Who Doesn't Like Grooming? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Question Who Doesn't Like Grooming?

Don't let the title mislead you... it's not the caretaker/owner, it's the horse!

Quirky question...

Is it just me or do some horses just not like the brushing/grooming aspect of care? I mean, my mare just doesn't seem to like it. I have had her over a year now, and she still will nip at the lead if she is tied or swish her tail and seems generally annoyed with the fact I am brushing her, or at least the start of it. After a while, she starts the yawning or whatever and stands quiet, but I am not sure why she wouldn't like being brushed? I thought all horses like being brushed!

I thought it was excitement and preparing herself to be trained/raced as she was a racehorse... But I don't train/ride her every day that I brush her and a year off, I thought she would have figured it out by now lol

I thought I was being too rough with the brush (it's a gentle bristled brush to begin with), so I went gentle... same response.

Maybe it is her way of enjoying it, I don't know.
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post #2 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:13 PM
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I had a mare that would back up sooo fast and shake her head when we tried brushing her-.- no idea why either.. Funny thing.. she was a show horse and got reserve at state fair.. and HATED being groomed haha

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post #3 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by barrelbeginner View Post
I had a mare that would back up sooo fast and shake her head when we tried brushing her-.- no idea why either.. Funny thing.. she was a show horse and got reserve at state fair.. and HATED being groomed haha
The funny thing is, she is brushed EVERY day in the mornings after grain and before turnout, and sometimes in the evening. I don't get it lol

Maybe it's that 'Chestnut Thoroughbred Mare' peeking through *shrugs*
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:20 PM
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Many horses with ulcers will not like being brushed. (Something to think about for your mare OP)

I personally, have never come across a horse that doesn't enjoy grooming. If I did, I'd be inclined to think it was pain related. If pain is ruled out...an attitude adjustment would be in order.
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Would ulcers make her not want her shoulder brushed? Her neck brushed? Her legs brushed. Perhaps an idea (though she has no symptoms of it), but would it affect the rest of her body brushing? It's no matter where I brush.
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:41 PM
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I had a grumpy qh mare that never liked grooming... She got smart enough not to try anything but would stand stalk still with her head up and ears back. Wonder if it's something to do with mares-? I owned her for 10 years and even in retirement she disliked it. She was a barrel racer with a dislike for most things that involved standing still so I always wrote it off as impatience. Well behaved... but you could tell she was just tolerating it.

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post #7 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:49 PM
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I have a mare that doesn't like grooming and I don't think she has ulcers because she is on 15 acres of pasture 24/7 and grass hay. But she may be insulin resistant, and that may be why. The vet is coming Tuesday so I till ask what she thinks.

She sometimes likes grooming AFTER a ride, and she tolerates long light strokes better.
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-09-2014, 10:51 PM
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Sadly it's the groom in my case who doesn't like grooming lol

If Sonny had it his way he would have a servant to feed him an endless supply of treats and one to brush him all over continuously for the rest of forever.

When I open the back door to let him up the isle he walks up by himself and stops at the cross ties and looks at me like, Well get on with it. You have brushing to do and I have to be pampered now. And take your time!

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post #9 of 23 Old 03-10-2014, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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So could be just a general dislike or impatience? Could be attitude too but she has as much attitude as I do. She knows who is boss and knows better than to give me much of a tude cause I give it right back.
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-10-2014, 11:24 AM
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I've known a few who don't fully appreciate it, generally thin skinned Thoroughbreds. However, just because they don't like it doesn't mean they are allowed to be rude - no head swinging/chomping at the air, no tail swishing, no grumps allowed at all. Take Teal, for example, my bosses' daughter's ex racehorse. Big lad, 17.2, very sensitive around his girth. When he came, he would swing his head, snap the air, loll his tongue (he's a tongue loller), dance about, and swish his tail - that's a big no-no. We compromised, used softer brushes on him, but he is NOT allowed to show that behaviour - we compromise, he compromises. The worst we get out of him is a head nod now - he will stand quiet and still, and has actually realised that it can be kinda nice. We just have to let the younger girls/work experience girls know that he can be a little funky.
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