How to Groom Your Horse

In the wild, horses will naturally groom each other using their front teeth to scratch out any loose hairs along the body and to stimulate the skin underneath. As in many mammal social groups, grooming is necessary for health, warmth, status and as a means of bonding with other members of the herd. For the domestic horse the concept is the same.

Why groom?

Grooming is an excellent opportunity to spend time relaxing with your horse and developing a sense of trust and companionship. It is also an essential part of good horse management. Apart from making the horse look sharp, it keeps the animal healthy by removing accumulated dust, dead skin and hair, and helps maintain open and clean pores. Regular grooming of the whole horse also gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the horse’s body and to develop a keen eye for the sudden appearance of any abnormalities or abrasions. Although a stabled horse should be groomed daily before and after riding, a grass-kept horse does not need as much attention.

Groom Your Horse

The grass-kept horse

During colder winter months it is important not to use a body brush on any horse that is living outdoors. The finishing action of the brush flattens the coat and removes both the vital insulating fluffiness and the natural waterproof grease from the coat.

There are many tools on the market for grooming but the main four are a rubber curry comb, a stiff-bristled dandy brush, a soft-bristled body brush and a hoof pick.

Begin by using the rubber curry comb, rubbing it over the horse’s body in circular motions with enough pressure to loosen dirt from the coat and bring it to the surface. As a rule, this is only done on the “soft” parts of the horse-the neck, sides and rump. Do not use the curry comb over the more bony areas of the legs and face as it will cause discomfort.

Next, use the dandy brush to work over the same area in the direction of the hair using a “flicking” motion to flick away the dirt from the horse and into the air. Finish the coat by grooming all over the horse with the body brush. This will lay the coat flat and give it a shine.

Complete your grooming by picking out the feet with a hoof pick, firmly moving from heel to toe without damaging the sensitive frog area.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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