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Horse Grooming

The Gift of Grooming: How to Keep Your Horse Healthy

Horses have been used by humans since 1066.  We say used because they were primarily tools in agriculture, for transport and forestry. Today, our relationship with horses has changed – from showing to leisure, even working horses are now companions.

It’s like having a riding partner and pet all in one, but it does mean a lot of responsibility to maintain them. One aspect that impacts their wellbeing is their grooming regime. Consistently doing so will stop your horse from being at risk of infections, and it’ll keep them looking beautiful too.

It’s tricky to balance your horse’s health and hygiene, especially if you’re a new owner, so these are some great places to start. 

Establish a Routine

Active horse grooming

Consistency couldn’t be more important in maintaining a horse’s upkeep. Infections and injuries that get left a long time can quickly stump your horse’s performance and lead to long-term issues. Grooming daily means you’ll spot these earlier on. It’ll also get your horse comfortable with you, and the process.

Find the Right Brush

Brushing is a simple part of any good grooming routine, but always underestimated. Finding the best brushes to use isn’t always simple because of their different qualities.

Curry Comb: A curry comb usually has short bristles made of rubber that remove dirt and loose hair from the coat without being too harsh on the horse.  Using a circular motion, brush from the neck down to the tail. Besides removing dirt and hair, it also improves blood flow and spreads natural oils, giving them a shiny coat.

Dandy Brush: This is used after a curry comb to remove any remaining dirt and debris from a horse’s coat. Their stiff bristles are designed to be used in short, quick strokes to lift and remove dirt and dust. Be careful around sensitive areas like the face and ears.

Body Brush: A body brush is used to give the coat a last polish after using a dandy brush. The softer bristles are intended to smooth and shine and remove any lingering dust or dirt. Body brushes are often applied with long, sweeping strokes that begin at the neck and move towards the tail, following the hair’s natural growth pattern.

Main and Tail brush: As the name suggests, this is specifically for the mane and tail only. These are areas that can easily become matted, which can cause issues if left untreated. Not only does this wide toothed comb detangle, but it also spreads natural oils throughout the hair which helps with growth and strength.

Hoof Care

Hoof Care

It’s not just the body of the horse that needs attentive care- hooves can be susceptible to infections if neglected. A study found that in a group of 942 randomly selected horses, 85% had at least one hoof disorder. But by finding the right tools and keeping on top of cleaning, you can protect your horse better. Rocks or dirt are carefully loosened with the pick, and any leftover debris is swept away with the brush. It’ll keep any risks of lameness at bay and encourage healthy hoof growth in the long term.

Summary

Whether you’re keeping your horse for competing, or simply for the love of it, grooming them daily is a necessity. Doing so can identify health issues earlier on, make them more comfortable around you, and give you both a routine.

But don’t forget, there’s plenty of other ways to keep your horse healthy that go beyond grooming.

Article written by Lily Meyers

http://thewritersdiary.co.uk/
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