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Horse Grooming

Horse grooming to keep your horse healthy

A Happy Horse Provides Rider Enjoyment

Horse grooming is all about keeping your horse clean which will, in the long run, keep you the owner happy.  A clean horse free of cuts, scrapes and sores will mean your horse is comfortable and thus your ride will be more enjoyable.  It also should cut down on your vet bills which everyone likes.

Brushing your Horse:

When horse grooming you should always make sure you brush the areas that the girth and saddle sit on, so that they are really clean and the dirt doesn't harm or rub on the horse. Use a soft brush underneath the horse's belly so they don't get irritated, it hurts the horse if you brush the belly area with a hard brush. Think about taking the exact same brush and brushing your stomach.
If part of your tack rubs the horse resulting in rubbing you will normally see a hairless spot. That spot will be very tender and really sore for the horse. The best way to deal with a rub is to put Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or Polysporin on the rub and leave it to heal on it's own.  Rubbing can occur anywhere on a horse. More common areas are: girth area, withers, shoulder blades and his butt.

To prevent any type of rubbing under the girth, you MUST clean your girth after every ride, brush your horse's girth area BEFORE and AFTER you ride. If you already have a girth sore here are some tips to get rid of them:

1. Gently message Vaseline or Polysporin onto the rub
2. Minimize the amount of times you ride a week, that gives the rub time to heal, without being irritated again
3. Put a soft covering over your girth. Make sure the covering is CLEAN! No sense in getting more dirt under the girth area and your horse's skin.
Also when you're brushing you should take a look at the horse's legs and body to make sure there are no bumps or something wrong with them. If there are any cuts or scrapes you should deal with them right away.

Picking your Horses Feet:

Next to brushing, picking your horses feet out is the second thing you need to do prior to every ride and another part of horse gromming.  Prior to riding you should always pick your horses feet out with a hoof pick.  This removes the dirt, sand, rocks and other debris which are lodged into the hoof area.  The main purpose of picking your horses feet out are to remove the debris to ensure that while riding it does not cause bruising and eventual lameness.  Also, if the area is not cleaned out on a regular basis, fungal infections can start growing which again will result in lameness.
In the winter you have to make sure you watch the snow because if your horse has shoes on the snow will ball up inside his hoof. If the snow build up gets too big there is a chance that your horse can fall over once brought inside. A good way to prevent that is to take a hammer outside and just before you come inside the barn, hit the snow or ice, not too hard but hard enough so the build up comes off.

Some times the snow build up is small so then you can just bring the horse.  Remember to walk very slowly in the barn if your horse has snow built up under their hoof.  You may want to put him in a stall for a while to let the snow or ice soften and then use your hood pick to remove the snow before you ride.

So remember, before you ride your horse,
horse grooming is very important and essentially involves two steps brushing your horse and picking out the hoof area.