Jess Errington, head girl for international event rider Harry Meade, shares her expert grooming advice.
The basic brushes she suggests having to groom your horse should be:
- A good flick brush (much like a dandy brush)
- A relatively soft body brush
- Plastic curry comb
- Tail brush
- Long plastic mane comb
- Hoof pick and hoof oil.
Jess starts by using a flick brush all over the body, including the head and legs. She always unties her horses while brushing their heads.
Her horses are used to the slightly harder bristles, but be aware that sensitive horses may not like this and a soft body brush will be just as good.
She then moves on to a soft body brush and plastic curry comb used together and she gives them a thorough groom, almost like strapping — a firm action with long strokes, designed to get the blood flowing and feel a bit like a massage.
This gets the horse clean, encourages circulation and helps to warm up the muscles too.
Next, spraying some mane and tail conditioner into their tails to keep them soft and help prevent them from getting tangled.
Jess doesn’t believe in brushing horses’ tails every day. This tears out the hairs and before you know it you will have a very thin tail that will take forever to grow back and, let’s face it, it won’t look great!
Only combing them through when going to a competition, then she will use a dampened plastic mane comb and, from the near (left) side, comb the mane over onto the correct, off (right) side, helping it to lie flat and straight.
Starting with a small amount of hair at the bottom and gently works her way through the whole tail until it’s completely untangled. There is nothing wrong with using scissors on your horse’s tail.
To help with costs, Jess ties this in with them having their teeth done or when they’re being clipped so it can all be done at once.
Lastly, once their feet have been picked out, apply some hoof oil. This not only makes them look smart, but it helps to nourish their feet as well.
Extracted from: Your Horse, ‘best grooming tips and tricks,’ July 27, 2020. https://www.yourhorse.co.uk/grooming-blog/best-grooming-tips-and-tricks