We all have a routine we use when we groom our horse, but many of us are left wondering why our horse’s coat, mane, and tail don’t ever look as wonderful and healthy as we would like them to. We spend lots of time putting work in, but are never fully satisfied with the results. Many times, we find ourselves asking: what’s missing?
We all have that image of what we’d love our horse to look like after a good grooming session. That show-ready shine is easily achievable for those who are willing to try out a few new products and follow the advice of grooming professionals. You may be surprised how just a few small changes in your grooming routine can make all the difference in the outcome. Continue reading for some professional tips and tricks to help you get that beautiful, healthy shine.
What you’ll need to achieve professional grooming results
An ideal grooming kit will always contain a few basic grooming supplies:
- 2 sponges
- Curry comb (metal or rubber) or rubber grooming glove
- Body Brush
- Soft bristle brush
- Hoof pick with attached brush
- Mane comb
Healthy hooves, healthy foundation
Starting with picking out the hooves is always a good idea; it will allow you to check for lodged stones or any sign of thrush or founder. After all, grooming your horse is not only about making sure your horse looks great; it is also about making sure they are healthy. Start with picking out the dirt, muck, and stones. A pick with a brush on the back works well as you can quickly go from picking out to sweeping off the excess dirt. After you have cleaned out the hooves, it’s best to apply an antibacterial foot wash to help prevent thrush and the potential softening of the sole. Equi-Spa Kiss-A-Frog Foot Wash offers a fantastic naturally-based foot wash that will leave your horse’s hooves happy and healthy:
Achieving a Show-Ready Shine
If you don’t keep your horse clipped, you may want to consider starting. A clipped coat not only looks nice and neat; it is also much easier to groom and keep clean.
Grab a curry comb or rubber grooming glove and run it over the coat in circular motions against the hair growth to remove any dried dirt or muck from the hair. This is a crucial part of grooming, as it also breaks up and removes dead skin, invigorating and stimulating the skin underneath. Once you have run through the entirety of the coat, use a good flick brush to remove what you have pulled up.
Next, grab your favorite body brush and run it all over your horse’s coat, making sure to feel for lumps, nicks, or cuts as you go along. The time you spend grooming your horse is also a valuable piece of time each day that you can use to make sure they are physically healthy, and free of pests or injuries they may have gotten while romping around in turnout. Continue to brush off the coat until all excess hair is removed. You’ll start to see a shine in the coat with this step. Make sure to brush down the entirety of the legs, avoiding the sensitive skin towards the top of the legs on the inside.
Sometimes, a fully curry and brush session isn’t possible. When you’re short on time but still want to make sure your horse looks and feels great, give your horse a good spray with Grapefruit Coat Refresh and rub down with a damp cloth. This is a great way to naturally invigorate the skin, coat, and senses while delivering a clean that doesn’t strip natural oils from the hair.
Professional mane & tail
After the coat has been fully brushed, you’ll want to start detangling the mane and tail. While it may not seem as though at first, this is an important part of grooming that you truly need to make sure you are doing correctly. While you may have the best intentions, brushing out the mane and tail every day can actually cause more harm than good. An occasional tail brushing before a big show is okay, but for day-to-day detangling, it’s best to use your fingers and a detangling spray or oil. Over-brushing can cause the hair to become very brittle and weak, eventually leading to breakage. Over time, the tail will become thin. To prevent this, it is best to invest in some hair care products to use while detangling by hand. FAIRY TAILS! is a great investment for managing your horse’s mane and tail. FAIRY TAILS! helps protect the hair from drying out, while making it easier to brush out the next time.
Once you have put some time and effort into achieving that show-ready glow, you’ll want to finish up with a few things to prolong your horse’s gleaming coat and flowing mane and tail. Giving your horse a thorough spray with ShowCoat Leave in Conditioner will keep your horse looking just as fantastic as you left him/her.
In the summer, when the flies are just enough to drive both you and your horse crazy, you will want to apply a fly protection spray. Peppermint Summer Protection is a deet-free, natural fly spray that will keep your horse protected and comfortable. Of course, to really keep them neat and clean after a good grooming session, the best option is to put on a sheet or blanket to prevent the inevitable mess they love to make of themselves. When doing this, just make sure you are putting on a clean blanket; make it a habit to regularly clean and wash your blankets to make sure you aren’t just dirtying the coat with a soiled blanket.
Going forward with this information, you should be well-prepared to make sure your horse looks and feels their very best.
Do you have any grooming tips and tricks? Please share them in the comments below.