Is your horse’s coat static when you brush it? Are you looking for just the right product or technique to stop the static? Do you wonder how to groom a horse without static? Does your horse not like to be groomed because of static?
As human beings – it’s in our nature to always look how to solve problems by DOING something. Sometimes, however, it is what we do that causes the problem and we need to STOP doing it…. One example is static when grooming your horse.
Horse Grooming Without Static
To front-load this blog post a little: I own three very different horses – a dark bay – a medium bay – a gray. The bays have thick manes and tails, the gray has very fine mane and tail hair. All three are pastured year-round in the Midwest and only get a full body bath twice per year!
When you read my tips below, you will see why I advocate for bathing your horse less, using less mane and tail spray on your horse and instead, focusing on a regular, structured grooming routine. You can read more about our 4-Step-Grooming Process here.
Going ‘old school’ means ‘less is more’ (less mane spray, less horse shampoo, less horse coat conditioner, less static).
The Dos and Dont’s of Grooming Your Horse Without Static
Today, I got a question from a customer, who experienced static when using the ‘non-static’ flick brush by Haas. How can a non-static flick brush cause static?
Any synthetic brush can cause static under the right (wrong…) circumstances. Let me explain:
A synthetic horse brush – even the very high-quality, soft, non-scratching and non-static dandy brush by Haas – will cause static under these circumstances:
Your Horse’s coat is dried out by too much bathing.
Bathing strips the horse’s coat not only of dirt but also of oils that are produced in the little glands at the root of each hair. Without this oil, the coat does not shine as it should and the hair does not lay flat on the horse’s skin.
Just as you experience with your own hair (since we humans do not like greasy hair…), brushing with a synthetic brush will electrically charge the dry hair and cause static.
DONT – Bathe your horse with shampoo more then a few times per year (spring, summer, fall).
DO – Instead groom your horse regularly and if needed – hose the horse off WITHOUT using shampoo.
DO – When bathing with shampoo, dissolve the horse shampoo in a bucket of water, then wash the horse with a wash brush and rinse off thoroughly. This way, you prevent shampoo residue on your horse’s coat and skin.
You have used the wrong horse brush for a long time.
You may have used a cheaper synthetic horse brush of less quality, which actually roughens and destroys the horse’s individual hair and strips the hair of oils. The effect is dry hair that will get charged when brushed with any synthetic brush.
DO – Toss out old scratchy plastic brushes and invest in durable, preferably natural brushes or high-quality synthetic brushes for better results.
You may use low-quality (sorry, even if expensive…) detanglers or ‘shine sprays’.
The immediate result of such sprays can be quite convincing: The horse looks better at first glance, it is shiny and smells good (the horse does not care about this ;-). However, there is a price to pay.
The chemicals and ingredients of such sprays are not natural to the horse’s skin environment. They will prevent natural oils from reaching the horse’s hair and the vicious cycle (and the static….) begins. Buildup, shampoo to remove the buildup, dull hair, apply more shine spray….
DONT: Use shine sprays or other chemical sprays on your horse’s coat. Brushing your horse the right way will do wonders without chemicals
DO: Use detangler sprays on your horse’s tail and mane only.
Conclusion: Your horse’s coat naturally possesses everything it needs to make it nice and shiny. The oils (sebum) that your horse’s skin produces are the best shining agent. Stripping the oils from the horse’s coat will lead to dry hair and static when brushed.
SUMMARY – HOW TO BRUSH YOUR HORSE WITHOUT STATIC
- Curry your horse thoroughly
- Use the flick brush (either natural flick brush or high-quality Haas non-static flick brush) in short, flicking strokes or to brush mane and tail, after you detangle them.
- Use horse shampoos, detanglers, conditioners with true, nature-derived moisturizing agents. Most chemical products create dullness and static, which then leads the horse owner to believe more bathing is needed and the vicious cycle starts.
- Maintain the natural oils on your horse’s coat by not shampooing the body hair more than two or three times per year (just spot clean and shampoo mane and tail) = no static and lots of shine (if groomed correctly and regularly)!
- If your horse has lost the natural oils from its coat by bathing too much or with the wrong products, just give it some time. You can shower with water, but do not use any shampoo or conditioner for at least 1 month.
- Groom thoroughly and regularly with high-quality tools. Use our 4-Step Grooming Process.
So you see, when it comes to static horse coats, it’s not so much what we have to do, but what we have to STOP DOING.
- No excessive bathing
- No chemical shampoos, sprays, conditioners
- No cheap brushes that damage the hair and follicle
Do you have grooming questions? We would love to hear from you!
Enjoy your horse!