Grooming doesn’t just make your horse’s coat shine, it’s also a real health booster. A good grooming session achieves all of the following goals:
- Promotes circulation
- Massage the muscles
- Helps remove dead skin cells
- Stimulates the production of beneficial oils.
However, this is only possible if you have the right kit for effective grooming. There are many different brushes and kits available – scroll down to see our five must-have essential brushes for your kit.
Benefits of grooming
In addition to removing dirt, grooming is the perfect opportunity for you to spot bumps, swelling, or skin issues so you can treat them quickly. Also, most horses enjoy grooming time and this is a great opportunity for you to bond with him.
Each time you groom him, watch his reactions to see what he likes and dislikes. He’ll soon let you know when you’ve reached “that spot” he likes you to brush – he may nudge you to groom him some more, or even point the area with his nose.
Take your time grooming your horse and learn to read his body language; it really is the perfect opportunity to get to know him and build this very important partnership.
A daily groom
Grooming your horse daily will help keep him clean and promote a healthy coat and skin, and is a must before riding him. Even if you’re short on time, grooming him where his tack is to make sure his coat is clean will reduce the chance of chafing his tack.
However, it is also important not to overgroom your horse, especially in winter if he is not clipped and not wearing a blanket when he is out. Brushing once a day with a dandy brush to check for new lumps and bumps should suffice. Grooming it too much can strip the coat of natural oils and reduce its waterproofing abilities.
The essentials of your grooming kit
A good basic grooming kit will contain a selection of key brushes which are all designed for a specific purpose. You can buy these brushes individually or buy a grooming kit that will contain all the brushes you will need. Many also come with a useful bag or box to store them in.
Let’s see what these brushes are and what they should be used for to ensure that your horse is well groomed and relaxed with a clean and healthy coat…
It is a rubber or plastic short-toothed comb that loosens hair, dirt and other particles. It also stimulates the skin for healthy blood circulation and the production of natural oils.
- Dandy brush
These brushes have long, stiff bristles to remove dirt and hair lifted by the curry comb. The bristles can be plastic or natural fibers.
- body brush
This is a soft bristled brush that is used to remove dust and grease from the coat and produce a shine. Body brushes are made from natural fibers, such as horse or goat hair, or from soft synthetic fibers. They should generally be used in conjunction with a metal curry comb (see below) to remove dust.
- Metal curry comb
This is used to remove dirt from body brushes during grooming, by moving the bristles of the body brush over the teeth of the curry comb after a few brush strokes.
- Mane brush/comb
As the name suggests, this essential grooming kit is used to remove tangles from the mane and tail. Opting for a soft brush on the tail is a good idea to prevent too much hair from sticking out, which could lead to a thin tail.
Clean your brushes
If you want your brushes to do the job and keep your horse’s coat clean, you need to take care of them. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations, but generally speaking, washing them regularly in warm soapy water and rinsing them thoroughly will ensure that your brushes will last and do the job of effectively cleaning your horse’s coat.
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