Grooming does more for a horse than helping it look its best. As young people are trained to groom a horse, they also learn how to feel for any abnormalities that could indicate health problems. The grooming process utilizes clippers, brushes, and other tools, but you must also use your hands. This helps young adults learn the contours of the animal’s body.
Combing the Body
You should comb the horse’s fur frequently; a rubber curry comb or groom-mitt are the best tools for this activity. Start with the head of the animal and comb back towards the tail. As you reach the back, be sure to comb the side closest to you down to the hoofs. Certain areas of the horse have very little muscle, so it’s important to brush gently and avoid metal combs or brushes.
Trimming Your Horse
Clearing away excessive fur growth can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to use a second person to pet the horse and keep it distracted. Electric clippers can be used to trim the bridle path and legs. The clippers can additionally be used to shorten long whiskers and fur growth around the face. For more delicate areas, such as trimming near the eyes and nostrils, use shears to help groom your horse.
Bathing Your Horse
Bathing a horse too frequently can be just as damaging to its coat as washing it too rarely. When the horse’s coat is visibly dirty, it should be bathed with warm water and mild soap. Warm water without soap should be used on the horse’s face. After washing the neck and body, rinse thoroughly and comb dry with a sweat scraper. Finally, dry thoroughly with a towel and provide a warm, dry place for the horse.
Cleaning the Hooves
Young people should obtain first-hand training from someone experienced in cleaning the feet of horses. Generally, foals should be taught to allow the handling of their feet from a young age to avoid problems with kicking later in life. Additionally, it’s essential to cradle the leg between your legs while holding the hoof in your left hand. Clean from heel to toe, clearing away any debris found in the hoof to avoid feet infections.
You should groom your horse each time you take him out. This usually entails a thorough brushing. You should bathe your horse and give him a trimming once per month or as needed. By taking proper care of your horse’s coat, you’ll reduce the risks of diseases that could affect the animal’s skin and fur.