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Grooming For Good Health

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Grooming For Good Health

Vicky Goody

Grooming your horse can be one of the most satisfying parts of horse ownership. This daily routine is not only an essential part of bonding but also a good opportunity to check for minor injuries or irritations your horse may have acquired in their stable or paddock.


DAILY ROUTINE

It’s a good idea to groom in the same routine. Your horse will get used to this routine, and will become relaxed, and enjoy the experience.

FEET FIRST

Start your daily horse grooming routine by picking out your horse’s feet. Starting at the hooves gives you the opportunity to check for any changes in the hoof that could prevent you from riding that day, for example cracks, heat or even a lost shoe.

When running your hand down your horse's leg to pick up the hoof, also feel for any strange lumps, bumps or scrapes. Remove all dirt, manure, or anything else (sometimes small stones) in your horse's hoof with a hoof pick. Take time to notice (especially during the summer months) the inside for your horse’s legs for bot eggs; they attach to the hair and are small and yellow. Bot eggs should be removed with a grooming block to prevent the horse from ingesting them.

BODY BRUSHING

To groom effectively requires consistency to get the best results.  Giving a quick brush over each day will keep some of the dirt at bay, but a deep groom to stimulate the skin, help circulation and good skin and hair condition, will involve a good deal of elbow grease!

Step 1. If the horse is muddy, use a Super Groomer in a circular motion to encourage the dried mud and dirt to fall off. Once this is removed, turn to the Dandy brush. These are traditionally made from Bassine, a natural fibre product, and ideal for using all over the coat during the winter months and when muddy. Use with care on sensitive skinned horses or move on to a medium bristled brush as an alternative at this stage. Use briskly all over the body.

Step 2. Move on to the body brush and metal curry comb. Use together, firstly brushing the body on the near side using the body brush and then every other brush stroke made on the coat is then brushed against the metal curry comb to clean the brush.


Step 3. Once brushed thoroughly all over, use the finishing brush. This is made of very soft hair, and is great for making the coat shine. Can be used on show/competition days too, just before going into the ring.

MANE & TAIL

Once the body has been brushed, start on the mane and tail. Brush the mane through with a comb or brush, depending on the thickness - using our Tame the Mane spray will help with make it easy to brush through without pulling out too much hair. Do the same with the tail but on the bottom part of the tail go with care and de-tangle to avoid pulling out the long hairs. Apply Tame the Mane to make it easier if needed.

FINISHING TOUCHES
After all parts of the body, mane and tail are groomed, give a final wipe over with a soft mitt.

If an extra shine is needed, apply a coat sheen product onto the coat and polish in with your mitt. This will give exceptional shine but be careful not to apply to the saddle area as it may make it more slippery.

Take a water brush and lightly dampen over the mane and top of the tail to make hairs lay down smoothly. If the horse is stabled, and has a pulled tail, now is the time to put a tail bandage on, but check that it is not left on for more than an hour or so and that even pressure is applied as it is bandaged around the dock. Tie the tapes below the dock to ensure that circulation in the dock is not compromised.

Lastly, apply Hoof Shine (natural or black) both on the underside and outside of the hooves. Pop on a summer sheet if the horse is going back in the stable to keep dust free.