How do you keep your horse's feathers from damage and breaking? And how can you make a Friesian's legs (or other feathered horse's legs) look spiffy for the show ring?
Feathered legs require some extra care, but it's not too complicated.
-Your horse should be on a well balanced diet to maintain some healthy hair growing habits.
-You need to use your fingertips diligently every day to inspect the legs. Feathers hide a lot of things - scratches, wind puffs, swollen tendons, scabs, coronary band changes, hoof injuries, you name it. You eyes are not enough here!
-Clean and protect the hair with a gently shampoo and your choice of detanglers. This will help to repel stains and keep knots out of the feathers. You may be experimenting with some products, as residues can be irritating and attractive to dirt.
-Feathered legs tend to have lots of extraneous, elephant hair type stragglers that grow up the legs and over the knees and hocks, front and back. These spikey hairs can be trimmed with your clippers used in the SAME direction as the hair growth to tidy up the legs. This presents a much nicer and cleaner show picture.
What do you guys like to do to maintain tidy feathers?