Horse Grooming For The Novice.
Grooming can be a therapeutic daily task for both the horse and yourself. Don’t be surprised if your horse relaxes so much that he dozes off. Your horse will even benefit on the days when all you have time for is a quick brush down and hoof check. Daily horse grooming can be a quick and simple job, or you can take your time and do a thorough job.
The first step in grooming is to start with a currycomb. Use either a rubber one which is best to use on a short summer coat or a metal currycomb which is fantastic on the long, thick winter coat and when your horse is shedding. Always start with the currycomb and rub the horse down from the top of their neck, all around the body and hindquarters. But don’t do their legs with the currycomb.
Step two, involves a hard-bristled brush, also called a dandy brush. Use the dandy brush to remove all the loose hair and dirt that you disturbed with the currycomb. You can use the dandy brush on your horse’s entire body and legs, except the head. Once you brush your entire horse, it is time to move on to a soft brush which has long bristles made of horsehair or synthetic horsehair. This brush can be used on the whole body including the legs and the face. This brush will remove any residual dirt and free hair and make your horse’s coat shine.
Since the body is done it’s time for the mane and tail. For this job, use a small metal or plastic mane comb. Begin at the top of the mane at the head and continue down to the wither. Comb the same way you would if you had a knot in your own hair. Be sure to hold it firm at the roots so as not to hurt your horse. Remember to comb out the forelock. Next, focus your attention on the tale and the easiest way to tackle it is to do it in sections. Ensure you stand to the side of the horse and not directly behind him unless you are comfortable about being back there, we don’t want anyone getting accidentally kicked.
Done with the mane and tail, there is just one main thing left to do and that is to pick your horse’s feet. Clean out all of the dirt, rocks and other fragments that may be packed in the hoof. Most people start with the left front hoof, then move to the left back, the right back and the right front but it really does not matter. Some horses are a little inflexible with their back legs, so you want to be certain that you allow the horse to hold them in a comfortable position for them.
After the hooves are clean you may want to gently clean around your horse’s nostrils and eyes with a small sponge. And now your horse should appear much cleaner and possibly more relaxed than he did before. Do this on a regular basis and both you and your horse will benefit.