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The Beginners Guide To Horse Care
by Shane Walker

Horse care is vital and quite often a first time horse owner makes vital mistakes due to a lack of knowledge of the correct principles of horse care. This article will help the beginner learn the basics of horse grooming.

Regular Grooming

The aim of a regular grooming routine is to remove any dust, dirt or additional material such as burs or dry perspiration from the horse's coat. Regular grooming also assists to massage the skin and encourage blood circulation. Consequently it is crucial to understand that it is not merely something that you conduct prior to a ride but it in reality helps encourage not only the health and well-being of your horse but helps its performance as well.

Horses in the wild, will in fact groom each other on daily by rolling as well as licking and scratching one another. However with the domestic horse and particularly one that is kept in a stable it is the obligation of the horse owner to insure that their horses are regularly groomed. The basic elements of a grooming kit include a hoof pick, a hard and soft brush, a curry comb, a comb and bush for the forelock and tail as well as a sponge and a squeegee for after your horse has been washed.

Before you commence grooming your hose it is crucial for safety that the horses head is secured a way that will control the horse but allow it to be released rapidly in the case of an emergency. This can be done with either a quick release stable knot or a panic clip. First of all the coat is lightly scuffed with a hard brush to take away any hard crusts of mud or dried sweat. It is recommended to keep this technique for the fleshy areas of the horse and not areas such as the face. Once this is completed, work from the head to toe with a soft brush following the grain of the hair.

Whilst brushing it is important that you constantly clean the brush to ensure that you are not removing of dirt from one place and deposit it in another. To finish up the horse is either wiped with a cloth or hosed and dried off with a squeegee to get rid of any last traces of dust. Then with a wet sponge you are able to lightly wash out the nostrils, corners of the mouth as well as the undersurface of the tail and the anus. It is important to ensure that you do not use the same sponge for the face as you did for the anus.

Main and Tail

To properly care for your horse's tail it should be groomed on a regular basis to get rid of any foreign matter that has been tangled up. Whilst brushing the tail make sure that you hold on to the tail higher the area that you are grooming so that you don't take out too much hair. The tail can be washed as needed with a some water and a appropriate shampoo. The mane and forelock are combed out or brushed flat with a damp brush.

About the Author:
Shane Walker is a horse enthusiast and part owner of KW Saddlery based in Toowoomba Australia. To read more articles by the author visit
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