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Grooming Your Horse

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/25/2006 | Pets and Animals
Grooming is an important part of keeping your horse healthy. It involves more than just brushing its hair. By grooming you get a chance to inspect your horse up close for any injuries, and it provides a good chance to bond with your horse. Also, it is very important to do this before riding your horse, as sand between the saddle and its back can cause sores.

To groom your horse you'll need several tools. They are a hoof pick, rubber curry comb, stiff body brush, fine finishing brush, mane and tail comb, and soft cloths. You can keep all these neatly organized in a large bucket.

Before you begin, make sure your horse is securely tied. Make sure the horse is tied to a secure object and use a quick release knot in case of trouble.

Start your grooming session by lifting up each of your horse's hooves and pick out any dirt or manure that is stuck to the frog or sole of the foot. When doing this make note of any hoof cracks and make sure if your horse is shod to see if the shoes are properly fitted. Alert your Farrier to any problems.

Next take a curry comb to any areas of your horse's coat that are dirty. Be careful, because a curry comb can be irritating to a horse's sensitive areas, and in the bony areas like the shoulders and legs.

Then with a main and tail brush remove any dirt or tangles from the main and tail. It is best to start from the top of the main or tail and work your way down. Sometimes if the hair is really tangled you can use a grooming spray to help untangle the hair. When grooming the tail be sure to stand on the side of the horse and not directly behind to avoid being kicked.

Now with a good body brush, brush your horse from head to toe. this brush will help to remove all the dirt and dandruff brought to the surface by the curry comb. Use short sweeping strokes, and try to use enough force to get the bristles all the way to the skin. Do this all over your horse's body.

With a soft finishing brush, groom your entire horse now to help bring out the shine in your horse's coat. A soft brush will help remove the finer dust particles not already removed by previous brushing.

Finish your horse's grooming session by using a rag and gently wipe your horse's ears and nose. Also, you can apply hoof ointment to your horse's feet to help keep them shiny and healthy. By performing a good grooming session each time you ride your horse you are helping to keep your horse heathy and clean.