Grooming Your Horse

Learning how to groom your horse properly is essential for proper horse care and developing a bonding relationship between the rider and horse. To promote a healthy and durable coat, groom your horse on a frequent and thorough basis. These instructions cover the fundamental procedures for grooming your horse and are intended to serve as a checklist for each time you groom your horse.


A lead rope, curry comb, hard (stiff) brush, soft brush, mane, and tail brush, hoof pick, cloth/washcloth, and fly spray are all required.

Step 1: Secure Your Horse with a Lead Rope

Before you begin grooming your horse, it must be properly secured with a fast-release knot. After ensuring that the horse is safe, you can begin grooming your horse.

Step 2: Loosen Excess Dirt and Mud with the Curry Comb

To begin, use the rubber curry comb in small circular motions (about the size of your hand) to dislodge excess dirt and sludge. Begin at the horse's neck and work your way down either side. Avoid using the curry comb on your horse's face, spine, or legs because these are sensitive regions.

*Metal curry combs are available, however, they should not be used. They are harsh and may cause injury to the horse.

Step 3: Remove Dirt and Mud using a Stiff/Hard Brush

Begin with the hard/stiff brush at the horse's neck and work your way to the horse's back. To remove the additional dirt and mud that the curry comb released, use quick, brisk strokes. Avoid using a firm brush on sensitive areas of the horse's body, such as the face, ears, and legs, since this can cause discomfort and irritation.

Step 4: Groom Sensitive Areas with a Soft Brush to Remove Any Remaining Dust

Remove the remaining layer of dust off your horse's body using a soft brush. Use this brush to groom delicate regions like your face and legs. Brush the face gently with a soft brush (smaller soft brushes can be purchased to help with this). Brush the horse's entire body using this brush, starting at the head and working your way back to the rump on both sides.

Step 5: Clean Your Horse's Face with a Sponge or Washcloth

With a wet/damp sponge or washcloth, gently clean around your horse's eyes and nostrils. A separate sponge or towel can be used to clean the horse's dock area (around the tail). It is critical to remember that if you will be grooming many horses, do not use the same sponge/washcloth. To avoid the spread of germs or sickness, each horse should have his or her sponge/washcloth.

*You can also clean the horse's dock region with a separate sponge or cloth. Use a different sponge for the face and the dock.

Step 6: Brush Out the Mane and Tail using a Wide-tooth Comb or Mane and Tail Brush

Caution: When executing this step, DO NOT STAND DIRECTLY BEHIND THE HORSE!

To begin, work your fingers through your horse's mane and tail to remove any major knots. Take a fistful of the horse's mane in one hand and softly comb it through with the other. When combing out the tail, stand to the side of the horse (NOT DIRECTLY BEHIND the horse) and maintain a hand or arm contacting the horse to let them know you're there.

*If necessary, horse detangling spray is available and can be used to help detangle a particularly tangled mane or tail. These sprays also shine the horse's mane and tail and are suitable for special events.

*Some skilled groomers avoid using combs in their horses' hair because they can rip the hair out.

Step 7: Clean Your Horse's Hooves Using a Hoofpick

You must first elevate your horse's hoof. After running your fingers down the rear of their legs, most horses will elevate their hooves. If your horse's hoof does not lift, gently squeeze the tendon on the back of the leg.

It is critical not to over-squeeze this tendon since this can cause lameness. After lifting the hoof, use the hoof pick to scrape any rocks, dirt, mud, or other foreign objects from your horse's hoof from the heel to the toe. Take great care not to scrape the frog off the hoof with the hoof pick. The frog is a delicate V-shaped region of the hoof that, if scraped, can cause lameness.

*It is critical to clean your horse's hooves before and after riding to avoid injury.

Step 8: Use Fly Spray to Protect Your Horse When Necessary

Spraying your horse with fly spray (formulated for horses) at the end of your grooming session will help protect him or her from these annoying insects throughout the months when flies are abundant. To avoid spraying the horse in the face with fly spray, follow the instructions on the bottle.

*You can spray ShowSheen on your horse's coat to give it extra shine.

*In the photo above, the fly spray appears to be directed at the horse's face, but he turned his head to watch me spray the remainder of his body.

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