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Grooming your Horse

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Grooming is primarily carried out for appearance’s sake; however it has other objectives too.  Grooming cleans the skin so that it can work to maximum effect.

Why Groom?

Health and Development

Grooming and strapping, when the horse is rhythmically thumped with a pad on the shoulders, quarters and neck, encourages muscle development and tones and promotes circulation.

Quality Time

It allows you to spend time with your horse whilst keeping him comfortable and checking for minor injuries.

A pony/horse that lives outdoors most of the year needs the natural grease in his coat to keep him warm, so you would not treat him in the same way as a clipped pony that is mostly stabled.

Horse GroomingRoutine for an Outdoor Pony

  • Pick out the feet and check the shoes.
  • If you are riding him use a dandy brush to remove mud and sweat marks.
  • Tidy the mane and tail with a body brush.
  • Sponge out the eyes, nose, muzzle and dock.

In the case of the stabled horse, grooming is best carried out after exercise when the horse is warm and its pores are open.

Routine for a Stabled Pony

    Dandy brush

  • Pick out the feet and check the shoes.
  • Brush down unclipped areas with a dandy brush or rubber / plastic curry comb to remove mud and sweat marks.
  • Tidy the mane and tail with a body brush.
  • Work on the head, gently, with a body brush. Goat hair brushes are ideal for this.
  • Sponge out the eyes, nose, muzzle and dock.
  • Finally polish with a stable rubber, sheepskin or chamois leather to put ‘bloom’ on the coat.

General Tips

  • Always start grooming from front to rear, starting just behind the ears.
  • The secret of good grooming relies on getting your whole weight behind the brush.
  • After a few strokes with a body brush, clean the brush on the curry comb which is held in the other hand.
  • Never use a dandy brush on clipped skin.
  • When picking out the feet always use the hoof pick in a downwards direction (from heel to toe).
  • Catch any dirt you remove from the feet in a skip rather than allowing it to fall on the floor or into the bed.
  • If bathing your horse choose a warm day and dry your horse well.
  • A separate sponge (preferably of a different colour to distinguish it) should be used to clean out the dock, and the sheath of geldings, this will prevent you muddling it with the one for eyes and muzzle!
  • Wash your brushes regularly to remove sweat and grease from the bristles, and then dry them thoroughly.
  • Always tie your horse with a quick release knot so that he can be freed instantly in an emergency.

Basic Grooming Kit

  • Grooming kitDandy brush
  • Body brush
  • Rubber curry comb
  • Metal curry comb
  • Plastic curry comb
  • Thick tooth comb
  • Fine tooth comb
  • Sweat scraper
  • Sponges (two different colours)
  • Stable rubber
  • Hoof pick
  • Hoof oil brush
  • Hoof oil
  • Tack box - to ensure that your grooming tools are easy to find when they are needed!

For horse grooming equipment, check out the equestrian section of our online shop.


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