Horse grooming Basic Steps
Grooming before and after riding is essential. Dirt underneath the saddle or girth can result in saddle sores. After riding, dried sweat can cause skin irritation and itchiness. Grooming is also a great way to spend time with your horse and build a bond.
Before you start grooming your horse, make sure you have all the things you need in order to groom correctly.
You will need:
Hair Brush for Mane, Soft Brush, Scissors to cut mane and tail ( if necessary ), Body Brush, Currycomb, Hoof Pick, Two Sponges, Hard Plastic Brush, Skin cream (if necessary).
Grooming your horse regularly will enable to you to keep his coat and hooves in good condition, as well as monitor his health.The first thing to do when grooming is to loosen up all the dirt and hair with a curry comb.
Step 1. If you are new to grooming horses, you may not know which one to use. There are basically three types:
Plastic – These are gentle enough to use on most of the body and summer coats.
Metal – For heavy mud and/or thick winter or shedding hair. These are generally not suitable for the more sensitive areas of the horse such as the belly, flanks, face, and legs.
Rubber – These come in a variety of styles and are suitable for all areas of the horse.
Take special care to brush the area where the saddle will sit very well if you are going to ride.
If you are using a metal currycomb, it will be too harsh for the legs, belly, face, and flank. Soft, pliable rubber curries are gentle enough to use on the body as well as bony areas such as the legs and head, and ticklish areas such as the flanks and belly. Follow with short, firm brush strokes using a medium-bristle brush to remove the hair and dirt you’ve curried up. Use softer brushes on sensitive areas. You’ll continue grooming along in this way, all the way back on his body.
Step 2. To keep manes and tails neat and tidy, a little everyday care goes a long way. On a routine basis, remove burrs, hay and shavings. Detangle and brush the hair as needed, using a wide-tooth comb or pin-bristle brush. A silicone-based detangling serum or spray can help make the task easier.
Start at the bottom, and work your way up slowly, gently untangling any knots. Do NOT cut the mane or forelock with scissors. This leaves it looking very unnatural.
TIPP: When brushing the tail, divide the tail into sections and hold each of them individually while you brush the lower end. This also prevents too many hairs from being pulled out.
Step 3. Picking out the hooves is a crucial part of your grooming routine. Stones stuck in the hoof can cause pain or bruising, while packed mud and manure can allow infections such as thrush to develop.
There is no need to worry about doing this too hard. This outer layer of the foot is like our fingernail and lacks nerves and feeling. It does not hurt horses to clean their feet.
When picking up the horses hoof, be sure to:
- Stand next to the horse, not in font of the horse or anyway behind the leg because it might kick you might kick you or run you over when it spooks.
- Slowly move your hand down the horse’s leg; this will make the horse lift its hoof. This is what the horse has learned to be the command for lifting its hoof.
Cradle the hoof with your inside hand and use the hoof pick in your outside hand to remove packed debris. Pick in a downward direction, following the V-shaped grooves in the middle of the hoof. When finished, set the hoof down gently. Avoid dropping the foot abruptly.
With the basics in place, your horse should be looking good.