Horse Grooming Tips

by Katie F on October 26, 2012

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Grooming your horse is a great way to bond with him/her.

Grooming your horse is a great way to bond with him/her.

Although horses can survive without being groomed by humans, there are many benefits to giving your horse a good brushing. Most horses enjoy being groomed, so spending time brushing your horse is a great way to bond with him or her. Grooming also provides an opportunity to look closely over your horse for any new cuts, various forms of dermatitis, and parasites such as ticks. If you are concerned about skin abrasions, dermatitis, or parasites on your horse it is best to contact your veterinarian to find out how you can properly treat the problem.

Although many riding and show horses are handled and groomed fairly often, horses that are not worked or ridden can easily be overlooked if they are out to pasture most of the time. I have a couple of old retired horses at home that I brush a few times a week, not only to give them some attention but also to check them over to make sure they have not developed wounds or skin infections that need treatment.

Besides looking over your horse for cuts, dermatitis, and parasites, there are some basic guidelines on how to groom your horse. If you are riding your horse or working him/her, it is important to make sure your horse is well groomed before placing tack on him as sores can develop if there is dirt where the tack contacts the horse.

  1. Brush the main and tail using a comb or mane and tail brush. A leave-in conditioner can be used to make removing the tangles easier. When brushing the tail or a long mane, start brushing from the bottom first and work your way upward, as it will be easier to brush out the tangles without ripping out the horse’s hair.
  2. Use a currycomb to loosen up the dirt and dandruff on the horse so that it can be more easily brushed off. When using the currycomb, brush the horse in a circular motion all over his neck, barrel, and hind end. Be very careful if you decide to use the currycomb on the horse’s face, as that is a very sensitive area.
  3. After using the currycomb, brush the horse’s body using a stiff bristled brush. The stiff bristles remove large debris on the horse’s coat such as dirt and hair. Do not use a stiff bristled brush on the horse’s head, as the skin on the horse’s face is very sensitive.
  4. Next, brush the horse’s entire body using a soft bristled brush, which removes small particles like dust from the horse’s hair coat. The soft brush is also gentle enough to use on the horse’s face.
  5. A hoof pick is used to clean debris out of the horse’s feet. It is important to remove any stones that may be caught in the horse’s foot to prevent stone bruises. This is also a good time to check your horse’s shoes, if he/she has any, to make sure none of the shoes have not become loose or bent.

Do you have any tips to share?

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Katie, the daughter of Dr. Race Foster, has been riding horses since she was six. She participates in the sport of dressage, and is currently attending college, focusing on equine studies. In 2011, along with her horse - George - she placed third at Nationals, and finished the year as the number one ranked Young Rider at the Prix St. George level for the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) year end awards.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Why Horses Need Grooming - ALove4Horses.com
November 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm
5 Short Cuts For Grooming | Thistle Ridge Equestrian Services
November 23, 2012 at 6:41 am
Trace Clipping Your Horse During the Winter
January 9, 2013 at 8:11 am

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