Greeting your horse with a brush is the start to grooming time that fosters a bond with the animal and is a boost toward equine health.
Grooming can be a quick brushing before saddling up or after a training workout or ride. Longer grooming sessions involve vigorous rubbing to remove dirt and sweat. Brushing stimulates a horse’s blood flow and can improve a horse’s mood. The practice provides a chance to identify any irritations or health concerns on the face, neck, body or legs.
Identify Paths to Equine Care
Along with grooming, horse care includes regular exercise, training, appropriate nutrition and hoof maintenance. Health care includes medical checkups and treatment for illness or injuries. While it may be obvious for a stable operator or horse trainer to carry insurance as a business, riders and horse owners also can buy horse insurance to cover incidents such as accidents, health crises and death.
Build a Grooming Kit
Basic grooming tools include a curry comb, a mane and tail comb, assorted brushes and a hoof pick. Cloths and sponges are handy for cleaning faces and legs.
A good organizational step is to gather items in one place near the grooming site. A bucket or other container is handy to store and carry tools. Remember to secure a horse to a rail or tie before grooming.
Below are descriptions of some items for a grooming kit.
Curry combs.An oval rubber or plastic curry comb has short teeth and is used to loosen dirt and hair by rubbing a horse’s coat. The comb typically is held by slipping a hand underneath a strap. A circular motion over the horse’s coat will release debris, which can be brushed away in the direction horse’s hair using the comb or a bristled brush.
These tools come with stiff or soft bristles. A stiff-bristled brush can be used on the neck, back and other body areas, while a softer brush is better used on the face and legs.
The hair on a mane and tail can be managed with a comb that has wide tines. Some brushes can be used on tangle-free hair.
Hoof pick.Whether a horse is shod or not, each hoof should be cleaned of stones or debris using this hand-held tool.
Promote Interaction with the Horse
Talking to the horse while brushing reinforces connections made during brushing and other grooming tasks. Pat or scratch the horse and speak words of praise to reward positive behavior.
While grooming will result in a smooth coat and flowing mane and tail, the physical and spoken connections during sessions will enhance equine health and yield a bond that is among the simple joys of time spent with horses.