Horses are magnificent creatures that require a lot of care and grooming in order to stay healthy. Ensuring that one’s horse is healthy requires no rocket science and can go a long way in saving money. Most of the grooming can be carried out at home with no requirement of specialization.
1. Checking up on any bruises or swelling
Some few basic tips and tricks in grooming a horse include examining the horse everyday to check for any bruises or swellings. This should be done especially after riding the horse. Most scrapes that are not too deep can be ignored and are considered normal. On the other hand, deep cuts may need further examination and also medical attention and dressing.
2. Repairing and cleaning horse barns
If the horse has cuts and swellings and was not ridden any time in the past, the barn should be investigated and examined for anything that would have harmed it. Small horse barns may get old and as a result of the horse rubbing itself against the wall, the wall may break, become jagged and subsequently cut the horse. To prevent this, the barn should be repaired regularly and any holes in the floor and wall fixed. Any object that may harm the horse should be kept away from its dwelling place, for example, broken bottles and jagged rocks.
The barns should at all times be clean and dry. A wet floor may cause the horse to slip and fall while a smelly one may irritate the horse. After using a pitchfork and bucket to clean the barns, one should also dry the wet spots. To keep the barns fresher and cleaner for longer one should spread shavings or straw on the floor as they absorb most of the wetness. Cleanliness should be practiced not only in the barn but even in their water drinkers and food containers. This will ensure that the horse does not acquire illnesses from the atmosphere or their surroundings.
(Note from Joni: If your horse is on pasture please make sure to routinely check the pasture area for any dangerous debris, holes, ruts, etc. and also check all fence lines and gates.)
3. Exercising as a routine
Exercise is very important for the health of a horse. An exercise routine should be established by first riding the horse for a small duration of time and gradually increasing the duration making sure not to overtire the horse.
(Note from Joni: If you can not ride the horse the horse can be hand walked, lounged, or put out in a large pasture with other horses for some playtime.)
As part of the grooming exercise, horses need to be brushed in order to maintain that glowing coat. The chest and girth area should be brushed not too roughly as it may lead to formation of sores. The manes and tails should be brushed and their hooves picked. A hard brush should be used at first for the mane, tail and hooves followed by a soft one. Good quality rubber massage curry combs should be used on the other parts as they do not cause abrasions on the coat of the horse. In brushing the coat, one should follow the direction of orientation of the horse’s hairs as there will be minimum irritation. Many gloss and shine products have been produced and one should be able to decide on which brand to use for their horse.
Proper horse grooming may prove to be cheap in the long run as less medical care is needed for a healthy horse.
(Note from Joni: Grooming your horse also helps you and your horse bond. Many humans also find that grooming a horse helps them relax and release stress. So it good for both of you.