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Horse Grooming Guide

So, it is obvious that you are reading this article because you have a beautiful pony or horse standing in your barn or you may be planning to buy one. What we are going to mention in this post is taking care of arguably the best-looking animal of the entire animal kingdom.
Taking care doesn’t just involve you feeding or showering your horse to the best of your ability. It requires timely grooming. So, we’re going to talk about you groom a horse.
First step

The first step that you will need to follow when you take up grooming your horse is to secure it. Although you might have trained your horse to stand still while grooming, it might feel the need to move around and in this situation it might just walk away, disturbing the grooming process.
So it’s best to secure it gently to something strong, using ropes to prevent it from moving around while you groom it.
Remember that, if you are tying the horse to a ring or post, then always use a quick- release knot. This is to be done because, if the horse happens to spook out while it is tied, it may try to escape by pulling back against the rope with all its force and that is very dangerous for you and the horse, both.
In such situation, the horse may even break its neck or may injure you badly, so its better to have a quick release knot so that you can let the horse get away from the rope if it spooks out, by untying the knot at a fast pace.
If you don’t want to take any chances then you might as well keep a knife handy so as to cut the ropes and let the horse go free immediately.
Pick your Horse’s Hooves
To do this, pick the horse’s foot and run your hand down its leg, gently squeezing it’s tendons. Grab the hoof and then use a hoof pick to pick it. Start from the heel of the foot and then pick forward to the toe.
Be sure to carefully remove all the rocks, dirt and debris while you clean the hoof on either side of the frog, which is the V-shaped part of the hoof. Remember, while doing this job, never to pick the horse’s frog or dig deeply into the grooves.
If the frog is very black, squishy, soft and smell’s bad then be very careful then get it checked by a Vet. Picking your horse’s feet is important because while you do so, you remove all those stones, screws and other sharp objects that might hurt it’s frog and hoofs.
Also, it is necessary to pick the hoofs before you ride out on the horse, even if it is wearing shoes. This is to make walking comfortable for your horse. The best time to to this is after or before a ride.
Use a Curry-Comb to Remove Loose Hair from the Horse

After the feet are done, now is the time for the horse’s coat to be groomed. To begin with it, start by using a rubber curry-comb to loosen up all the dirt, mud and bits of other things that may be caught in your horse’s coat.
Currying is something that has to be done before the brushing for getting the best results. While using a curry, be sure to be vigorous and use it in small circular motions over the horse’s muscles and be very careful while you do it near the bony areas of the horse, such as its face, spine and legs.
Work your way from the neck, to the barrel and then go all the way to the rump. If you ride your horse regularly then be sure to brush well in its girth area. While you rub the curry-comb, use it such that it is brushed in the direction opposite to the direction of the horse’s hair. This will loosen up the dirt more effectively.
Using a Dandy Brush
A dandy brush is a hard brush that is used to take off all the dirt and hair that is brought up after using the curry-comb. While using the dandy brush, brush in short, straight, flicking motions to allow the bristles to get all the way through the coat and remove out all the dirt.
Start the work at the neck and gradually move towards the back. However, be sure not to use it on the horse’s legs, as they are too sensitive for this hard brush. Also, don’t use the brush on the horse’s face, mane, tail or nay clipped area of the horse as it can give them an immediate discomfort.
Clean Up with a Soft brush

After the main cleaning is done using the hard brush, now is the time to conceal the job using a softer brush. This is the brush for all those sensitive parts of the horse than cannot be cleaned using the dandy brush.
However, while using the soft brush also, be careful while you clean the horse’s face and its ears.This brush it meant to remove all the remaining dirt that the dandy brush may miss out. So, after all the sensitive parts are cleaned using this brush, give the horse a total run down using it. Brush the entire horse’s body and finish the job.  
Using a Cloth

It’s good to clean the horse’s face separately as well, using a cloth. For the sake of this, take a damp sponge or washcloth and wipe your horse’s eyes and nose clean. Also, use a different to clean the dock area.
Since these areas are constantly moist, it becomes essential to remove all the dirt and mucus that gets built up there. Remember to stay gentle while you do this job, as these areas are very sensitive and so, if you clean them harshly, you can end up injuring the horse.
 Brushing the Mane and Tail

For the sake of doing this job, use a wide-bristled mane comb or brush to get the tangles out of the mane and tail. Before you start, ensure that you use your fingers to separate the hair that may be caught in large tangles.
While brushing, hold the tail or the large section of the mane in one hand and brush it using the other hand. Continue with this, taking small pieces from the side of the tail until you are done brushing the whole tail.
Remember to stay on the side of your horse while you brush its tail because the horse may tend to kick. You don’t want to take that kick as it can injure you badly, so better to stay in a safe spot. To avoid this, you can keep your hand on the horse or keep talking to it and keep it attentive.
If you are planning to use any of the horsehair products then use the natural ones rather than using the silicon based products. Also, use them after you are done with the entire grooming process.
These products are generally for the tail and mane; however, before using them, spray a bit on your horse to see how it reacts. If it reacts positively, use then and make your look all the more handsome.
Trimming the Over Grown Fur
The summers are here and so, it is essential to clip the excess of fur that your horse must have grown to combat the winter’s chill. If you don’t do it, then the heat will make your horse feel uncomfortable and get it irritated. So, the best option here is to trim it off. However, before you take up the job, make sure that you know how to do it properly. If you don’t know, then leave it for the professionals or take some online tutorials.
Also, make sure that you buy good quality horse clippers so that you don’t end up injuring your horse by using bad quality clippers. So, after you have the clipper and you are ready to clip, ensure that you calm your horse down. It might happen so that the horse may panic listening at its sound and may try to gallop away.
If this happens while you are already trimming the fur and it tries to run then there can be harsh consequences. It might get injured or may injure you as well. So, to prevent this from happening, first, introduce your horse to the clipper, get it familiar with it and then start clipping it’s fur after you see that its comfortable with the machine.
Spraying the Horse with Fly Spray
It is the summer time and so, there can be many flies out there that can irritate your horse. In addition, the flies can also spread infections as well the biting flies can cause the horse pain.
So, the best thing to do to avoid this is, after the entire grooming procedure is done, spray an insect repellant solution on your horse. However, be careful that the spray is organic and animal friendly. Also, be sure not to spray it on the horse’s face.

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