Horses are incredible animals and most of us have a dream of owning a horse. However, most people don’t realize the amount of work and dedication required that goes into taking care of your equestrian friend.
One of the small things that are done frequently is grooming, and it should not be underestimated.
Grooming a horse is more than just keeping it clean – it’s a way to build a strong bond with your equine friend while ensuring their overall health and well-being. You might not be preparing your horse for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup, but it is still a task that needs to be done at least once a week.
Most people think that grooming is a process that makes the horse look more visually appealing, but in reality, grooming has many health benefits for the horse and it can prevent various skin issues.
So, in today’s article, we will go through the grooming process of a horse, find out what you need, and how to do it properly.
Gather Your Supplies
The first and obvious step is to get everything you need for grooming a horse. You’ll need a curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush, hoof pick, mane and tail comb, detangler spray, sponges, water, and a towel.
It might look overwhelming from the start, but once you get the hang of it, it is not a difficult process.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary equipment for grooming, it is time to go to the first step of the grooming process.
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Tie Your Horse
Safety first! Horses love to be groomed, but even if your horse sits in one position and doesn’t move a lot, it may shift its weight or move their feet during grooming. So, the best way is to tie up your horse.
The best way to tie up a horse for grooming is to choose a position that is the height of their withers (shoulders) and use a quick-release knot.
Start With the Curry Comb
This is one of the steps that horses love, just because the massage-like action of the curry comb stimulates blood circulation and helps your equine friends to relax.
The curry comb’s job is to remove dirt, dust, and loose hair from your horse’s coat. Remember to go into circular motion when brushing your horse and avoid sensitive areas.
Move on to the Stiff Brush
Once the dirt, dust, and loose hairs are on the surface, it is time to remove them by using a stiff brush. However, this time it is best not to use circular motion when brushing and there are a few reasons for that.
First of all, you need to remove the dirt brought to the surface by the curry comb, and circular motion can push the dirt back in. Instead, you should be brushing in the direction of your horse’s hair growth.
This brushing technique will not only clean your horse but also give their coat a polished shine. To give the horse even extra shine, you can use a soft brush for a smooth finish.
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Be Careful with Sensitive Areas
After grooming your horse’s coat, the job is not done. You still need to clean their eyes, ears, and muzzle.
In order to do this safely, make sure to use a dampened sponge or stable rubber cloth. The idea is to wipe gently around these sensitive areas. While you are cleaning your horse, it might be a good time to check for signs of eye infections, swelling, or redness in the horse’s ears.
Use a Comb for the Mane and Tail
Gently detangle the mane and tail using a specialized comb and detangler spray.
But before you use the comb, make sure to go in there and carefully detangle any hairs. Use your fingers to spread the horse mane and tail, and you can use your brush to straighten up the hairs.
Starting from the ends, work your way up to prevent hair breakage. A well-tamed mane and tail not only look great but also prevent knots that can cause discomfort.
Cleaning the Hooves
The process of grooming a horse isn’t focused only on the coat of the horse. You, also need to clean the hooves.
Clean your horse’s hooves using a hoof pick. Carefully remove dirt, rocks, and debris from the hooves, checking for any signs of thrush or other issues. Clean hooves are essential for your horse’s overall well-being.