How to Keep Your Horse Looking its Best
Horses require a great deal more grooming than most house pets and farm animals. Not only does proper grooming keep horses looking their best, it can also prevent such health issues as mange, matting and ingrown hoofs. That being the case, anyone interested in owning a horse should brush up on the basics of equine grooming. Failure to do so can lead to lethargy, discomfort and general unhealthiness in your horse, dramatically diminishing the animal’s quality of life. Anyone interested in learning the tenets of good horse grooming can benefit from the following pointers.
As any seasoned horse owner can attest, daily brushing is an integral part of proper grooming. Not only does brushing remove dead hair and dirt, it ensures that natural oils are evenly distributed throughout your horse’s coat. On the flipside, failing to brush your horse on a daily basis can lead to extreme itchiness, matting and patches of oiliness. Additionally, avoid using the same brush on multiple horses, as this can cause serious fungal infections. Daily brushing is almost as important to your horse’s wellbeing as comprehensive horse insurance.
Hoof maintenance is another essential tenet of horse grooming. However, unlike brushing, most hoof-related tasks need to be handled by seasoned pros known as farriers. Since hoof care requires a considerable amount of knowledge and precision, it’s best left in the hands of the aforementioned individuals. To ensure proper hoof health, a horse’s hooves need to be trimmed and balanced on a semi-regular basis. Additionally, to prevent cracking and bacterial infections, it’s recommended that you clean out your horse’s hooves before each ride.
Like any animal, horses need to be periodically bathed. The frequency with which you bathe your horse depends on how often it’s ridden, how dirty it gets and how prone it is to shedding. When bathing a horse, take care to use soft sponges and a specially-formulated horse shampoo. Furthermore, don’t forget to wash underneath the animal’s tail and between its back legs, as these areas have a tendency to get very dirty.
When it comes to caring for horses, consistent grooming is absolutely essential. Since putting grooming on the backburner paves the way for assorted health issues, it isn’t something that any horse owner can afford to take lightly. In the quest to keep your horse looking and feeling its best, remember to stay on top of brushing, hoof maintenance and bathing.