Grooming is an essential part of maintaining good health for your horse. Grooming enables you to check for injuries, the first signs of disease and overall condition. A horse needs to be groomed before he is ridden as dirt can cause abrasion. It also enables you to judge how your horse is feeling before you ride. Grooming is like a massage as it stimulates the blood supply to the skin. It also helps with bonding with your horse. It enables you to become familiar with what is normal for your horse and any subtle changes can be useful information. During times when you may not be grooming every day you need to make a careful daily inspection using your eyes and hands. You should check from nose to toes!
Before you start to groom a horse you should be fully aware of how to handle a horse safely. If you are un-experienced or not confident handling a horse grooming can be potentially dangerous. It is best that you gain skills in handling with expert guidance. Your local riding school should be able to offer you training in how to handle, safely tie and groom a horse. Learning how to groom safely and correctly is very important and several grooming lessons at your local riding school should teach you the basics. There are excellent training courses run by colleges and some riding schools that will teach you more advanced grooming e.g. clipping, and show preparation.
The Grooming Kit
Picture - A basic grooming kit
A grooming kit consists of a number of different brushes, tools and grooming products that help to keep your horse clean. Different brushes are used for different jobs. Listed below are the most common items which form a basic grooming kit.
Plastic or Rubber Curry Comb A useful tool for removing mud and loose hair, it is used for removing the worst of the mud.
Dandy Brush This brush has coarse, stiff bristles and is used for removing mud and dry sweat.
The Plastic or Rubber Curry Comb and Dandy Brush are not recommended for use on the mane or tail as it can thin the hair very quickly. Thin skinned or clipped horses can find these brushes too harsh.
Body Brush This brush has softer bristles and is used to remove dust and grease from the coat. It is useful for brushing out the mane and tail. The dust and grease are removed from the brush by scraping the brush against the metal curry comb.
Metal Curry Comb This is used with the body brush (as above) and should not be used on the horse.
Water Brush Is used when washing the horse, it is also useful in dampening the mane or tail.
Mane Comb These are available in metal and plastic and in a range of sizes. The longer teeth combs are used for combing the mane and tail. Short metal mane combs are used to pull manes. There are a range of combs that are used to cut and thin the mane.
Hoof Pick A hoof Pick is used for cleaning out dirt and stones from the hooves. These are available in a range of designs some have a stiff handy brush incorporated into the hoof pick.
Sponges Several are required as they are used for cleaning eyes, nose and dock. A minimum of 4 is required. They need to be carefully marked as left eye, right eye, nose and dock and not mixed up.
Sweat Scraper This is used to scrape away sweat or excess water after washing.
Stable Rubber This is a linen drying up cloth used to give a horse a final shine and polish.
Bot Knife Used for removing bot eggs.
Weight Tape Essential for monitoring your horse’s weight.
Long Handled Washing up Brush Useful for cleaning your horse’s hooves.
Mane and Tail De-tangler and Coat Shine A small amount applied to the horse’s coat, mane and tail gives a finishing touch and helps to prevent mud sticking. Don’t apply in the saddle area as it can cause the saddle to slip.
Fly Repellent During the spring and summer months when biting flies are a problem. This is a must have product to keep your horse happy.
Hoof Product There are many hoof products available. It is a matter of choosing the most appropriate product for your horse’s hoof requirements.
Grooming Kit Box This is a container to store all your grooming tools. There are many designs available.
There are many super grooming products available and coming soon will be links to other websites so you can check out the latest designs and innovations.
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