Have you ever been to a dressage competition? Or seen some of the racing horses before they go out on the track? Horses are naturally beautiful animals, but even more so when they’re groomed, brushed, and ready to go.
Many animals require grooming care, and horses are no exception. Their coats need brushing, their mane and tail need to be combed out, their hooves should be picked clean and inspected regularly. Think about it: you wouldn’t go too long without showering, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or clipping your fingernails, right?
Well, horses need similar care, but specialized and adapted to fit their unique needs. Keep reading to learn more about horse grooming basics.
Best Horse Grooming Kit with Equiderma
Before you get started on grooming your horse, you’ll need the right brushes and other tack and equipment. You will want to include the following items in your grooming kit, some of which can be found at Equiderma:
- Equiderma Neem Shampoo
- Equiderma Neem Conditioner
- Equiderma Skin Lotion
- Silicon Spray
- Equiderma Horse Spray
- Mane and Tail Comb
- Hoof Pick
- Cloth or Sponge
- Finishing Brush
- Body Brush (one with stiff bristles and one with medium stiff bristles)
- Thrush Treatment
Some of these tools are must-haves, such as the currycombs and hoof picks. Others are secondary items that will be just as beneficial when it comes down to keeping your horse looking and feeling clean and well groomed.
How to Take Care of a Horse: Grooming 101
A horse’s mane and tail require different care than its coat. And there are specific things you’ll need to be aware of when it comes to their hooves. But don’t worry. Just like with most things in life, practice makes perfect.
It’s important and recommended that you groom your horse before you ride, and after you ride or exercise it. We’ve broken down the parts of the grooming process below. Take a look.
You’ll need to be careful and attentive about setting up your horse-grooming station. Make sure your horse is tied in a safe, comfortable location and that the equipment you’ll be using isn’t placed somewhere where your horse could step on it or kick it. You don’t want this experience to be uncomfortable or scary for your animal.
Before you get started on the actual brushing and combing, we recommend you inspect your horse’s hooves. If you see anything that concerns you, it’s good to be aware of it before you go out riding. Pick out rocks and clumps of dirt and watch for signs of thrush.
While checking the hooves, it’s also a good time to examine your horse’s legs. Run your hands down each leg and pay special attention to any lumps, bumps, or scrapes.
After you’ve completed the precursor steps, you’re ready to begin the actual grooming. Starting with the currycomb, use circular strokes to brush your horse from its neck down to its rump. Currycombs loosen dirt and massage your animal’s muscles as it goes.
Then use your stiff bristle body brush to brush away the dirt the currycomb loosened. Go in the same direction as you started: from neck to rump. You can use the medium bristled brush to go over your horse one last time and get rid of any dirt the stiff bristles brush missed.
The last brush you use will be the finishing brush. Stick to the same pattern of brushing (neck to rump) and use long, sweeping strokes. Where the previous brushes should only be used on your horse’s body and belly, this brush can also be used on your animal’s throat, face, and ears.
Once you’ve finished brushing out your horse, you can move to the mane and tail. We recommend starting at the ends of each and working your way up to the root. There are several mane and tail detangler options you can use to help in this process. Work your way through until you can run your comb from top to bottom with no snags or knots.
You can put hoof dressing on your horse’s hooves after you’re finished, as well as a silicone spray to your animal’s body that works to make your horse’s coat shiny and sleek. The whole process can take a bit of time, but it’s a great opportunity to spend time with your horse and create a close bond as you practice regular grooming.
With these tips and a good grooming kit, you can give your horse the TLC to look and feel better.