A Complete Guide on Horse Grooming

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Budimir Jevtic/Shutterstock

Horses are among the most beautiful and elegant of all animals out there. But, this elegance and beauty aren’t low maintenance – they require a bit of your patient help and care to stay in their top form. Horses need to be groomed on a regular basis in order to be the best version of themselves. Neglect them, and their beauty can quickly fade. Still, if you are a first-time horse owner, we understand how horse grooming can seem like a challenging and difficult task to tackle – especially on a big and gracious animal. But it’s nothing to worry about. Horse grooming is not too difficult, especially if you follow these tips and tricks that we’ve prepared for you! 

#1 Keep your horse tethered

Before you even begin with the grooming, you will want to secure your horse. By tethering their lead to a post or a wall, you will be certain that they can’t make sudden movements or elope. If you can find a suitable stall to do it in, great! Whatever the case, your horse’s movements need to be limited for this to work. Of course, if you are working with a horse that you do not really know, and you’re uncertain of their behavior, be extra careful. Some unruly horses can buck and kick you with their hind legs, which can potentially be fatal. Always ask about a horse’s behavior and tendencies before you groom them the first time. 

#2 Use the right tools

The usual first step of grooming involves a curry comb. These special combs are usually made from plastic or rubber and involve a handle and a set of dull triangular teeth. They might look dangerous and harsh at first glance, but they won’t hurt your horse, but rather feel like a pleasant massage. The function of the curry comb is to dislodge any caked mud or dirt and shed loose hair. Interestingly, the comb also helps stimulate healthy blood flow which in turn produces natural oils and makes the coat shiny and healthy. Just don’t use it on the legs and head.

Next up is a rigid body brush, which is essentially a handheld brush with stiff bristles. This is a great way to brush away all the dirt that the curry comb has loosened and to whisk away loose hair. After this is done, switch to a soft body brush, whose bristles are soft and gentle. This is a classic brush that gives you a finer finish and quickly removes all the loose dust and dirt. This brush is great for cleaning the legs and the head, as it removes that final layer of dust while still being gentle on their coat and skin.

Be sure not to overlook the tail or the mane when grooming your horse. To groom these key beauty elements on a horse, you will need a special mane (and tail) brush. A horse’s mane is flowing, elegant, and beautiful, and requires frequent maintenance. It can get tangled and dirty, so use this special brush to bring it back to its stunning luster. The same goes for the tail, whose length will allow you to utilize long and even strokes for the perfect untangling. 

#4 Cleanliness from head to hoof

Now, if your horse is especially dirty, you can give them a quick wash. For this, a classic soft sponge is ideal, as it allows you to go over the entire body while being gentle, and cleaning delicate soft spots as well. But if you are looking for a regular daily groom, you can skip this step. Once you are done with the brushing, your equine friend will already start looking spic and span. Now it is time to pay attention to the hooves, by using a special hoof pick. This is a curved metal tool that is quite useful for cleaning the hoofs of all the accumulated debris. Scrape away the caked mud on the front and dig out the dirt and the debris from the bottom – if you ignore the hooves for long, they can begin to hamper your horse’s walk. 

And that’s that – the basics of horse grooming in a few simple steps. As you can see, standard horse grooming is not a complex process. It requires a bit of patience and time and can be relaxing for both you and your horse. Just make sure to be thorough, cleaning all the parts of the body. Regular grooming can have multiple benefits for your horse – it’s not only for aesthetic purposes.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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