Grooming Techniques

woman picking out horse's feet


Grooming is not just for looks. There is absolute therapeutic value in the process. Wild horses instinctively groom each other. Regular grooming improves body circulation, helps prevent sores, keeps the coat clean and healthy, and provides essential bonding time for horse and handler. In addition, a well-groomed horse will have much better ground manners than one that receives only occasional contact. Follow this seven-step grooming plan for best results.

Step One

Outfit your horse in a well-fitting halter and sturdy lead rope. Tie the horse to a stable hitch post located in a safe area. Secure the lead rope to the post using a quick-release knot. You can also stand a well-trained horse in cross-ties.

Step Two

Place a rubber curry on your hand and rub all over the horse's body in a circular motion. Do not brush the face or legs of the horse with this brush. The skin on the legs and face is acutely sensitive. Continue rubbing on the horse until all packed-on dirt is loose.

Step Three

Brush the horse's body with a dandy brush, or hard-bristled brush. Use long strokes, ending in a flick, to remove the dirt loosened by the rubber curry. Be sure to brush in the direction of the hair.

Step Four

Brush the body, legs and face gently using a soft body brush. This brush will smooth down the hair and remove any leftover dirt.

Step Five

Comb out the mane and tail using a mane and tail comb. Carefully comb through the hair to remove tangles or burrs.

Step Six

Clean the horses hooves using a hoof pick. Slide your hand down the back of one front leg. Slowly lift the hoof and clean the bottom. Scrape out the dirt, mud, and rocks that may be stuck in the sole of the hoof. Do not scrape the frog in the center of the hoof as this spot is extremely sensitive. Repeat this to clean the other hooves.

Step Seven

Wipe over the entire horse's body using a damp cloth. This is a refreshing way to end a grooming session and it will bring out the shine in your horse’s coat.