Whether you own a pet as small as a rabbit or as big as a horse, it is important that we look after them properly to ensure that they have the best life possible. This includes caring for their body on the outside as well as the inside, with an efficient grooming routine that will leave the coat soft and the feet comfortable.
We have put together a helpful guide on how to maintain the condition of your horse, something which should be done on a regular basis in order to prevent discomfort and to stop any problems from occurring later on in life.
Most horses appear to enjoy the grooming experience if carried out correctly and gently. It is a way of bonding with their owner, something that is not as strenuous as riding and is carried out at more of an eye level. Many animals love to have a little scratch of their bodies, of which this is an extension, reaching areas that they cannot quite manage themselves. They may be a little more unsure about the bathing process, especially if they are not used to water, but this will improve if you build on it a little bit at a time.
Regular grooming can improve the appearance and condition of the skin and coat, making it softer and shinier. It can help to prevent skin conditions, or problems with feet, which if left to their own devices can cause long term damage that will make life very uncomfortable or painful.
Using a hoof pick, scrape out any dirt and debris from the sole and shoe. This is the perfect time to check for injuries or lumps and cuts, which should be referred to a vet if severe.
Sometimes you may only need to spot clean your horse, concentrating on certain areas such as the legs or the tail. If your horse gets very muddy then a daily shampoo may be in order, but try to avoid this if you can, as it will stop their natural oils from forming, or could end up making the skin more sensitive. Using a shampoo and conditioner once a week would be fine.
This will loosen any dirt and shedding hair, as well as massaging and stimulating the skin and muscles. Move in circles against the grain of the hair, avoiding any bony areas. This will help the skin to produce natural oils that in turn will give it a lovely shine.
Use this brush in a flicking motion in the direction of the hair, making sure to avoid any udders and other sensitive areas. Your horse may not like their face being groomed, so approach that area with extra care.
With this type of brush use long smoothing strokes, perfect for leaving the hair soft, smooth and tangle free.
Gently separate the hair with a wide tooth comb or your fingers and then use a specialised brush to work your way through it.
Gently work your way around these areas with a cleaning wipe, remembering that these are extra sensitive places.