How to groom a horse is one of the first things you will need to learn. It is important for a variety of reasons.
Once your horse is in the grooming area where they should be secured on cross ties with quick release snaps you are ready to begin.
The first thing you want to start off with is to pick out your horses feet with a hoof pick. This is one of the most important things to do when you groom.
You want to make sure you learn how to do it properly. Look for rocks or foreign objects in their foot. I remember years ago we found a wood screw in a horses foot. Even though it wasn’t very deep I still needed to use a screwdriver to remove it.
Standing on rocks can cause abscesses, and other objects caught in their feet can cause lameness, sometimes even permanently.
If your horses’ foot has a foul odor it can mean that your horse has thrush. In this case you should bring it to the attention of your instructor. There are many products, such as Thrush Buster, made to treat this condition.
Once the feet are taken care, of the next step in how to groom a horse is to begin with the body. You should start with a curry comb.
Begin at the neck, press firmly and proceed in a small circular motion over the main body, shoulders and upper legs .
The horse should enjoy this activity as this gets out many loose hairs, dirt, dust and other debris. Plus it must feel great, I know how much I enjoy back rubs!
Remember that horses, like people, are all different and some are more sensitive than others. Adjust your pressure according to your horses’ reaction and avoid pressing too hard where the bone is closer to the skin.
Also, some curries are softer or harder than others. Make sure you are using one that is comfortable for your horse.
While you are doing this you want to watch for any cuts or sore spots. Once you are done with his main body, you should use a softer curry comb on his head and lower legs.
If you have purchased a horse grooming kit it should contain all, or most, of the grooming tools that you will need.
The next step is to use a dandy or stiff brush. I usually will only use one if there is dried mud on my horse. A stiff brush can be particularly helpful on muddy lower legs!
Firmly grip the brush and place the bristles against the horses body, stroke with the hair not against. Flick the bristles out and hopefully you will see some debris flying off the horse.
When you do their legs and face you want to be gentle but firm, once again watch for any reactions that might need attention.
Now it’s time to finish with the mane and tail. You want to use a mane and tail brush with nice,
widely spaced bristles. In fact, some barns may only want you to “finger comb” the tail!
With the mane and tail brush you will want to start at the bottom, just like you would on your own hair if it were long.
That way you aren’t trying to drag the brush through a bunch of tangles all at once. You can work them loose a little at a time without ripping out hairs!
You are all ready to learn about tacking up now that you have learned how to groom a horse!