There are many reasons why you might want to own a horse. It can be a great bonding experience for one thing, and riding can also be an excellent stress reliever. Other benefits of horseback riding include improved physical fitness. Just remember that a relationship with a horse is a two way street. Your horse will be beneficial to you in many ways, but you have to care for them properly.
Grooming is one of the most important aspects of horse care. Over time, your horse will get dirty from brushing against trees and foliage or even from rolling around in the dirt. This can be bad for the horse’s skin in addition to the negative cosmetic effects. Even if you aren’t planning to show off your horse in a competition, there are many reasons to groom your horse each day.
Maintaining good grooming habits has direct health benefits for your horse — it keeps your horse’s skin in better condition by stimulating oils and blood circulation. You’ll also become familiar with your horse’s skin sensitivity, and you’ll be able to notice any changes immediately.
Grooming also gives you the opportunity to do a thorough inspection of your horse. This is vital for horse healthcare, and you should look for general alertness and comfort as well as pay attention to common problem areas. For example, one of the biggest threats to your horse is a foot ailment, so you should be examining your horse’s feet often. Inspect hooves for things like cracks or impacted stones. It’s also a good practice to check your horse’s teeth and gums for sores or other dental problems, and also check for any signs of back pain.
Equipment and techniques
Now that you know why horse grooming is important, you want to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. While the products you’ll want can vary based on where you keep your horse and whether you plan to compete in any way, there are some bare essentials any horse owner should have.
Firstly, you’re going to need a few different brushes for different purposes. A rubber curry comb is the bare minimum. Its short rubber teeth are great for loosening shedding hair as well as removing dirt and other debris from your horse’s coat. Your kit should also contain a stiff brush. This is used to brush away any remaining dirt the curry comb pulled to the surface, and it can be great for getting mud off your horse’s legs. Finally, you’ll need a soft brush to smooth out the horse’s coat, as well as to brush the mane and tail. This brush can also be useful when giving your horse a full bath. Your grooming routine should typically include once over with each brush.
Another absolute necessity is a hoof pick. This is a fairly self-explanatory item made for removing mud and other debris from a horse’s hooves to prevent complications. In most cases, debris can simply be flicked away with the pick. Certain supplements made specifically for horses can also make sure they get what they need in their diet. Finish Line horse products are a good investment to ensure you’re getting your horse the best treatment for the value.
There are other, more luxurious items you may opt to use when grooming your horse, but a hoof pick and decent collection of brushes are mandatory. For the sake of your horse’s comfort, it’s best to brush in the direction of hair growth and learn your horse’s ticklish or sensitive areas so you can take extra care around them. Taking proper care of your horse will help facilitate a deeper bond and ensure you grow with your horse for many years to come.