How to Groom a Lesson Horse

Horse grooming is a very important part of horse care for many reasons. First, it removes dirt, oil, and hair that is shedding. Also, it increases blood flow to their skin. It also helps to look over the horse for any injuries that may have happened. Finally, it makes a bond between the horse and human.

Steps

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    Put your grooming box near the cross ties.
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    Locate your horse. Have a halter and lead rope in hand.
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    Go to the horse and put the halter on its head. Do this by putting the nose through the smallest hole first, then putting the rest over its ears.
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    Attach the lead rope to the ring underneath the horses chin.
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    Walk the horse to the cross ties, closing any gates or doors you open.
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    Attach the cross ties to the rings on the side of the face near the lips, one on either side.
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    Get the curry comb, and in small circles with firm pressure groom the whole body except for the sensitive area like the face and lower legs.
    • You should start near the ears and work your way back towards the tail.
    • Go against the hair to loosen as much as possible.
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    When finished, put the curry comb back, and grab the stiff brush.
    • Brush in short, stiff strokes to brush away the dirt curried up.
    • Brush from ears to tail.
    • Include the front of every leg, but not the face or back of the leg.
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    Grab the Dandy brush
    • Use long smooth movements to brush the entire body, going with the direction of the hair.
    • Brush the head and legs
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    Grab the hoof pick.
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    Go to each leg and stand facing the rear end of the horse.
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    Slide your hand down the leg slowly, and gently squeeze when you get to the lower leg.
    • The horse should pick up its foot
    • If not, lean into the shoulder or hip to get them off balance on that foot.
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    When the foot is up, slide your hand down to their hoof, and hold it up. Keep feet out of firing range in case they pull out of you hand.
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    Use the hoof pick to remove all dirt.
    • Clean the whole sole of the foot (the flat part) and dig deeper into the sulcus next to the frog (the soft triangular spot in the middle)
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    Brush out the bottom of the foot, and brush off around the outside of the hoof.
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    Remove the cross ties, and put the horse back where it was, or put tack on it to ride.

Tips

  • Talk in a calm soothing voice, that way the horse will feel safe.
  • Make sure the horse is aware you are coming by talking or whistling as you approach.
  • Always pay attention to what is going on in the environment and with the horse.
  • Always approach a horse diagonally from the front towards their left shoulder.

Warnings

  • Watch their ears- ears up and forward means they are paying attention. This could mean they are scared, or they are focused on you. Pay attention to them moving quickly. Ears flat back means they are angry- be aware of them biting or kicking you. Watch their feet and head at all times. Finally, ears that are droopy, and to the side means they are relaxed.
  • Never walk behind the horse, without keeping a hand on the butt or walking out of firing range, or under the chin. Horses can’t see directly in front of or behind them.
  • You never want to be too close to a hoof coming down on your foot, or a kick to the leg.
  • When working with horses, always wear a helmet, because you can suffer massive head injury, resulting potentially in disability or death.

Things You'll Need

  • A halter- or leather device that goes around the nose, under the chin, and behind the ears. This is used to control the horse
  • A lead rope- attaches under the chin to show the horse where to go
  • A set of cross-ties- two ropes hung high in the wall in an aisle or stall that connect to either side of the halter near the mouth to keep the horse standing still
  • A grooming box with
    • Curry comb- a round rubber tool that loosens hair and dirt, and brings it to the surface
    • Stiff brush- a brush that has stiff bristles so take off the dirt and hair
    • Dandy brush- a softer bristled brush to get the fine dust off the horses coat
    • Hoof pick- a small flat metal tip attached to a handle at 90 degrees used to clean dirt and rocks from their feet.

Article Info

Categories: Horse Grooming