As equestrians, the well-being of our horses is always our top priority. Perhaps one of the most vital steps we take to ensure the health of our equine friends is to never underestimate the importance of horse grooming, and to make sure they are receiving thorough grooming sessions as often as possible.
Some may view grooming as a time consuming chore, but the reality is that a good grooming session holds more importance than you may think. While it will of course promote a beautiful and healthy coat, it will also help you build a stronger connection with your horse, allow you to closely monitor your horse’s overall health on a daily basis, and build trust.
Looking Good, Feeling Better
A thorough horse grooming session should leave the coat gleaming, eyes and nose clear and clean, hooves cleaned out and free of uncomfortable debris, and a knotless mane and tail. This keeps your horse looking fantastic, and it also allows you to closely monitor the entirety of your horse’s body for any signs of injury or illness.
While you are grooming your horse, take the time to do both a physical and visual check of the coat and skin; you may find that you are able to detect something troubling that you would have otherwise missed. Adding these few extra minutes to your grooming routine has the potential to save both you and your horse from complications due to illness or injury.
Building A Strong Connection
A simple but thorough grooming session has the potential to break down social barriers between you and your horse. Horses bond with one another through mutual grooming, so it only makes sense that you will be able to bond with your horse during proper grooming, as well.
During a grooming session, horses visibly relax and find comfort in the company of their companion or groom. Use this to your advantage to turn the session into an opportunity to strengthen your bond with your horse.
This is also a fantastic way for you to have one-on-one interactions with your horse in a relaxing, calm, and enjoyable environment for them. While you groom them, speak to them in a calm and friendly manner.
Take note of the way they respond to your voice and touch.
Grooming sessions also produce a good opportunity to use positive reinforcement training.
If you find that your horse maybe a little hesitant to lift their hoof for the pick, or a little weary of a soft brush on their face, use positive reinforcement training to correct the situation and explain what you are asking of them.
You’d be surprised at what a little extra concentrated one-on-one time spent with your horse can do!
As you have learned in this article, grooming has proven to provide various health benefits. Here at Paddock Blade Australia, we are dedicated to helping you keep your horses happy and healthy in all aspects of their care, not simply just the management of their turnout areas. For more information about our products and to read other informative equestrian blogs, visit our site.