Top 10 Horse Grooming Secrets
You think you’ve got this grooming thing pretty much down pat, but seeing the magnificent state of the horses at Melbourne’s recent Spring Racing Carnival had you asking yourself – what is it that those groomers are doing that I’m not?
Here, we reveal ten of the most underrated grooming tips for your horse.
1 Brighten up those whites
It’s meant to be a bright white blaze… instead, it looks like he hasn’t taken his head out of a feeding bag for a week or so. Using blue shampoo removes stains and adds a slight blue tint to reflect light, making the whites brighter!
2 Cleaning the feet
Use steel wool to get rid of dirt and grime on your horse’s feet. It comes off cleanly, and provides a light sanding and good base for polish.
3 Creating ultimate shine
Use a hay wisp to get some brilliant shine on to that coat. Make a sort of rope from soft, damp hay, and plait it into a firm shape that sits well in your hand. Brush against the coat, in the same direction as the hair growth, for a shiny result!
4 Dealing with fussy horses
If your horse gets annoyed with having her mane pulled, try it just after you’ve exercised her – this is when her pores are open, and it will hurt less.
5 Get a soft coat
Spray a tiny bit of diluted baby oil on to the coat while brushing. Include it as part of your daily grooming routine for a soft, shiny coat.
6 Mud, glorious mud
If your exercise area is anything like ours, it has its muddy patches… Let your horse roll around in them if he must, but make sure you let the mud dry before brushing it off (alternatively, hose it off if the weather’s okay). Attempting to brush off mud while wet will only result in mud redistribution!
7 The importance of tail bags
If you’re showing, groom and plait your horse’s tail the night before, then put in a tail bag – this will ensure it doesn’t get messed up before the event
8 Budget grooming gloves
If your horse is moulting, put on washing up rubber gloves and comb through his coat with your fingers. The hairs loosen up and tend to stick to the gloves.
9 These boots were made for trotting
For horses wearing splint boots or other horse boots, sweat can make them uncomfortable and put them out of sorts. Just before putting the boots on, shake on a decent amount of everyday baby powder – this will absorb the sweat and leave your horse dry.
10 Sheening and oiling
Don’t apply oil or sheen spray to the saddle area, particularly before a show, unless a slippery saddle is the look you’re after!