A Basic Guide to Grooming Your Horse
A horse with a slick, glossy coat can turn heads. A slick coat is what makes a horse look happy and healthy. That’s why it’s helpful for you to master some horse grooming tricks even if you never plan to show your horse. This post will provide you with a few basic grooming tips to ensure that your horse’s coat shines and turns heads.
Step One: Ensure Proper Nutrition
Before you even begin to start with your horse groom tactics, you need to take care of the most vital step – ensuring your horse gets proper nutrition. Even if you regularly groom your horse, its coat will be unable to reach its full gloss potential unless the horse gets proper nutrition.
Good nutrition for a horse includes adequate amounts of protein and fatty acids. This can be adjusted based on the medical needs and activity level of your horse. Besides their regular diet, you can provide your horse with coat-enriching supplements such as Glo-N-Go (liquid) or Weight Gain (powder). These contain essential ingredients like Vitamin E, fatty acids, thiamine, etc. that can ensure a glossy coat on your horse.
Step Two: Get the Grooming Right Tools
You don’t need a myriad of grooming products to ensure a healthy shine for your horse’s coat. In fact, some experts suggest that you can’t substitute the old-fashioned “elbow grease” with fancy grooming products. However, there are a few horse grooming tools you should invest in:
- Rubber currycomb
- Mane comb
- Hoof pick
- Soft-bristled brush
- Stiff-bristled brush
- Detangler/shine product
Make sure the horse grooming tools you use are always clean. Before you wash your horse, try soaking the brushes in warm water and add a bit of dish soap. After soaking for a few minutes, rinse off the soap thoroughly and let the brushes dry in the sun.
Step Three: Groom Regularly
A horse that’s not groomed properly tends to have a dull coat because of the salt from its sweat. This could irritate the skin as well. So it’s important that you regularly brush your horse so as to remove dead hair and skin. It’s also helpful in distributing oils evenly throughout the horse’s coat.
Step Four: Reduce the Number of Baths
Baths may be an important part of a horse groom regime, but too many could have an adverse effect on your horse’s coat. Frequently giving soapy baths to your horse could strip natural oils from the horse’s skin and result in a dry and dull coat. However, you should give your horse a good rinsing down after a hard workout to help them cool down and wash off dirt and sweat.
You should closely examine the horse’s skin for signs of dandruff. The presence of dandruff indicates that you’re either not bathing your horse enough or too frequently. You may need to make adjustments in your horse bathing schedule.
Whenever you bathe your horse, you should make sure to rinse off the soap thoroughly. The soap residue can dry up the horse’s skin and result in a dull coat.
Step Five: Master the Currying Comb
Currying is a grooming technique essential for ensuring a glossy coat for your horse.
You need to use a stiff or flexible curry comb that is non-static and non-scratching. Choose one that’s either made of high-quality rubber or synthetic material. A good curry comb can increase blood circulation and relax tiny erector muscles connected to each hair follicle.
Run the curry comb in a circular motion from the upper neck to the hind end. Move it carefully on and around the joints and other bony protrusions. Be attentive of any changes in your horse’s expression so you can make adjustments to the pressure depending on what’s enjoyable for the horse.
Step Six: Brushing
Choose a brush with medium stiff bristles that are made from either high-quality synthetic materials or natural materials.
Use short strokes in the direction of hair growth and start behind the poll. Use a flicking motion just like you would when you’re sweeping with a corn broom. This motion will remove the dirt and debris from the skin and hair while distributing the oils evenly.
Step Seven: Finishing
You will need to invest in a high-quality finishing brush with natural bristles that are of the perfect density and length for lifting and removing dirt from the coat.
This brush will also help smooth the hair and distribute the oils. Avoid using cheap brushes as they are too soft and too loose, making them ineffective for the finishing process.
Start at the head and use long, even strokes in the direction of hair growth. Use a rubber curry to clean the brush after a few strokes so you don’t reapply the dirt that’s been removed by the brush.
This step will be enough to ensure a clean horse with a glossy coat but if you want to add some extra gloss, you can go one step further.
These are some helpful steps you can take to make sure that your horse has a slick, glossy coat. High-quality tools, proper nutrition, and a regular grooming schedule will maintain your horses healthy coat. Have any questions about horse groom techniques? Contact us any time.