As a horse owner or caretaker, you must be sure to properly groom your horse. Horses need to be groomed often to keep clean, most importantly, but also to promote a sleek and shiny coat. Grooming also gives the owner a perfect chance to develop a bond with their horse. The following is a brief overview of how you can make sure you are properly grooming your horse.
Tie Up Your Horse
(Don’t forget this step).
Clean Out Your Horse’s Hooves.
Horses are subject to getting all kinds of debris stuck in their hooves. From dirt and mud to rocks, broken glass, and just about anything else you could imagine, there’s no doubt that you had better keep your horse’s hooves clean if you want to keep him happy. Use a pick and start at the base of the heel and move toward the toe. Be sure to stay as close to the horse’s body as possible while cleaning the hooves. If you stand too far away, you run the risk of getting kicked. A horse’s feet are very important, so while you’re cleaning be sure to check for warning signs like bad smells or soft areas. Also check for loose shoes. If the shoe moves around at all, make sure you get it firmly replaced before riding your horse again to avoid further problems.
Wipe the Horse’s Eyes and Nose
Get a warm damp washcloth and carefully remove any dirt under and around your horse’s eyes. Rinse off the cloth, then quickly scrub out their nostrils taking care not to upset the horse.
Loosen Dirt from the Horse’s Skin with a Curry Comb.
A curry comb is a flat oval comb used for horse care. The purpose of a curry comb is to loosen mud stuck deep in the horse’s skin. The technique is simple – use a rapid, circular brushing motion all over the horse’s body. Just make sure not to brush extra bony surfaces like the lower legs and around the nose. This is probably the most important step in grooming your horse. Although it will take a lot of effort on your part, your horse’s coat will really benefit.
Remove Dirt from the Horse with a Dandy Brush.
The dandy brush has hard bristles and is intended to remove the dirt brought out with the curry brush. You’ll want to use short strokes and remove all the dirt covering the horse. Make sure not to use anywhere on the horse’s face. If the horse is extremely dirty or muddy, you can use a wet towel to try and remove excess dirt before using the dandy brush. You can also use a wet towel or cloth on the face and belly in lieu of using the brush.
Finish with a Body Brush.
Once you’ve removed all the dirt from your horse “buff” him up with a nice, soft-bristled body brush. This will relax the horse and also help give the coat a sleek and clean look.
Comb the Tail and Mane.
Start at the base of the tail and carefully comb all the tangles out of the horse’s hair, be sure to use your fingers whenever possible. You really don’t want to pull the horse’s hair out by combing it too hard, and this can also cause the horse pain. You want your horse to be comfortable with his cleaning routine. Repeat the same process along the mane.
Give Your Horse a Treat.
Make it a Habit.
Grooming a horse can be a LOT of work but once you get the routine down it will breeze by, and you’ll be rewarded by developing a close and long lasting friendship with your horse.