Grooming is about getting the horse clean, massaging the skin and bringing a bloom to the coat.
From a practical point of view, grooming removes dirt and debris from the skin, another benefit is that it allows you to spot any little lumps, bumps or scratches or to feel any areas of heat that may indicate a problem arising. It also allows you a chance to notice any changes in personality whilst having some one to one bonding time.
Here’s our step-by-step grooming guide which has been shared to us by our sponsored show rider and team, Katie Jerram-Hunnable.
1. Using a Massage brush, start by massaging the coat in circular motions to lift any grease and dirt. This also encourages circulation, helps with muscle tone and increasing the circulation of blood flow promoting healthier skin tone.
The next brush to move on to would be a medium to coarse bristled brush. Choose a slightly softer bristle brush if the horse is thin skinned. These types of brushes will really get into the coat and flick away the dirt and dust brought to the surface.
The next stage is to use a Body Brush, this is a more densely bristled brush with shorter hair and is designed to lift grease from the skin and spread the natural oils along the hair shaft. This is the process that gave rise to the phrase ‘use plenty of elbow grease’.
2. Clean your brushes frequently on a Metal Curry Comb throughout the process. This way you won’t be spreading grease or dirt back over the coat.
The metal curry comb and body brush are used together so both hands will be needed for this process. Use the body brush for three or four strokes before cleaning across the teeth of the curry comb.
3. Once the coat has been thoroughly brushed with the body brush, finish off with a wipe over with a stable rubber (an old tea cloth is very suitable for this). If the coat needs additional buffing, use a soft mitt and spray Coat Sheen directly onto the mitt before buffing into the coat. This will give added shine and enhance the natural colour.
Take care around the head area, and if the horse is sensitive ensure you use a soft brush and wipe the eyes and nostril area with a clean sponge to finish.