As any long-time horse owner can confirm, these animals require a substantial amount of grooming. Whereas dogs, cats and other house pets can get by with regular brushings and the occasional bath, horse grooming is on a whole other level. While it’s true that grooming a horse can eat up a great deal of time, consistent grooming is essential to the animal’s overall health. First-time horse owners on the hunt for practical grooming tips are sure to appreciate the following pointers.
When bathing your horse, take care to use a shampoo that’s specially formulated for these animals. Using regular shampoo on a horse’s coat is practically guaranteed to lead to knotting and irritation. Furthermore, be mindful of how much shampoo you use while washing the animal. Even if it’s a moisturizing formula, an excessive amount of shampoo can dry out your horse’s skin and cause excessive itchiness and irritation.
Have Hoofs and Teeth Filed Regularly
Your horse will also need to have its hoofs and teeth filed down on a regular basis. Failure to file down hoofs can cause the animal tremendous pain when walking, while failure to file down teeth can result in uneven wear. Both of these delicate tasks are best performed by trained specialists. Hoof maintenance should be left in the hands of a skilled farrier, and the animal’s oral health should be entrusted to a vet who specializes in horses. Investing in horse insurance is a great way to keep the associated costs from getting out of hand.
Brush Your Horse Daily
To keep your horse’s coat free of dirt and debris, it’s recommended that you brush it every day. For maximum safety, you’ll need to tie the animal’s lead rope to a pole or post above the height of its withers. Once the horse is securely in place, use a curry comb to bring any loose hair and dust to the surface. Next, remove the aforementioned elements with the help of a hard-bristled dandy brush. In addition to keeping your horse’s coat clean, this will ensure even distribution of natural oils.
It’s no coincidence that unhealthy horses are often poorly groomed. When it comes to horse care, regular grooming and good health go hand-in-hand. That being the case, no horse owner can afford to allow grooming to fall by the wayside. In the interest of keeping your horse happy, healthy and looking its best, remember to avoid over-shampooing, practice good hoof and tooth maintenance and administer daily brushings.