3 Tips on how to groom your horse the correct way.
Grooming should be an activity that is enjoyable for both you and your horse. It’s also a good opportunity to check for irritations and injuries. Try to make grooming a daily habit. It’s an absolute must before riding. Grit beneath the saddle or girth or cinch will be uncomfortable for your horse and could cause saddle or girth sores. Start from the left or right of your horse. These instructions assume you will start on the left side, but as long as you cover the whole horse, it does not matter. The more you work all around your horse, the more comfortable they will be.
Have your grooming tools arranged in a convenient, safe place. A wide bucket may be cheapest and easiest to put your brushes in, although there are lots of grooming boxes on the market that keep your tools organized and handy. Our favorite is the one listed below this article. https://amzn.to/30nLCGh
You will need:
- A curry comb or grooming mitt.
- A body brush with fairly stiff bristles.
- A mane and tail comb. Plastic causes less breakage than metal ones.
- A fine soft bristled finishing brush.
- A hoof pick.
- A clean sponge or soft cloth.
- Nice to have:
- Grooming spray.
- Hoof ointment if recommended by your farrier.
- Scissors or clippers.
- Don’t sit your bucket or box too close to your horse where he could knock it over, or where you might trip over it as you move around your horse. Also have your horse securely and safely tied either with cross ties or with a quick release knot If your horse seems uneasy about grooming, there may be things you can do to make it more comfortable.
Currying Your Horse or Pony
Starting on the left side or ‘offside’ (right-side) use your curry comb or grooming mitt to loosen the dirt in your horse’s coat. This step is where you remove any mud, grit, dust and other debris before trying to put a real shine on your horse’s coat. Curry in circular sweeps all over the horse’s body. Be careful over bony areas of the shoulders, hips, and legs. Use a light touch in these areas. Many horses are sensitive about having their bellies and between the back legs brushed (some love it). Be careful in these areas to use a light touch.
Some horses are more sensitive skinned than others to adjust the pressure on the brush according to what they seem to enjoy. If your horse reacts by laying back his ears or swishing his tail in agitation, he is telling you that the brushing is too vigorous. As well as currying, you will also be looking for any skin lesions or wounds. If you find anything, you’ll want to access the injury and decide if you want to treat it yourself with something out of your first aid kit or if you need a vet to treat it.
Comb Out the Tangles From the Mane and Tail
A flowing, shiny mane and tail looks so pretty and cared for. Get that full, healthy look by being gentle and patient as you groom your horse’s mane or tail. Either with a mane comb or brush, start at the bottom of the strands and brush downwards in sections until you can smoothly comb from the top of the mane or tail, right to the bottom. When brushing the tail, stand to one side and pull the tail gently over to you. This way you are out of the way should the horse kick. A grooming spray that de-tangles hair is nice to have and makes brushing out the long strands easier while cleaning, shining and protecting the hair. A grooming spray may also help prevent the hairs from tangling too much between grooming’s. Some people like to keep their horse’s tails wrapped to keep it clean and tangle-free, but we prefer to let our horses use their tails the way nature intended, to swat away flies.
Our favorite grooming tote is https://amzn.to/30nLCGh and comes in many colors.
- Durable 600-denier 100% polyester canvas fabric with water repellent finish
- Hybrid hard-side tote: canvas outside/plastic inside
- Multiple divided pockets for organization
- Duraflex quick clip closure system-can hang anywhere
- Mesh bottom allows for dirt and liquid to fall through