Grooming your horse: 4 top tips

One of the key factors of owning a horse is to make sure that he is well groomed. Grooming is very beneficial for horses, it not only cleans their coat, it adds beauty to their appearance, but can also promote healthy emotional bonding and trust between the horse and the person. Be assured that grooming is time well spent as your horse needs a great deal of care and attention. Grooming a horse encourages healthy blood circulation and helps to release natural oils into the coat that help protect him from natural elements such as wind and rain. As a horse owner, you should take pride in making your horse look beautiful and providing some time in which they can relax and enjoy your company.Grooming also gives you the chance to check over your horse to make sure that he is healthy and has no external wounds, particularly on parts of the body that will be touched by tack.

Here are a few top tips on how to groom your horse:

Brushing keeps your horse’s coat healthy and shiny as well as the opportunity to spot any skin irritations or chaffing which may need seeing to. There are a many types of brushes to choose from including:
• Curry comb: Usually made of plastic or rubber, this brush has short teeth on one side and loosens any dirt or hair which needs removing. The curry comb should always be used before brushing for the best results.
• Dandy brush: This is a hard bristle brush used to take off the dirt and hair brought out by using the curry comb. Flicking motions will allow the bristles to work through the coat.
• Body brush: a body brush can be used all areas of the horse. You should still take care and be gentle around the face, ears and eyes. The Body brush removes any remaining surface dust and hair from your horse.

Clipping your horse’s coat is not always necessary, however, few reasons to consider clipping may include:
• To reduce sweating, helping to maintain condition To prevent chills, Heavy coats hold the sweat and dry slowly in cold weather
• To make your horse look smart, especially when entering competitions.

To ensure that your horse’s feet are well-maintained and hygienic, it is essential that you pick out the feet. Picking out your horses feet can help prevent lameness by removing stones or foreign objects that could pierce the frog or cause bruising. Picking out your horse’s feet before and after riding is essential.

Your horse will need a good wash now and again to get off the extra dirt after the grooming process. This doesn’t have to be too much of a regular occurrence as it can be a little frustrating, but it can be fun! Start by soaking the horse with clean water and then massaging shampoo onto the mane, then down the neck and directly onto the coat. Finally, do the same to the tail and rinse off. You may wish to use a coat shine spray afterwards. Always read the directions for use on any shampoos, some of these are to be diluted in water before use and should not be applied directly to the horses coat.

If you would like any further information on equestrian equipment for grooming your horse, please get in touch.

(Photo Credit : Keith Ellwood @ Flickr)