Hot towelling, a grooming secret, works wonders to give your horse's coat a deep clean. It's the perfect go-to when the weather is chilly, and giving your horse a full bath isn't an option.
The steam from the towels opens up the hair follicles, allowing for deeper cleaning and removing dirt, sweat, and oils. This results in a shinier, healthier coat, and can be particularly beneficial during shedding seasons. Who knew we could get a glowing coat in winter!
Hot towelling does more than just deeply cleanse your horse's coat; it brings additional benefits:
- Enhances your horse's circulation by stimulating blood flow with the warm towel
- Regular hot towelling can contribute to maintaining healthy skin by removing dirt and debris that could potentially lead to skin issues
- Just as a warm bath can be relaxing for humans, hot towelling has a similar effect on horses
- Hot towelling isn't just about pampering your horse; it's a special time for bonding between you and your equine buddy
Let's jump into our tutorial on how to hot towel:
Step 1: Gather Supplies
What you'll need:
- Towels (small size) - we used a selection of cotton and microfibre cloths
- A bucket of hot water (not scalding, but just bearable to touch)
- A bucket of cold water (for rinsing your towels)
- Curry comb
- Cooler rug
- No Rinse Shampoo (optional)
- Rubber gloves (optional)
Step 2: Prepare your buckets
To get started, boil some water using your kettle—two rounds should do it for your first bucket. Grab a second bucket and fill it with cold water; this will come in handy for rinsing your used washcloths. This way, you can cycle through your cloths, giving them a quick rinse and reuse without muddying up your hot water. Easy and efficient!
Step 3: Soak your towels
Once your buckets are good to go, toss in all your towels, letting them soak in the water.
Step 4: Curry, curry, curry...
While your towels soak, use a curry comb to get all the dirt and grease to the top of your horse's coat. Curry your horse's entire body using circular motions. It might take a bit of time, but consider it a great arm workout!
Step 5: Towel time!
You want your water to be just about bearable to touch - so pretty hot! Take one towel at a time and ring completely dry, you want them to be damp and not wet.
Mimic the motion you'd use with a curry comb, working through your horse's coat in small sections. Go with and against the natural lay of the hair. You might be surprised with what you see, we sure were with Holly's coat.
Once your towel is dirty (like pictures below), toss it into the cold bucket of water to rinse as to not dirty your clean hot water.
Step 6: Repeat over areas of your horses body
Pick up your next towel and repeat all over your horses body until dirt and grease has been removed. You're definitely in for a workout with this grooming method!
Bonus: Use the remaining hot water and towels to wipe over your horses mane and tail for some extra cleaning.
Step 7: Allow your horse to dry
This is where the cooler rug comes in! Your horse shouldn't be wet, more so just damp so pop your cooler rug over them for 15-20 minutes to allow them to completely dry.
Once dry give your horse a light brush to reveal their transformation!
Step 8: Admire your horses glowing coat 😍
Can we just take a moment to admire the before and after of Holly's coat? The method we've used here goes the extra mile, reaching deep into the winter buildup, and the results speak for themselves.
Try this method out and share your results with us over on Instagram @glasequine. Happy grooming!