Before getting started on grooming your horse, you need to have the proper tools – a curry comb or mitt, a moderately stiff body brush, a mane and tail comb, preferably metal, a soft bristle finishing brush, a hoof pick and a clean soft cloth or sponge. You may also want to add scissors or a clipper and grooming sprays.
First, make sure your horse is safely and securely tied without being uncomfortable.
When cleaning hooves, slide your hand down the horse’s leg. Holding the hoof, use the pick to remove any dirt or debris in the sole of the foot. Check each hoof for any problems to bring to the attention of your farrier or veterinarian. Gently release the foot, continuing until each foot is cleaned.
Next, beginning on your horse’s left side, using the curry comb or grooming mitt and with circular motions, clean your horse’s body. Use a gentle touch over any bony areas. Your horse will let you know if your touch is too heavy by a swishing tail or laying back ears.
Comb or brush the mane and tail using downward strokes, the way the hair grows. Stand to the side to avoid a kick. A detangling spray will help the process go more smoothly.
The body brush can then be used to get rid of dirt left by the curry comb. Brush in the direction the hair grows.
The finishing brush, with its softer bristles, can be used on the face, ears and throat as well as the body. This brush will clean ay further dust and help smooth down the hair.
It’s advisable not to use grooming sprays on the saddle area as they can make the area slippery and your saddle may shift.
Check eyes, ears and muzzle and using either the dampened soft cloth or the dampened sponge, clean those areas gently.
Once your finish grooming, you can apply sprays to keep flies away or sunscreen if necessary.
As you groom your horse, check each area you’re working on to make sure there are no problems.
If your horse is sensitive to grooming, start slowly with a soft brush or cloth, noting the areas where your horse doesn’t like to be touched.