Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Basics of Grooming Your Horse by My Equine World

By My Equine World

Welcome to my regular space on the Complete Family, I'm just your extra-ordinary pre-teen sharing my adventures! I learn something new everyday in the world of equine and as I do I'll share them with you, from interviews with industry experts, rider fashion, health, advocacy and more on My Equine World!

A great big W.E.L.C.O.M.E to my very first blog post...Maybe you just started taking riding lessons, you're thinking about it or you just want to find out more about caring for the equine.  Today I'll be explaining what you should know about basic grooming and what you should have in your grooming kit as you start out.  Video to come!!!

Curry Comb

Curry Comb:  The purpose of the curry comb is to loosen surface dirt and hair. When you use the curry comb you want to go in a circular motion all over their body. Avoid their face and legs, these are sensitive.

Dandy Brush

Dandy Brush (Hard brush):  The Dandy brush is used for removing the loosened dirt and hair.  Use it in a sweeping motion and go in the direction of your horse's coat growth.

Finishing Brush

Finishing Brush (Soft brush):  The finishing brush is used to remove any left over hair and dirt and is used to smooth and shine your horse's coat. You can use it on your horse's face and legs as well.

Mane Brush

Mane/Tail Brush:  You can use a brush or comb on your horse's mane if he allows you to.  Begin where the mane starts and brush down.  Using the tail comb (or rake), start from the top of their tail and brush down.

Some people prefer to finger comb their horse's mane and tail to prevent damage.

Hoof Pick

Hoof pick:  A hoof pick is used for picking out any stones or dirt that can injure the horse. Remember not to go near their "frog", it looks like a triangle on the bottom of their hoof (see picture below), it can hurt your horse.

Clean your grooming tools frequently. I use an old comb to pull out any hair from the bristles, soak them in warm, soapy water and rinse.  Repeat this several times depending on how dirty your tools are.

**Important Facts I Learned**

What is the "frog"?

The "Frog" 
I asked Ms.Gayle Ecker Hon. B.A., B.Ed., M.Sc., and director of Equine Guelph more about the frog, here's what she had to say:
"The frog is a spongy "V" shaped structure on the bottom of the foot.  The frog is part of the concussion-absorbing structure on the bottom of the horse's foot and helps to protect the hoof and legs from hard landings on hard surfaces (this is known as the "concussive force" of landing).  The spongy nature of the frog helps cushion the impact, much like "gel insoles" will work in your shoes!
When cleaning out the hoof, which ideally should be done every day, you should not dig into the frog or cut it as you can cause pain or infection. It is important to gently use the hoof pick and brush to make sure the deep grooves of the hoof are clean and dry when you clean out the feet.  The farrier should visit your horse every 6-8 weeks and with the proper tools, the farrier may trim up the frog as needed but this has to be done carefully.

The frog also plays an important role in assisting with blood flow to the hoof and legs, and regular exercise is really important to the horse each day.  Keeping a horse in the stall all day standing on wet bedding can cause serious problems for the horse, so regular turnout on grassy, dry areas is really helpful.  Don't let the horse stand in mud for prolonged periods (have pasture turnout areas where the horse does not have to stand in the mud) as this can make the frog too wet and thrush and other issues can develop."  
                            - Gayle Ecker, Hon. B.A., B.Ed., M.Sc.

*Artwork supplied by Equine Guelph, with permission.*

Thank you!! Ms. Ecker from Equine Guelph for all your expertise.

Thank you!! Greenhawk Mississauga for generously supplying me with the grooming tools seen in this article. Greenhawk Mississauga is located at 5665 McLaughlin Rd, Mississauga, ON. Follow them on Instagram @greenhawkmississauga and look for them on Facebook at Greenhawk Mississauga

Thanks for reading!!

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