reinforced rubber toe, a stretchy neoprene calf, and Comfort-Flo lining that wicks moisture to keep feet dry and warm. In comparison to its Muck Boot Company equivalent, this boot is equally comfortable and lighter weight with a deeper tread.

Conclusion: The Mudruckers Tall Boot is an excellent value.

Muck Boot Company

The Original Muck Boot Company is renowned for its durable, high quality performance footwear. The distinctive design and tailored cut of the new Reign Tall makes this boot both functional and flattering. Like the Tack Classic, The Reign is highly durable and 100% waterproof. However, this particular model is unique (and awesome!) because it has been designed specifically for a woman’s foot. For those who prefer a muck boot without the clunky feel, the Reign Tall is definitely the way to go. The XPressCool interior lining truly makes this boot more breathable than other models (I took them for a test drive). As an added bonus, these boots are suitable to ride in; the toe, heel (complete with spur rest), and tread have been designed to fit safely and appropriately into a stirrup.The four-way stretch neoprene calf will comfortably accommodate jeans, riding tights, or breeches.

Conclusion: For women, the Reign Tall is the lowest profile and most comfortable boot made by Muck Boot Company.

Noble Outfitters

Noble Outfitters Muck BootsThe Noble Outfitters Muds Tall Boot is a new muck boot also designed specifically for women. This boot offers a superior comfortable footbed (with arch support), as well as the best tread for slippery conditions. The upper is made from industrial grade rubber and features a reinforced toe and heel, making these boots both durable and protective. The neoprene calf is lined with ultra breathable and moisture wicking mesh to help you stay cool.

Conclusion: The Muds Tall Boot is a comfortable, well made muck boot for women at a reasonable price.

We’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite pair of muck boots?

Spotlight on Ariat Riding Apparel

For nearly 25 years, Ariat boots, riding apparel and accessories have been favorites of English riders. Ariat riding breeches are some of the most popular products with Dover customers, yet there’s so much to the Ariat brand. Here are a few of our favorite Ariat items.

Ariat Terrain H20 Boots

These boots are suitable for all types of terrain and all types of weather. You can go straight from working in the barn to riding in any weather without changing footwear, which makes these Ariat boots perfect for this time of year.

The Terrain H20 boots feature full-grain leather uppers and a removable moisture-wicking footbed designed to keep you comfortable in all conditions. The supportive midsole and durable tread offer plenty of traction while in no way compromising style. If you are looking for a high-performance boot that will keep you feeling great through a long day of working and riding, the Terrain H20 from Ariat is the boot.

Ariat Olympia Euro Seat Knee Patch Breech

These classic Ariat riding breeches feature advanced technology. They are made of a unique nylon fabric with a soft cotton lining, meaning that they are breathable but still durable and stain resistant. The four-way stretch fabric ensures that these breeches will give riders of every shape and size the flattering fit they are looking for.

Ariat Tek Grip Riding Gloves

Even with the enormous range of high-end gear available to today’s horse rider, sometimes the simplest things are still the best. These Ariat riding gloves are a perfect example. Ariat’s Tek Grip gloves feature a palm and fingers made of synthetic suede to give you excellent grip, while the back is made of a durable stretch material. A simple Velcro closure adds an extra bit of practicality. These gloves offer everything you need, with no unnecessary extras.

Your Turn: Tell Us Your Favorite Ariat Items

We love Ariat riding apparel, and Dover customers are big fans of Ariat, too. What’s your favorite piece of Ariat gear?

3 Tips for Organizing a Barn

Spring has arrived (at last!) in many regions of the country. If you’re like most riders, you’re enjoying the fresh air and sunshine and the warmth of the sun as you ride. Spring is also a time for organizing your barn. Tack and riding equipment have a funny way or piling up and getting disheveled during long, cold winter months, and the thaw of Spring is a perfect reason to tidy up the barn.

Here are a few tips to help you organize your barn for Spring:

1. Remove out-of-season items from the barn

Winter riding apparel and heavy fleece coolers should be cleaned and packed away. A large tack trunk is perfect for stowing away winter gear during spring and summer months. You can use the same trunk to store summer riding gear and equipment when cool weather returns in the fall. Look for a sturdy trunk or rodent-proof bin.

2. Clean and store horse blankets

That heavy-weight turnout blanket you used all winter? Stow it away! Bulky winter horse clothing takes up space; clean horse blankets and store them in an air-tight container. Products like Nikwax Rug Wash™ are ideal for use on waterproof horse clothing. You can also search for a professional horse cleaner in your area.

3. Add cedar blocks to tack trunks to deter pests

Nothing is more frustrating than taking seasonal horse gear out of storage and discovering it’s full of holes. Rodents, moths, and other pests can wreak havoc on your horse tack and riding apparel – gear you’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on. Protect your gear by placing a cedar block inside your tack trunk and securing the lid tightly before stashing it away for the summer.

Organizing a barn for spring can be a tedious, time-consuming chore, but it’s worth it. You’ll extend the life of your tack and spend less time rummaging through clutter when it’s time to ride.

Spotlight on M. Toulouse Saddles

Marcel Toulouse is known for their ability to blend old world quality with the latest advances in saddle making at a remarkable value. Featuring classic French designs, every M. Toulouse saddle is made of the finest materials available, with high-end craftsmanship. It’s one reason the brand is incredibly popular with riders who shop at Dover Saddlery.

Toulouse saddles combine classic lines with modern technology to make a truly unique product that can be easily customized to fit horses and riders of all shapes and sizes. Toulouse offers a wide range of saddle models to suit the needs of Dressage Riders as well as close contact saddle models that work for a variety of horse jumping sports. The easiest way to find a saddle you love is to visit a Dover store to see and feel the saddle for yourself. Looking for suggestions? Here are a few Toulouse saddles we are proud to offer.

Aachen Pro Dressage Saddle with Genesis

Serious dressage riders need to use a saddle that keeps them in intimate contact with their horse; this sensitivity can make the difference between scoring a five and a ten in competition. The pull-up leather provides a secure and broken in feel from day one. With the Genesis adjustable gullet system you will be able to custom fit all your horses. The system adjusts to virtually any saddle width needed-millimeter by millimeter. Soft wool panels and Y-girthing give this Toulouse saddle a secure, comfortable fit that your horse will appreciate as much as you do.

Celine Close Contact Saddle

This saddle offers incredible quality for the price. It is made with attention to detail that is often not found in saddles costing twice as much. Comfort Fit Panels found in Marcel Toulouse saddles enable riders to enjoy the benefits of both foam and wool flocking. The wool is stuffed into a foam panel lining and can be adjusted for the horse. The foam panel lining is intended to help reduce pressure points. The Adjusta-Block system allows the rider to change the knee block to customize the rider’s leg fit. This jumping saddle is ideal for Equitation and Hunter/Jumper Riders.

Denisse Close Contact Saddle with Genesis

This is a great jump saddle with a slightly deeper seat making it ideal for Equitation and Hunt Seat riders. The narrow twist combined with a textured leather seat offers a secure feel, while the anatomic knee rolls hold the rider’s leg in position on the flat and over fences. The patented Genesis adjustable gullet system allows precise, millimeter-by-millimeter adjustment, meaning that this Toulouse saddle adjusts to any tree size your horse needs. The adjustable knee and calf blocks offer a customizable fit that will work for a variety of riders.

Equestrian Brands We Love: Weatherbeeta

One of the most popular horse blanket brands at Dover is Weatherbeeta. Weatherbeeta has been in the horse blanket business for over 35 years. They’re known for their strong, durable fabrics and breathability, as well as their computer stitching technologies that ensure high-strength seam construction. All of their turnout seams are sealed to ensure the ultimate waterproofing and protection. They offer three main lines of blankets that range in features and pricing.

Weatherbeeta Features a Range of Horse Blankets Styles

The Weatherbeeta Freestyle Turnout Blanket line is the ultimate in freedom, comfort, and protection. These horse blankets are built for durability with tough outer fabrics, waterproof & breathable outers, rust resistant gun metal fittings, and quick clip front closures. The comfort features for your horse include a cupped shoulder darts, forward positioned gussets, wither relief, a comfort cuff, and a full wrap tail flap. Available in Pony, Cob, Horse, and Oversize options.

Weatherbeeta Winter Horse Blankets

There’s nothing like an original, and the Weatherbeeta Original line is no exception. The line offers superior quality, traditional styling, with mid-price affordability. The durability features of the Original line include a tough outer fabric that’s waterproof and breathable, plus adjustable twin chest straps for easy on/off. The comfort features for your horse include traditional side gussets and a large tail flap. Available in Cob, Horse, and Oversize options.

The Weatherbeeta Genero line offers Weatherbeeta quality for Equestrians on a budget. The durability features of the Genero Line include a tough outer fabric that’s waterproof and breathable, plus adjustable twin chest straps and removable leg straps. Other features include low cross surcingles with rubber stoppers for a secure fit that resists coming undone. Available in Cob, Horse, and Oversize options.

Year-Round Comfort: Weatherbeeta Blankets for Every Type of Horse

The Weatherbeeta Freestyle 1680D Detach-A-Neck Medium Weight Turnout Blanket offers a 3-in-1 system to layer your horse based on current condition. Comes in a medium weight or a heavy weight option. The medium weight version includes a removable 120 gram liner with a 100 gram outer shell provides versatility. The heavy weight turnout option has the same 100 gram versatile outer shell plus a 300 gram liner.

Weatherbeeta Freestyle TurnoutFor a premium quality turnout that stands tough against horseplay and wet, muddy conditions, the WeatherBeeta® Freestyle 1200D Turnout Sheet is hard to beat. Waterproof, high denier triple weave shell is breathable and lined with mesh to encourage air flow.

Looking for a pony blanket? You’d be hard pressed to beat the Weatherbeeta Orican Freestyle 1200D Detach-a-Neck Medium Pony Turnout, which features a 1200 denier outer shell with 220 grams of poly fill insulation.

A mid price option that’s waterproof, breathable, and Weatherbeeta quality, the Weatherbeeta 1200D Standard Neck-Medium Weight Blanket will keep your horse comfortable all winter. It’s available in Cob, Horse, and Oversize options.

The Weatherbeeta Genero Turnout Sheet is a great basic turnout sheet at an affordable price. Waterproof and breathable, this horse sheet has a 1200 denier ripstop outer shell and a 210 denier hygienic nylon lining. Available in Cob, Horse, and Oversize options.

The Genero line also offers a medium weight turnout. The Weatherbeeta Genero Standard Neck Medium Weight Turnout Blanket is both waterproof and breathable. This mid-weight winter horse blanket has a durable 1200 denier ripstop outer shell, 220 grams of poly fill for warmth and a hygienic 210 denier nylon lining. Comes in Cob, Horse, and Oversize options.

To view Dover’s full selection of Weatherbeeta horse clothing, visit our horse blankets page. And don’t forget to check out our tips for blanketing a horse.

Turnout Blanket vs. Turnout Sheet: TIps for Blanketing a Horse

In our recent posts, we shared tips to help equestrians stay warm when riding in winter. A good pair of winter breeches and winter riding boots are essential for winter horseback riding. But what about keeping your horse warm?

To blanket or not to blanket? That is always the question. Horses with thick, fluffy coats that are seldom ridden in winter may not need a blanket at all. These horses do well with natural protection, and may only need a mid-weight blanket to put on for extra cold or wet weather. Other horses will strongly benefit from the regular use of winter blankets. These include horses that are ridden in the winter months, clipped horses, older horses or horses that have trouble keeping on weight.

All horses turned out in wet or windy weather will certainly appreciate the protection a good winter turnout blanket can provide. We get a lot of questions about horse blankets, so we thought we’d share a few tips on blanketing a horse.

What Type of Winter Horse Blanket Should I Buy?

There are two main styles of horse blankets designed for your horse to wear in the winter. Turnout Blankets are waterproof and durable articles of horse clothing that are made to stand up to the elements. Stable Blankets are designed for use in and around the stable and under supervision, rather than for the rigors of turnout. They provide warmth in the barn at night and are great for layering. Stable blankets are typically water repellent to resist urine or manure stains, but are not waterproof.

What Determines the Warmth of a Horse Blanket?

Blanket warmth is determined by grams of fill. The more fill or “weight” a blanket has, the more insulation it offers. Turnout blankets and stable blankets are available in lightweights, mid-weights, and heavyweights.

The lightest turnout option is called a turnout sheet. Similar to a raincoat, these protect from the wind and wet conditions, but have no fill for additional insulation. The lightest stable blanket available is known as a stable sheet. These sheets are intended to keep your horse clean and do not have any fill to insulate or warm your horse.

Lightweight turnout blanket from Riders InternationalLike the turnout sheet, the light weight turnout is waterproof and it typically adds 100 grams of fill, making it an ideal choice for fall and spring, as well as areas with a mild winter. Consider the Riders International Hug, a lightweight turnout.

Medium weight turnouts and blankets have 180-250 grams of fill. Midweights work well for horses with shorter coats that switch to a heavier blanket in severe weather. They are also popular for horses that are not typically blanketed who need the help of a warm blanket on wet or exceptionally cold days. The heavyweight turnout has 300 to 440 grams of fill and are best reserved for extreme cold weather conditions, body clipped horses, and horses that struggle with keeping warm.

Stable Blankets contain insulating fill weights that range from 100 to 400 grams. These insulated blankets are commonly used in the stable allowing you to replace a horse’s heavier outerwear with a loftier item that will keep your horse warm while stabled. They are also ideal for layering under turnout blankets on extra cold days.

Do I Need to Worry about Denier When Blanketing a Horse?

The Denier of the blanket refers to how tough and sturdy the outer of a turnout blanket is. Blanket deniers typically range from 200d in stable blankets up to 2000d in turnouts. The higher the denier, the more closely woven the material of the blanket outer making it less likely to rip. Some horses are not hard on blankets, while others work to masterfully take them off the minute you put it on. If your horse is turned out with other horses, or is known as the barn Houdini, investing in a blanket with a higher denier may be worth your while.

Which Horse Blanket is Best for My Horse?

Stay tuned later this week when we’ll profile Weatherbeeta, a longtime leader in horse blankets. Weatherbeeta has a range blankets to keep your horse comfortable in any weather condition. We’ll review the most popular choices, share customer reviews, and offer more tips for blanketing a horse.

Libertyville Discussions: How Chiropractic Care Helps Your Horse

Discussions at Dover: How Chiropractic Care Helps Your Horse
Thursday 3/13/14, 6:30-7:30 pm

Click here for store directions & hours!

Presented by:
Dr. Tracy Busalacchi, Elkorn Veterinary Clinic

Learn how spinal manipulation can help relieve pain, rehabilitate from injury,
achieve better performance and treat lameness and neurologic issues.

Free admission and refreshments, door prizes, $5 gift certificate for every attendee.

Discussions at Dover: How Chiropractic Care Helps Your Horse
Thursday 3/13/14, 6:30-7:30 pm

Presented by:
Dr. Tracy Busalacchi, Elkorn Veterinary Clinic

Learn how spinal manipulation can help relieve pain, rehabilitate from injury, achieve better performance and treat lameness and neurologic issues.

Free admission and refreshments, door prizes, $5 gift certificate for every attendee.

Click here for directions & hours:

http://bit.ly/13XOFjW

Equestrian Brands We Love: Irideon

Designed, tested, and made in the USA, Irideon riding breeches, tights, jods and t-shirts are created by riders for riders. Irideon apparel is tested in the saddle to ensure a comfortable fit for every rider.

Dover Saddlery offers riding breeches and an assortment of Irideon riding apparel in a variety of sizes, colors, fabrics for women and children. Their commitment to meeting Equestrians’ needs shows in the comfort and durability their products provide. Year after year, they come out with great styling options, including breeches that perform well for horse shows as well as trail riding, three season breeches, stylish riding tights, children’s breeches, bootcut and jean style breeches, and more! Let’s take a look at some of the most popular styles and see why we love them.

Irideon breechesIrideon® Cadence™ Breeches. The Irideon® Cadence™ Breeches offer great range of motion and a flattering fit that makes them ideal in the show ring, on the trail, as well as a go-to breech for schooling.

You’ll love the durable, lightweight, 4-way stretch material that supports in all the right places, without hindering your performance. The corded fabric provides a “ribbed” texture that looks great and is flattering to any rider’s shape.

In addition, these ladies’ riding breeches are constructed with seams that won’t chafe. They are available in both full seat and knee patch riding breeches made of an anti-pilling Chamisoft™ that resists hair, hay and shavings. The sizing options for these exceptional riding breeches include ladies’ regular and long lengths as well as regular and plus sizes up to a 3X. Children’s sizing is also available in the Irideon® Cadence knee patch riding breech.

Irideon Issential TightsIrideon® Issential™ Tights. Irideon® Issential™ Tights are made of a pull on stretchable material that’s ideal for schooling and trail riding. The easy-care Issential™ Microfiber fabric, makes them breathable and abrasion-resistant – the perfect pants for working around horses.

These riding tights wick moisture away from your skin while the four-way stretch allows complete freedom of movement. Like the Cadence breech, they’re sewn with no-chafe seams, body-contouring panels and Chamisoft™ knee patches.

The gripper elastic at the ankles and a 1 1/2″ no-roll waistband keep everything neatly in place. One of the best features about these riding tights is the fact that they come in ladies’ regular rise and low rise styling options, as well as children’s sizing, making them a must-have for nearly all equestrians.

Irideon topline tightsIrideon® Issential Topline Tight. For those looking to add some fun to their riding apparel, you will want to check out the Irideon® Issential Topline Tight. This riding pant has all the great features of Irideon riding tights with the popular style contrasting fold-down waistband. Pair it with an Irideon riding shirt for an easy-to-wear look. In four-way stretch fabric, this wickable riding tight features body contouring panels, Chamisoft™ knee patches, and gripper elastic ankles.

Irideon® Saratoga Polo Shirt. The Irideon® Saratoga Polo Shirt was made for riding! It features wrinkle-resistant, four-way stretch fabric that will keep you looking good and riding your best. By using breathable materials, Irideon ensures that you stay cool and comfortable in the saddle. This ladies’ polo shirt features slimming princess seaming and body contouring panels that create a feminine silhouette. Great colors and sleek styling make this women’s riding top an asset to your riding wardrobe. Available in Ladies’ and Children’s sizing options.

Irideon henleyIrideon® Quarterline Henley. The Irideon® Quarterline Henley shirt may just be the most comfortable top in your wardrobe. The material feels silky-soft against your skin. Great for the barn or around the town, this sporty women’s top is made highly breathable four-way stretch fabric that moves with you and dries quickly for maximum comfort. This riding top has elegant feminine features and an embroidered pony on the hip that any horse enthusiast will appreciate. This shirt goes great with breeches or jeans!

Irideon Riding Wear provides the fit and style to keep you comfortable in the saddle, while still looking great. Whether you’re looking for a quality pair of show pants, or your new favorite top and tights for the trails, come check Dover’s extensive line of Irideon riding apparel to suit all your horseback riding needs.