Grooming Your Horse
Written by Loryn Lamport, our Equestrian Manager.
Regular grooming is an important part of taking care of any horse. Grooming not only keeps the horse looking neat and clean, but also it helps keep their blood circulating, which in turn reduces muscle soreness and keeps them feeling good. Thankfully, unlike dogs and other household pets, most horses love to be brushed and curried, making it an enjoyable task for both you and your horse.
What Does it Mean to Curry a Horse?
To remove loose hair from the horse, you’ll want to use what’s called a “curry comb”. Always brush your horse with a curry comb prior to brushing with a hard brush (also called a dandy brush) in order to loosen up any dirt or sediment that may have gotten trapped in the horse’s coat. It is best to brush using the curry in circular motions along the horses muscles and avoid any bony areas.
Horses’ manes and tails also need to be combed out, much like our own hair, so that knots don’t build up. The tails are important since horses use their tails to whisk away flies. In addition, the hooves need to be picked out and kept oiled to keep them in good condition. Bacteria and fungus often affect horses’ hooves if not cleaned out on a regular basis.
Different Disciplines Require Different Upkeep
Throughout the many disciplines and breed characteristics, horses’ manes are kept up differently. The Spanish horses wear very long flowing manes. Polo ponies have their manes completely shaved off so that they don’t get in the way of double reins and mallets. Most of the time, when you go to local Hunter/Jumper shows, like HITS, the horses’ manes will either be braided or pulled short.
That Special Bond Between You and Your Horse
Regular grooming is a great way to grow a special bond between you and your horse. If you have a young or particularly nervous horse, grooming them regularly will give them the opportunity to build their trust with you before you ask other tasks of them. Also, regular grooming allows you to really get to know your horse and every detail about what makes them unique. You will notice any changes to their coat, swellings, cuts, or unusual bumps that weren’t there before. This way, you can proactively address anything unusual that requires attention.
Overall, grooming your horse is not only beneficial to their health, but also a nice way to spend time and bond with them. Keep checking back on our blog for more horse care tips!