A tale as old as time, you've prepped endlessly for THAT class and THAT show. Your horse is braided to perfection and you feel ready. The morning you arrive at your horse's stall, it has rubbed its mane and perfect braids out. It has happened to nearly every equestrian that has had show horses, and if it has happened to you, it's time for a sleazy or slicker!

What's a Horse Slicker

Types of Horse Slickers

We may have many names for them, like slicker, sleazy, or slinky, but they all describe the same piece of horse clothing. A slicker is an ultra stretchy mesh or lycra material hood for your horse. They’re excellent for keeping dust, hay, or any grime off your clean horse before a show. Banding or braiding a mane the night before a show can result in your horse destroying your beautiful bands, leaving you with a mess of hair before you head to the show ring. With a slicker, you can sleep soundly, knowing your horse's bands will be intact when it's show time in the morning. Slickers save time and money while protecting and keeping your horse's mane in place, whether at a show protecting those braids you spent time securing perfectly or at home to help your horse's mane grow. That is not all slickers can be used for, though. Slickers come in a vast range of options to suit different needs.

The full hood slicker covers your horse’s shoulders, neck, mane, and face. You would use this type of slicker to keep braids and bands tidy before a horse show, to help keep your horse’s mane laying flat, and/or keep their neck and face clean before a big show.

Shoulder guard slickers that only cover your horse’s shoulders. They can prevent blanket rubs in common areas like the front of its shoulders or their withers, especially on body-clipped horses.

There are also different types of therapy slickers available for your horse, including magnetic slickers and Copper-infused slickers that can help horses recover from injuries, muscle stiffness, sore backs, and help increase circulation.

A full-body slicker covers your horse from head to tail. It can keep a horse clean on show days, keeping dust and grime off their coat, so they stay polished and shiny. They can also be a comfortable, stretchy layer under a winter blanket to help prevent rubs.

Sleazys also have multiple face options. The first has a full face, with oversized eye holes for added safety that protects a horse's forelock from rubs. The second has no face and still protects the horse's mane, while the horse has no seams on its face to rub.

Finding the best slicker for your horse is easy with so many options. There’s stretchy, breathable mesh for Summer months when your horse needs to keep coats clean without additional weight. Or, to keep horses extra warm during the winter, you can find a slicker that’s fully lined with soft polar fleece.

How to Put a Slickers on Your Horse

A slicker can be pulled over its head if your horse allows it. If your horse is new to the process, a slicker with a 3/4 or full zipper might be your best bet. To put a slicker on, remove your horse's halter in a safe area like its stall. Then scrunch up the slicker starting from the bottom and working towards the ear and eye holes. The motion is similar to gathering up your sock before putting it on. Then, as you pull the slicker over your horse's head, they will be able to see. Find the eye and ear holes and secure them in place before pulling the rest of the slicker over the horse's neck and shoulders.

A slicker shouldn't be too loose on a horse's face. It will not keep a mane in place properly and can get caught on things and potentially cause an injury. It shouldn't be too tight, causing discomfort to the horse. To fit your horse correctly for a slicker, check the nose band. If the slicker is too long, it will be closer to the horse's muzzle and won't be snug on the horse's face. You should be able to fit four fingers under the nose band. The wider the elastic around the horse's face, the more comfortable it will be for the horse. The eye holes of the slicker should be large enough that they won't rub the horse's eyes.

Additionally, the ear holes should be large enough not to pull on the horse's ears. If the slicker is too big or too long for its face, the ear holes will pull against the backs of the horse's ears. Next, take a look at the throat latch. The slicker should fit snugly against the horse’s throat. The slicker is too large if you see loose fabric or wrinkles below the throat latch and down the horse’s neck. A well-fitted slicker will not have wrinkles over the crest of your horse's neck and will lie smoothly down both sides of your neck. Last is to check where the slicker secures around the girth and over the horse's shoulders. A well-fitted slicker will fit mid-way around the horse's shoulders and snug in the girth area but not too tight to leave marks on your horse's coat the next day.

How to Wash Your Horse’s Slicker

When it is time to wash your slicker, check what material it is before washing it. If it is a lycra fabric, it can be machine washed on a delicate cycle in cold water with Schneiders Blanket Wash to remove any germs or smells from sweat that could cling to the fabric. In the case of an extra smelly slicker, adding a simple household baking soda will get rid of the smell and leave your slicker smelling new. Close all zippers and velcro fastenings before washing to ensure nothing snags onto the lycra.

Click to shop more Slickers and Sleazys for Horses