How to Groom a Horse for a Show?

Horse grooming improves friendliness between you and your horse as you enjoy each other’s nearness. Grooming also stimulates healthy blood circulation and gives you a chance to check over the horse’s body for any visible wounds, particularly the parts of the body that would be in contact with tack. Stable horses must be groomed daily, that is before and after a ride. Still, horses that live naturally would do some of the activities themselves like brushing against trees, fences and rolling on the ground. Some people like to clip the horse if you are one of them, then you can look into that in a separate section. You must be careful in choosing the best horse grooming kit for your horse.

STEP 1 – Secure your horse

Secure your horse

 

Though your horse is trained to stand still, several horses would feel to change and shift their feet while grooming. To make sure that your horse is held in position, attach the front rope beyond the height of the horse’s shoulder blades, withers and be fast to put a quick-release knot for securing it to a post or ask someone to hold the rope.

You should use a quick-release knot if your horse is spooked or tries to escape by moving in a backward direction. This is an extremely dangerous one for both of you. In case of an emergency, you must keep a spike in the grooming kit which could help you to release knots and cut the rope.

STEP 2 – Pick your horse’s hooves

STEP 2 - Pick your horse’s hooves

You should stand near your horse while facing it in the opposite direction and you should hold your pickaxe in your hand significantly away from the horse. Next, you should pull up the horse’s foot, bring the hand closest to the horse in front of its foot and immediately you separate your horse’s foot. You should lean slightly on your horse and help them move the mass to the other side. This will cause your horse to lose its foot. Once the foot is tall, you should keep it securely supported in your hand.

You can use the pick clogs to start and begin the process with the end of the foot and specifically choose towards the toes and gently remove all stones and dirt. Next, you must clean the grooves on both sides of the V-shaped legs, also known as frogs. You should not choose hooves or dig deep inside the trench. If you are planning to do this for the first time, it is better to seek the help of an experienced person.

STEP 3 – Use a Curry comb for loosening hair and dirt

Use a Curry comb for loosening hair and dirt

You should comb starting from ear to tail without making tangles at the head, tail and mane, lower legs. You must be very careful over bony parts because it may cause tangles. Just move your comb along with the horse’s coat in a little circle of motion in the opposite direction of the hair growth. You should not apply much weight but be strong enough to remove the dirt from the coat. While circling the brush you would begin to see bits of dirt from the outer layer of the horse’s skin and this loosened dirt would be easy to clean. You can get curry comb for loosening hair and dirt along with horse grooming kit.

STEP 4 – Use a Hard brush/Dandy brush to remove hair, dirt and sweat.

Use a Hard brush/Dandy brush to remove hair, dirt and sweat.

A Hard brush is also known as Dandy brush and it depends on how you like to call it. It is a firm bristled brush which can take off the hair and dirt present in the surface by the curry comb. You should not use this brush on your horse’s mane, tail, head, or lower legs. You should begin along the neck and run your way down towards the body by a short straight shifting motion to remove off the dust or debris.

STEP 5 – Smooth and clean up with a Soft brush/Body brush

Smooth and clean up with a Soft brush/Body brush

The Soft brush is often also acknowledged as the Body brush that can be used on all parts of the horse due to its softer fibres. This brush is used to polish off your horse’s coat and gives it a softened look, shiny feel. It is also excellent for smoothing out the mane and the tail.

You need to use this brush in deep, smooth strokes, just start at the head and run your way along the body then down the legs. Use fast cleaning motions on the lower leg to remove dirt where it was too tender for the hard brush. It is also beneficial to use along the joint of the nose and the cheeks but be cautious to avoid the end of the nose and the eyes as these are all very sore areas. Some people choose to use a separate brush for the face, which is just a shorter version and it is called a Face brush. You can get any kind of comb in the horse grooming kit.

STEP 6 – Brush out the mane and the tail

STEP 6 - Brush out the mane and the tail

When brushing the tail you must stand to the side of the horse because that is a safer position away from the horse kicks. First, of all, part the most critical tangles with your fingers. You can use a wide-tooth comb or brush for detangling the remaining of the mane and tail. You should certainly work your own method by taking tiny sections at a time and also holding the tip of the section using one hand and brushing through with the other section in another hand for avoiding any type of tugging.

STEP 7- Spray the horse with fly spray

Spray the horse with fly spray

Flies could be a disturbance to horses particularly in the summer season so you just need to spray your horse with fly spray and sprinkle them with disinfectant liquid to avoid them the spreading infection or even stinging and causing your horse sickness. You can spray the solution over the horse body and be alert to avoid the face.