If you’ve got competition animals, this winter has probably been tough—especially if you’ve needed to get them cleaned up for a show.
For horses, bathing is inadvisable in freezing temperatures, especially if your barn doesn’t have heat lamps. You may notice, especially if you blanket or clip your horse, that dandruff is a problem on dried skin or manes. Serious time with your curry comb is the best remedy, although conditioner sprays can also help to put the moisture back into the hair. Keep an eye on horses with feathers to monitor for ice balls or frozen mud.
For show goats, it’s not a great time of year to begin body clipping. Check the judging guidelines in your area—in colder regions, many judges will permit just dairy clips (where the hair is only clipped around the udder area) or a lighter clip with a snap-on comb over your clippers.
For cattle, winter is an important time to keep an eye out for lice, which are a bigger problem now when the sunshine and rain aren’t around to help cattle shed them. Insecticides can help you bring them under control, but you need to ensure you get all cows in the herd. Some experts suggest that pour-on insecticide is more effective than self-application techniques, which can miss important patches of skin.