Even though spring is just a month a way, does your horse still sport the shaved look and some racing stripes? Fortunately, our unofficial mascot, Big Rabs, didn’t need to get body clipped this year. The sweet guy was able to preserve his dignity ever so slightly since he didn’t look like a naked mole rat the past few months.
Was your partner in crime not so lucky? And does your horse seem to get a little more sensitive and irritated at the girth now, too? It may not necessarily be a coincidence. Sometimes irritation, dry skin, and sensitivity around the girth area are the result of a chafing or poorly fitting girth. However, for horses with a close body clip, the culprit for discomfort might actually be the leather care products used to care for your girth.
Got racing stripes? Irritated girth area, too? Your girth might not be the only one to blame.
Your horse’s coat and delicate skin are very susceptible to product irritation during this time of year if their coat is clipped. Without the usually thicker buffer of hair, the tack cleaners and conditioners you use on your girth can more easily get onto your horse’s skin. If any of these products contain harsh or potentially irritating ingredients, this may very well be the reason for your horse’s lumps and bumps, dry skin, and sensitivity at the girth. Coupled with winter’s cold dry air, it is easy to see how your horse’s skin could quickly become chapped, flaky, and uncomfortable. Think about your poor hands this time of year.
If you are dealing with girth area issues, we suggest you consider not only the fit of your girth but also if the leather care products you are using are contributing to the problem. When shopping for superior leather care, look for products that are gentle, and steer clear of harsh and counterproductive ingredients such as alcohol, lanolin, glycerin, petroleum based products, mink oil, and other similar materials.
We totally sympathize with you, too. One of our horses a number of years ago, Pierre, was very sensitive to products and would break out along his girth and under his bridle leather. This is just one of the reasons we developed our own line of gentle animal friendly leather care products. You can definitely take comfort in the fact that there is a solution out there for you. With a little research and possibly trial and error, you’ll be on your way in no time to happy horses and no more lumps and bumps!