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How To Groom Your Horse

How To Groom Your Horse

VideoJug and certified instructress Marylyn McEwan present a detailed guide on how to groom your horse a fully, until he gleams. Not only will this improve the bond you have with your horse, but grooming your horse will allow you to regularly check for infection. So follow VideoJug's guide on how to groom your horse to help you care for your horse.

Step 1: The benefits of grooming process

There are many benefits to grooming your horse. It improves your horse's health; promotes muscle tone and circulation; strengthens the bond between horse and owner; improves your horse's appearance; enables you to check over your horse for injuries; reduces the risk of skin diseases and parasites, and prevents rubs and sores from forming.

Step 2: You will need

  • 1 hoof pick
  • 1 Dandy brush
  • 1 rubber curry comb
  • 1 plastic curry comb
  • 1 body brush
  • 1 metal curry comb
  • 1 used cold tea bag - optional
  • 1 stable rubber/ tea towel
  • 1 strapping pad
  • 1 water brush
  • 2 clean sponges
  • 1 cactus cloth - optional
  • 1 tail bandage
  • Mane and tail conditioner - optional
  • Hoof oil and a brush

Step 3: Clean the hooves

Begin by tying up your horse. It's always advisable to tie him up outside, as it's better for his respiration. But it can be done inside a stable, as well. Give him a hay net, whilst you groom him, if needed. Always start the grooming process on the left hand side of your horse. It's very important that you first clean out the hooves. Pick up his leg. Clean the hoof from heel to toe. Be very careful not to dig into the frog, which is the V shape in the centre of the hoof. It is vital that you check for any stones and foreign bodies, as you clean.

Step 4: Remove any dirt and sweat marks

Use the dandy brush in short, flicking movements. Start on the neck. Then go over the body and down the legs. Use the other hand to feel for any injuries or heat. Don't forget to brush in between all his legs. Clean the dandy brush with the plastic curry comb as you go. For sensitive or thin skinned horse's use a cactus cloth instead of the hard dandy brush. Use the same flicking motions as you did before.

Step 5: Remove hair and promote circulation

Use a rubber curry comb when your horse is molting or just to help stimulate circulation. Apply it in firm, circular motions, all over the body- but avoid his legs!

Step 6: Remove any dirt and grease

Use the body brush and metal curry comb, for this procedure. Begin to brush, once more, in short flicking, but firm motions, all over the body. This particular process is the back bone of the grooming process and must not be rushed. To do it correctly, will take you approximately half an hour. In between strokes, scrape the brush onto the metal curry comb. This removes the grease from the brush. Brush down the legs and in between the creases of the skin to stop any sores or rubs forming. Also concentrate on where any tack comes into contact with the skin, especially around the girth area. Occasionally empty the curry comb onto the floor.

Step 7: Groom the head

Undo the quick release knot attaching your horse to the wall. Take the head collar off around his neck. With one hand steady the horse's nose. Using only the body brush, groom your horse's head. Pay particular attention to where the bridle comes into contact with the skin.

Step 8: Brush the mane

If you have a horse with a very thick or tangled mane, start by lightly spraying some of the mane and tail conditioner, over the hair. Gently brush it with a soft body brush, or even your fingers, to stop the hairs from breaking and being pulled out. Only ever use a comb for plaiting. Don't forget to brush the forelock, which is the mane between his ears.

Step 9: Brush the tail

Once more, start with a light spray of the mane and tail conditioner, which will help to smooth the hair. Stand slightly to the side of the horse in case he kicks. Take hold of the whole tail with one hand. With the other gradually brush the tail in small, sections, until the whole tail is groomed. Only use a soft body brush or your fingers, to remove knots and debris.

Step 10: Sponge the eyes, nose and dock

Dampen a clean sponge. Wipe around each eye with it. Gently wipe around the nostrils. Although a damp sponge is commonly used to clean the eyes, you can also wipe each eye with a cold used tea bag, as we see her doing now. Then dampen a different clean sponge and wipe under the horse's dock, which is just un