Having a nicely groomed horse isn’t just necessary for its appearance, grooming can actually have an affect on the overall health and well being of the animal. A good grooming session may increase blood flow, comfort muscles and joints and even prevent common hoof issues from occurring. This process can also strengthen the bond between you and your horse, as grooming can relax the animal. Here are some tips that can help you better groom your horse:
1. Invest in quality supplies
You can get a cheap brush, which may be a good decision financially, but that might not be the best option for your horse. It’s better to invest in a high-quality brush that will last you a long time.
2. Care for your brushes
When you have found the proper grooming brush, it’s essential to care for it so it stays in good shape.
- Store the brush so its bristles aren’t bent or being pushed up against anything.
- Occasionally clean with soap and water to rid the brush of bacteria, sebum and grime, otherwise, you’ll just be spreading those things back onto your horse.
- Never share your grooming tools, so as not to spread infections and conditions from horse to horse.
Regularly cleaning your brushes and other grooming materials may prevent your horse from picking up skin infections.
3. Pay attention to the tail
At least once a week, you should tend to your horse’s tail. It can get dirty and tangled fairly quickly, so try shampooing and conditioning it (you may need to use a detangler). When the hair is dry, braid it so your horse’s tail appears clean and put-together.
Note: Make sure you’re extra careful with its tail to preserve the length and health. Get out the large knots by hand, and then use a soft-bristled brush to detangle the rest of the tail.
4. Be careful how often you shampoo
Just like human hair, horse hair can become dry and dull after too many frequent washes with shampoo. When you bathe your horse, only shampoo its coat every other time so it stays shiny and healthy.
5. Put importance on good nutrition
What your horse eats may not be a part of its grooming process, but the food it consumes has a direct effect on the appearance of its hair and coat. Never underestimate the power of good quality feed and equine supplements, as they may help keep your animal healthy from the inside out. Finish Line®’s Feet First®, Coat Second contains the proper balance of essential fatty acids to help your horse’s coat shine.
Talk to your veterinarian about your horse’s diet, and see if it may be missing key nutrients or vitamins.
6. Use microfiber cloths
When your horse’s coat has been bathed, shampooed, conditioned and dried, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the animal down. This will remove any remaining dirt or impurities and create a beautiful sheen. When you’re done, toss the cloth in the washing machine and reuse it for the next grooming session.
7. Make time
Grooming can seem like a time-consuming process, but the more you do it, the more it becomes second nature to both you and your horse. It can be easy to put off grooming, but to keep your horse looking and feeling great, you should schedule grooming sessions to ensure it gets done. Write it down on a calendar or set reminders on your phone. Once you get the hang of it, the whole thing should only take 15 to 20 minutes. However, you should never be rushing through the process – cutting corners won’t be doing any good for your horse.