Grooming Your Horse is an Essential Element of Horse Care

Grooming a Horse - Essential Horse Care

It’s important that you are grooming a horse regularly and thoroughly.

Grooming a horse not only picks up immediate problems that might become serious if left undetected, but also strengthens the bond between you and your horse.

Domestic horses, if turned out on their own, rely on humans to provide proper grooming and skin care.

Unlike the wild horses, who have ample opportunity to groom each other.

Grooming should be incorporated into your daily routine to maintain your horses health and happiness.

Grooming increases the circulation to your horse’s skin

Grooming releases the necessary oils that promote a vibrant and lustrous coat.

More so, than any artificial glossy coat product will ever do.

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Why You Should Groom a Horse …

Grooming not only allows us to give our horses a shiny, short, healthy coat, it also gives us the opportunity to go over our animal from head to toe, helps us notice any abnormalities such as cuts, wounds, irritations or fevers that your horse may have.

Daily grooming allows your horses’ coat to be shed gradually, easing the burden of trying to remove long hair and excess dead skin.

If you work your horse regularly you should be thoroughly and properly grooming your horse every day.

Always start on the near or left side of your horse, working your way towards the rear.

The face, legs and hips that have less muscle and more bone closer to the surface should be groomed carefully.

Grooming a Horse - body brush

Begin your grooming session with a rubber curry comb … (see horse-grooming-tools)

Comb over the horse’s entire body in circular motions.

  • Curry combing allows you to bring dust and dandruff to the surface for easy removal. It also allows for circulation to the skin. Natural oils are released promoting a healthy shine.
  • Use a rubber mitt for the face and legs.
  • Follow with a stiff brush. This removes the dirt brought to the surface by currying and returns the hair to its natural position. Short brush strokes are best for this.
  • Finish with a soft brush that removes any further dust left by the stiff brush and leaves the coat shiny.

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Grooming a Horses Face.

The face can also be brushed with the soft brush.

Start at the forehead and follow the grain of the hair.

The eyes, muzzle and nostrils can be wiped clean with a sponge and warm water, an antibacterial agent can be diluted if required.

You can also clean, the anus, vulva or sheath and between the teats this way. Applying udder cream is a good idea if your mares teats are irritable or sticky.

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Grooming a horses mane and tail.

The dock can be brushed regularly but for a full and lustrous tail see How to improve your horses tail. Always stand to the side when brushing the tail.

The mane can be combed but watch the thickness of the comb or brush that you use on the mane and tail.

Too much heavy brushing/combing can pull out or break the hair. If your horses mane lays on the wrong side see How to lay your horses mane for ways improve it.

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Grooming a Horses Hooves.

Every time you groom your horse you should pick out its feet. Foot and hoof care is one of the most important parts of grooming a horse and general overall horse care.

  • Start with the left fore foot and work your way around the horse.
  • Each hoof should be cleaned out facing the rear of the horse and always pick up the foot by squeezing the tendon above the ankle.
  • You can also check the fetlock at the same time for any fungal or bacterial problems, such as greasy heel or mud fever.
  • While the foot is in your hand, pick out the crevices around the frog as well as the frog itself with a good hoof pick. When finished, gently release the foot back to the ground.
You should also have your horses feet checked regularly by a qualified farrier. You will find additional information on your horses hoof in our horse health section. Remember; to always use common sense when grooming your horse.