GROOMING YOUR HORSE
Some of the supplies you will need are:
DANDY BRUSH is a stiff bristled brush. It is usually used for thick coated
horses. These brushes are
great for removing heavy dirt or cleaning a long coat. Care should be taken when
using this type of brush on sensitive horses as the bristles may tickle or
irritate them. It is a good brush to use damp to lay the man down.
BLADES or COMBS come in a variety of styles. Basically, they consist of a strip
of metal with blunt teeth and handles on each end. Holding an end in each hand
the blade is pulled through the coat. This helps to remove the dead hair. It is
very useful in Spring when horses shed their heavy winter coats.
BODY BRUSH is a soft bristled brush with or without a handle. It can be used all
over the horse and is
especially useful on the head and other bony areas. They are usually used in
partnership with metal curry combs. After a stroke of the horse's coat the body
brush is cleaned across the teeth of the metal curry comb. Periodically the
curry comb is tapped on the floor to remove the dirt and grease.
HOOF PICK should be used daily to clean the hoofs, especially if your horse has been in a stony or muddy area.
Grooming is an essential part of owning a horse whether it is a pet,
breeding stock or show horse. It helps to tone its muscles, clean its skin,
stimulate the blood circulation beneath the skin and improve its appearance. It gives you an opportunity to form a special bond
with your horse as you work with him. Always brush and comb with the hair,
rather than against it, to keep the coat soft and shiny and the mane and tail
free from tangles.
An animal that lives out all year round should not
be thoroughly groomed during the winter. A quick brush over with a dandy brush
to remove caked on mud and removal of tangles from the mane and tail with
a body brush is all that is necessary. If the mud is very thick a rubber curry
makes the job a bit easier as long as care is taken over bony areas.
In the summer, a body brush can be used on the coat
and a damp cloth used to wipe off any dust. The eyes, nostrils and dock should
be cleaned with separate sponges. The neck and body should be cleaned first with
a plastic or rubber curry comb removing dried mud, loose hairs and sweat, then
followed with a body brush. Clean the legs with s stiff bristled dandy brush. A
body brush is best for brushing the mane and tail. Use a mane comb for pulling
and trimming. If you wish, the hair
from the fetlocks can be trimmed to give a neater appearance. It will grow back
in time for winter. After cleaning the hoofs with your pick, oil the hoof walls
and bulbs of the heels with hoof oil. Apply it with a soft brush kept for this
job. The oil prevents the feet from cracking in dry weather and makes them look
Do not bath a horse too frequently as bathing does remove much of the
natural oil from the horse's coat.
To bath a horse:
Use your plastic/rubber currycomb or glove and move your hand in circles
against the horse's hair all over the body except face and legs. This will
loosen all the dirt and shedding hair.
Next take your hard brush and do hard flicks with the horse's hair to
brush off all the dirt that you loosened with the currycomb. Do not use on face.
After the hard brush, take your body brush or soft brush and go all over
the horse's body, head and legs using long strokes. This will get off the
remainder of the dirt and make the coat look soft and clean.
With warm water and another sponge or clean cotton
wool, gently wipe out a gelding's sheath. If your gelding drops his penis, very
carefully wipe away any flaky, greasy skin. Check a mare's udder. The skin
between the teats can become very oily. If she will let you, gently wipe the
area over with a clean sponge or cotton dipped in warm water. Never use any
additives for either a gelding's sheath or a mare's udder.
Now is an opportune time to clean the hooves with a hoof pick. Make sure
you clean the area of the V but do not hurt the horse's frog (the middle of
their hoof). The hooves themselves can be buffed up with a very fine pot
To complete the bath, brush your horse's mane and tail with a normal
hairbrush and comb.
Your horse will look good, be happy, and so will you!