Horse Grooming Basics

Horses, like many animals, communicate with one another through mutual grooming sessions. People participate in this same kind of bonding by treating their horse to a good brush down. Every time you groom your horse you also have the perfect opportunity to assess his health, check him over for injuries, use grooming techniques to help ensure that he stays healthy and catch any problems while they are still minor.

Grooming your horse helps to…

  • tone his muscles
  • clean his skin
  • increase blood circulation
  • improve his appearance
  • keep his coat healthy
  • give him a massage
  • strengthen the bond between you and your horse.

Important Grooming Tips:

  • Establish your own grooming routine.
  • Practice good horsemanship.
  • Keep safety a top priority for you and your horse.

Benefits of Grooming

Generally speaking, grooming brings out the natural oils in horses coats, removes surface debris, increases circulation and makes them look and feel good.

While regular grooming improves the appearance of your horse, it also has benefits that go beyond aesthetics. Hooves should be picked out every day to remove rocks and built up debris.

Regular grooming allows you to become familiar with your horse”s conformation. Becoming familiar with what is normal for your horse will give you a good reference point for assessing the severity of an injury, should one occur.

Grooming is a good time for bonding with your horse; a little positive attention without asking him for anything in return can go a long way!

Seeing Results from Grooming

Grooming should take place at least three times a week, and four to five is better. Each session should last about forty minutes. The same bonding results won”t occur if you whisk a brush over your horse”s back for five seconds before throwing a saddle on. Grooming should be a slow and pleasurable process for both of you.

Should I Groom My Horse Every Day?

Horses who are kept in a stable where they cannot roll on the ground to groom themselves should be groomed daily and after every ride. Conversely, horses who are out in the pasture do not need as much grooming.

Generally, you should not comb or brush your horse”s tail on a regular basis. Combs and brushes tend to damage the hair by breaking it off or pulling it out, causing the tail to become sparse and thin. Tangles should be removed every time you groom by “combing” through the tail with your fingers.