A Quick Guide to Grooming Horses
Updated: Jan 10, 2022
It is no secret that horses have amazing hair, but did you know that it can be rather high maintenance to keep up with? While wild horses do not need to be groomed to stay comfortable, horses that are being ridden definitely do—preferably before every ride.
Wild herds of horses will learn to self-groom from the other members of the pack, but horses that have grown up in captivity have learned that humans will take care of that for them.
Grooming removes any dirt and debris that has built up in a horse’s coat or hooves, which means wearing a saddle is more comfortable for the horse and there is less risk of its foot becoming injured on the ride. Plus, grooming is a great way for riders to bond with their horse and grow more comfortable around the animals before hopping in the saddle!
How to Groom a Horse
1. Start with a curry comb. A curry comb is a soft rubber comb with many nubs on it, designed to get the dirt out of a horse’s fur. It is used in a circular motion to agitate the dirt, and it promotes blood flow to the horse’s skin.
2. Follow with a hard brush. A hard brush will come behind the curry comb and get rid of all the dirt that was brought to the surface. Brush with the grain of the hair to get all the debris off the horse’s body.
3. Next, use a soft brush. The soft brush gets the final bit of dirt out and conditions the horse’s hair by bringing its natural oils to the surface. This is what makes a horse’s coat soft and shiny before your ride.
4. Follow by cleaning the hooves. Cleaning the hooves is a vital part of grooming your horse, as its feet can be sensitive and any trapped debris, like rocks or sticks, can cause injuries and lameness. Hooves should always be picked both before or after riding, both for horses that are shoed and horses that are not.
5. Lastly, brush the mane and tail. Brushing the tangles out of the mane and tail is an important part of horse hair maintenance so it is good to get in the habit of doing it with every ride. While this does not impact the functionality of the ride, keeping the mane and tail as tangle-free as possible will help it grow long and prevent breakage.
If you are ready to learn more about horses and go for a horseback ride through the Rockies, we are the team to come see! Book your ride today.
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