Every owner needs to care for their horse. Grooming horses isn’t as easy as you think. Follow these steps to ensure your horse has a healthy coat and mane!
Love it or hate it, grooming horses is an important part of owning one or more of these animals.
The good news is that, once you’ve got a routine going, grooming a horse shouldn’t take more than a half-hour every day.
Benefits of Grooming Horses
No horse owner wants their steed to look like an unkempt mess out in public or in the paddock, but the benefits extend way beyond appearances and general hygiene.
For starters, it can help you to forge a strong bond with the animal that you intend to trust with your life from time to time. In the wild, horses groom each other using their teeth and lips. This mutual grooming activity is one of their most important social interactions, helping to form strong relationships within the herd.
When you are the one doing the grooming, you help to create feelings of trust and companionship with your horse. While you are up close and personal with your horse, you are more likely to notice any behavior changes that can signify illness and you’ll also unearth any parasites lurking in their coat.
Before you get started, you need to have all your horse grooming essentials close at hand. You’ll need two sponges, a rubber curry comb, dandy brush, horse body brush, metal curry comb, mane comb, and hoof pick.
Step one is confining your horse in a stable or tying them up. If you don’t, they’re bound to get distracted and wander off during the process.
How to Groom a Horse
Take a wet sponge and gently wipe your horse’s eyes and nose, use the second sponge to clean under their tail. Brush their face with the body brush, taking care not to bump any bony protrusions as you go along.
Always use circular motions when brushing your horse, starting and ending in line with the lie of their hair.
If your horse is muddy or shedding their coat, you’ll need the rubber curry comb to loosen the grit and loose hair. You should only ever use this brush on large flat areas of muscle. Repeat the process with the dandy brush.
Grab the body brush and brush all over the horse’s body and legs. Every three strokes, run the metal curry comb through the brush to clean it.
During the winter, horses grow thick coats which are difficult to keep clean. You can save yourself a lot of time by investing in a pair of horse clippers and shaving off most of this thick hair.
Clipping a horse is tricky so get an experienced horse owner to show you how it’s done. If you clip your horse, you must put a blanket on it at night to guard against the chill.
Mane, Tail and Hoof Care
Finish off by combing your horse’s mane with a mane comb and brushing their tail out with the body brush. Set the mane neatly to one side with the dampened body brush.
If you don’t have time to groom your horse thoroughly, a once over with a dandy brush will do, but you should never neglect to pick out their feet. Picking out your horse’s feet with a specially-designed hoof pick removes any foreign objects that can damage the sole of the foot, as well as mud and manure.
There you have it, grooming horses is easier than you thought, right? Keep reading our blog for more information on how to keep your animals happy and healthy.