Not only are there many benefits to grooming your horse such as assisting with their behaviour and training but it should be an activity that is enjoyable for both you and your horse. Daily grooming gives you a chance to bond with your horse while monitoring any changes, injuries and infections. Here are seven steps to grooming your horse.
Step 1: Tools and Securing your Horse
Secure your horse safely by either using cross ties or a quick release knot. Bring together all the necessary brushes, oils, cleaning solutions, sprays and clippers. Ideally these should be stored together in a box or bucket. Specifically used tools include a curry comb, body brush, mane & tail comb, finishing brush and a soft cloth.
Step 2: Clean the hooves
Starting one at a time, gently squeeze the back of your horse’s leg along the tendons and bring the leg up. Hold onto the hoof, using a hoof pick pry out any dirt or manure clogged in sole of the foot. Always look out for any injury or signs of thrush. If you notice any cracks on the hooves, take note as this needs to be consulted with a farrier.
Step 3: Currying
Start this by using the curry comb to loosen any dirt or grit on your horse’s coat. It is advised to always go in a circular motion sweeping all over the body. Some horses are sensitive around the belly and between back legs, while others can be sensitive skinned so you need to adjust the pressure accordingly. Be gentle and use a light touch to brush in these areas also keeping in mind bony areas. Overall this brushing must be enjoyed by your horse and they will show you signs when in dislike, so make necessary changes to make it a pleasurable experience for your horse. Watch out for any skin lesions or wounds, which will need further attention.
Step 4: Detangle Mane and Tail
Gently brush your horse’s mane and tail with a plastic mane comb. Start from the bottom and slowly move up always brushing downwards. This will unravel all knots and you can see a smooth, healthy mane and tail. You can also use a grooming spray to avoid much tangling between grooming sessions.
Step 5: Body Brush
This is another coat brush, unlike currying where coarse dirt is removed. Body brushing removes anything that was left back after currying. This kind of brush has longer but stiff bristles. You will need to start on one end and brush vigorously in sweeping strokes along the direction of hair growth.
Step 6: Finish Brush
Use this short and soft haired brush to bring out the shine on your horse’s natural coat. Again with sweeping strokes across the body and also using this brush on the face, the fine bristles on the brush will help smoothen your horse’s hair and give them a soft and glossy finish.
Step 7: Eyes & Ears
Now, you will have to get into the nooks and corners using a soft cloth or a lightly damp sponge. Carefully wipe around the eyes, ears and muzzles cleaning any dirt. Also check the eyes for any rash, infections or redness follow up with a vet if you notice anything unusual. Wipe the dock and tail head using a sponge.
Every horse is unique in its own way and their requirements all differ. Make this encounter a pleasant and relaxing one for you and your horse.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.