One of the benefits of having lived in both Victoria and England is that I really do understand mud.
Believe it or not Murphy, pictured, has four white legs. In fact white is his predominant colour. The first winter I owned him I did everything the vets told me to do: I clipped his feathers, I picked off his scabs. I washed the mud off morning and night and sprayed his legs with Hibiscrub. He had mud protection boots on in the field and wicking boots in the stable. I spent about 2 hours a day just dealing with mud fever that went right up his legs and over his back!
So the next year I took a different approach:
* I left the feathers on - they direct water away from the skin and leave it dry
* I left the scabs on - nature's band aid
* I left the mud on - it forms a protecting barrier that wicks the water away from the skin and stops more mud and water getting to the skin. If I had to wash his legs for a lesson or a competition I did spray with HIbiscrub - right down to the skin
* And I fed the best immune system support I knew - Fight Back
The result no time spent faffing around with stuff - and absolutely no mud fever for the rest of his life!