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Horse Grooming

Grooming Your Horse:

Horse grooming is an important part of caring for a horse, and every horse owner should know how to groom a horse.

Regular grooming not only keeps a horse’s coat and skin healthy and free from disease, it also helps to build and strengthen the relationship between the horse and its owner. Without a healthy, trusting relationship, getting a horse to perform any task becomes extremely difficult. Grooming time is also an opportunity for the owner to examine the horse for any cuts, bruises, infections, swellings, or other signs of discomfort and illness.

Grooming a horse is not as simple as grooming a household pet such as a dog. For one thing, a horse is a much larger and more powerful animal. There is also a lot more scope for trouble as a result of poor grooming, due to its rather delicate coat, as well as the luxuriant tail and mane.

For this reason, horse grooming makes use of a number of specialized tools that make the process more effective, and at the same time more convenient and pleasurable for both the groomer and the animal. Typically, one begins grooming a horse by using what is known as a curry comb – a sort of short toothed brush made of rubber or plastic. This is used with a circular motion of the hand, and helps to loosen dead hair and skin, mud, and other dirt from the horse’s coat. A “dandy brush” is then used to brush off all the dirt that was loosened by the curry comb. Usually, neither of these brushes are used on a horse’s head, as the brushes are rather too rough for the horse’s sensitive head. Some horses are even reluctant to have their legs brushed down if a brush is too coarse. Next comes a body brush, which is softer, and can be used all over the horse’s body, although it must of course be used gently. Finally, the groom uses what is called a “stable rubber” – essentially a linen cloth to rub down the horse and give its coat a shine.

In addition to this, horse grooming also includes clipping or otherwise removing unwanted hair, cleaning and polishing the hooves, bathing the horse, and possibly styling the mane and the tail. If you are unsure about how to groom a horse, it will be better to learn from a professional, or even perhaps take a short course that will teach you basic horse grooming tips.
  Submitted on July 13, 2010  

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