As humans, you and I have to wash and brush our hair regularly to keep it clean and looking great. Horses, too, require frequent grooming to maintain a beautiful coat. If you're new to owning a horse and still feeling a little unsure about proper grooming techniques, use this beginner's guide to learn the steps. A clean coat not only allows your horse's beauty to shine, but it also promotes healthiness and happiness to keep your beloved pet content. Here is the beginner's guide to horse grooming...
- Placing a saddle on top of a dirty coat can cause irritation and even sores, so your horse should be groomed regularly and always brushed before riding. You'll need three different brushes: a curry comb, hard brush and soft brush. Curry combs are designed to loosen up dirt stuck in your horse's hair. Comb in small circular motions and in the opposite direction of hair growth. Avoid sensitive and bony areas, such as the face and legs, to prevent discomfort.
- The hard brush removes the dirt you loosened with the curry comb. Once again, stay away from areas like the legs, ears, face and tail, as they are more sensitive.
- Once you have used both the curry comb and hard brush, you can finish grooming by using a soft brush. As its name indicates, the soft brush features soft bristles that can be used to brush your horse's entire body.
- If brushing isn't enough, use products such as Vetrolin White 'N Brite to help your horse's hair shine. White 'N Brite, which can be found at Homestead Gardens, moisturizes with coconut oil derivatives to remove stains and leave the coat with a healthy glow.
Mane and Tail
- Before brushing, groom your horse's mane and tail with a shampoo and conditioner. Homestead Gardens carries Straight Arrow's Mane 'n Tail products, which are specifically designed to clean and soften your horse's hair. If it's especially course and hard to brush, Straight Arrow's de-tangler can make the process of combing the horse's hair much easier. Use a wide-tooth bristle brush for combing.
- New horse owners often find picking hooves to be the hardest part of grooming at first, but it's fairly simple once you learn the best way to communicate. Start by running your hand down the horse's leg, which prevents you from startling him, and then squeeze the horse's ankle. This lets the horse know that you want to pick up his hoof. Once you have the hoof, use a hoof pick to scrape away mud and dirt.
- It might take some time to get all of the steps down, but you'll soon find that grooming is a great way to bond with your horse, develop his trust and help your horse stay healthy and happy.