Well, spring is coming, no matter how far away it seems... this means we have the wonderful thing known as mud that's going to be covering every inch of our wonderfully furry friends. This is, in particular, most frustrating for us draft lovers. Mud stuck in feather is a PITA to deal with.
So, there's the issue of keeping your horses clean and happy as you put them (and yourselves!) back into training.
However, on top of this problem which is bad enough, say, in the middle of summer... us in the north also have to deal with horses shedding their winter coats.
So, this is a discussion! Share your mud and shedding solutions.
A few years ago I was introduced to a wonderful thing called a shedding stone. If your horses' winter hair is coming out in patches or if you have an early-mid spring show coming up and need your horse looking sharp, you can pick up a shedding stone at your local horse supply store. It also works for getting out stubborn patches of mud.
It's actually just a big pumice stone. It's smooth and gentle and feels like a massage.
If that's not available, I love the good old rubber curry comb. That, a body brush, and a damp cloth with thoroughly clean a coat just as well.
For feather, you can bring a bucket of warm water, plastic curry comb, mane comb, rag, and some elastic bands... soak the feather and wash it all out with the water and rag, brush it thoroughly and shampoo, whatever you need to do, comb it out and if you can manage it, blow dry it.
Separate the feather, band it, and braid it, fold it up like a plait and band it, and a workout later your draft won't have huge mud balls stuck to its feet.
You can keep it braided in the field, even. I'm not so sure about keeping it folded but again it saves the problems of your drafts coming in with mud balls stuck to their legs that makes you want to shear all that stuff off. I've only ever done it with show drafts... the others I just clip the feather right off in the spring, it's not worth it.
Of course nothing works better than a thorough bath. And dish soap.