A horse needs daily grooming. When you decide to perform this task for your hooved pets, you should allow about 45 minutes to an hour to complete it.
You’ll need a few grooming products in order to do the job well. A rubber curry comb, a body brush, a dandy brush, a hoof pick with an optional brush, a mane comb, a clean sponge, and a towel or rag. You might also want to use a mane and tail conditioner.
Begin by tying your horse securely, using a halter or cross ties with quick-release fasteners. Start on your horse’s left side, and pick up a front leg. Run your hand down the horse’s leg to the fetlock, and pick the leg up gently. Don’t lift it too high, or the horse might lose his or her balance.
Clean the hoof with the hoof pick, using it to loosen packed dirt. Be careful not to cut into the V-shaped area in the center of the hoof, known as the frog. If your hoof pick has a brush, use it to clean away any loose dirt; clean the remaining hooves in the same way.
Again beginning on the horse’s left side; use the rubber curry comb to loosen dust and dirt on the coat. Move the brush in circles to loosen the dirt beneath the coat. Don’t use the curry comb on your pet’s legs. These products are not designed for delicate leg areas.
You should also be very careful on bony parts of the body, such as the shoulders and back. Never use a curry comb or any stiff-bristled brush on your horse’s face, because a sudden head movement could result in injury to an eye.
After you’ve loosened the dirt, use the dandy brush to sweep it away. Use short movements, as you do when you’re using a whisk broom, twisting your hand at the wrist. This will sweep out the dirt that’s caught in the coat. You’ll probably see little dust clouds as you work. Bang the side of the brush against the ground or floor occasionally to clean it. Do the horse’s left side, then the right side, and the rear.
Next, use the body brush to smooth the coat. Move the brush in a downward motion, which will get rid of any bits of dirt that remain, and make your pet’s coat shiny.
Clean the horse’s face with a clean, damp sponge, wiping around the eyes and nostrils. Spray the mane with conditioner, if you like, and comb it with a plastic mane comb. A plastic product will break fewer hairs than a metal comb.
Spray Your horse tail with conditioner if you’re using it, and brush the tail with the Dandy Brush. Avoid using the mane comb because it tends to break the tail hairs. Finally, wipe the entire coat with a clean towel or rag. This will remove sweat marks and make your pet’s coat shine.
Last, always remember to be very careful when grooming your horse – let them know (by touching them gently) where you are at all times.
Everything You Need to Groom a Horse
When you groom a horse, you need a few special products that will loosen and remove dirt, smooth the mane and tail, and clean the hooves.
The kit for grooming your horse includes many brushes and combs with each having its own particular job, such as some listed below:
Dandy brushes use long bristles to get rid of surface soil from the coat, and are typically used on regions of the horses that are the least sensitive. Body brushes have a leather back and can be either tough or soft depending on your requirments. They are normally used to get rid of grime and riding dust from you’re horses’ coat and can be used in the sensitive areas of your horse’s body.
Alter brushing the horse, the curry comb is used to maintain the brush, not for disentangling the horse. It cleans off the dust and soil that accumulate on the brush so it will be for the following time you need it. The rubber curry comb is used to clean the horse’s mane and tail, to remove caked mud and loose hair.
Water Brush – you are going to use water when washing off or moistening your horse’s coat and this brush is needed when utilizing water on them.
The mane comb, true to its name, is used to comb out the mane and tail, and most normally is manufactured of metal and plastic. Short metal comb variants are used for drawing manes while other specific combs are used to reduce the thickness of the mane.
Hoof picks are used to take of soil, stone and other detritus that are collected in their hooves while horseback riding or feeding in the field.
Cotton fiber sponges are used for cleansing the eyes, nose and injuries, while a sweat scraper wipes off sweat from the horse or surplus water when washing.
A canvas bag with drawstring, as long as it has room for all the brushes, would make a great grooming kit.
Horse Grooming for Show Day
If you show your horse or if your pet gets especially muddy or dirty, you’ll probably want to use a shampoo periodically. Mane and tail shampoo products can be used on your pet’s coat, as well.
Mix them into a bucket of water, as directed on the bottle, and apply the mixture to your horse’s coat. After you rinse them out, follow up with mane and tail conditioner.
To loosen dirt before a shampoo, or as part of a daily grooming, use a rubber curry comb. These combs loosen dirt when you move them in a circular motion over the horse’s entire coat. They’re not meant to be used on the legs, unless you can do it very, very gently.
After the curry comb, use a dandy brush to remove the loosened dirt. These brushes have stiff bristles, and let you sweep away the dirt. Again, you shouldn’t use them on your pet’s legs.
Never use any bristled brush on your pet’s face. It’s too easy to cause an eye injury if the horse moves or jerks. Instead, gently wipe around the eyes and nostrils with a damp, clean sponge.
Use a body brush to smooth down the coat after you remove the dirt. These products will also help to make the coat shine. Wipe the legs with a damp towel or rag, and gently brush them with the body brush.
Use a plastic mane comb to comb out tangles in the mane and forelock. For the tail, the dandy brush will remove tangles without breaking the hairs. If you haven’t used a shampoo, you can use a mane and tail conditioner before brushing to help remove tangles and make the mane and tail shiny and smooth.
To clean your pet’s hooves use a hoof pick. A pick equipped with a brush will let you brush away the dirt that you loosen. Use a stable cloth, a clean towel, or a clean rag to wipe your pet’s coat and make it shiny.
If you’re showing your horse, you might want to use a conditioning product on the towel for the final wipe. These products make the coat soft, smooth, and shiny. They shouldn’t be used in the saddle area, because they can also make the coat slippery.
The Best Tips and Tricks for Grooming Horses
Here are some tips collected from horse owners all over on ways to groom your horse more effectively:
- Use whitening toothpaste to whiten socks and white face markings. Rub the toothpaste onto the white areas with your hand or a soft sponge and rinse clean. The white will be blinding.
- Use cornstarch to freshen up white socks or white hooves, especially before going into the show ring or whenever you want your horse to look great.
- To detangle a really matted tail or mane, take a gentle dish soap and wash the tail with that and then work out the tangle with a stiff brush.
- Baby wipes are a great way to “spot clean” your horse.
- Use a chamois or microfiber cloth to “dust” your horse after grooming. It will remove all the fine dust and hair that even the softest brush won’t remove.
- If there’s no time to give your horse a bath but the horse really needs one, use a dry shampoo and a soft sponge to wipe the horse down.
- Use a shine product like Show Sheen on your horse immediately after a bath and any barn dust that settles on the coat will slide right off.
- If your horse has a pink or white nose always put some zinc oxide or sunscreen on the nose to protect it from sunburn.
- Always brush in the direction of the hair growth except when you’re currying. Use small circles when you’re currying to loosen dead hair and dust.
- If you can’t wash your muddy or sweaty horse, let the mud or sweat dry and then brush it off; don’t try to brush it off wet or you’ll just spread it around.
- Use color enhancing shampoos to bring out the natural tones and highlights in your horse’s coat.
Grooming is very important to a horse’s health and overall well being. Grooming isn’t just cosmetic; your horse needs to be groomed every day to stay healthy. Grooming is also a good time to examine your horse and check the horse for any bumps or bruises or other injuries.
Horse Grooming Products:
Oster Equine Care Series 7-Piece Horse Grooming Kit
Equestria 8 Piece Horse Grooming Set
Borstiq Banana 5pcs Horse Grooming Brush Kit
7-Piece Horse Grooming Kit by Weaver Leather
Mane ‘n Tail 3 Pcs Horse Grooming Shampoo, Conditioner and Detangler