how do i groom a sensitive horse?
I have started riding in france and we are expected to groom the horses. I have never done this before at schools in england so am not an expert. One horse hates it and seems very sensitive. He is grey and has very soft hair and very little of it. I wonder if ordinary brushes are too tough for him and was wondering if anyone could tell me of a type of brush I could buy that would be easier for him. The stables would have no problem with this as most of the french riders have their own grooming kit. I would really appreciate any help.
Is his lack of coat due to clipping or possibly a condition causing hair loss? With less coat between the brush and his skin, it is very likely that he is uncomfortable with grooming if not done carefully. I would suggest trying a very soft (ie face style) brush to see if he reacts. How does he respond to being touched by hands, rubbed with a cloth, etc? If he has been groomed in a way that makes him feel discomfort over a long period of time, it may take a while for him to come to the realization that the soft brush does not hurt/feel uncomfortable like the other brushes.
A soft bristled dandy might work. My little mare is very sensative in the summer because of how thin her skin and hair gets, and she doesn't mind me using a dandy on her, so long as I'm careful around her flank and chest where she's even more sensative.
Another thing to remember is that you should always brush in the exact direction of the hair. If it curves, match the curves with your strokes. Do short, light brushes for areas with a lot of different hairs, and long strokes for the back and neck.
thank you both for replies
Thank you for your replies. He doesn't seem to like being stroked much either so I try not to forget and do it. I will try and get hold of the soft haired brush that you suggest. As you say, he has been groomed like this for a long time and so it will probably take some time for him to realize I am not going to hurt him. Thank you for your suggestions and he is a really nice horse and would not be deliberately difficult.
I agree, some varying levels of soft brushes should do the trick. Such as
Oster Soft Grooming Brush - Horse.com
Decker Soft Horse Hair Grooming Brush America's Farm & Home Store
Equestria Sport Flick Horse Brush, 8" Large Pink # 2178-1 by Desert Equestrian
Thank you for your reply
Thank you for the the links as it shows me what the brushes look like. I live in London (but visit France a lot hence the grooming problem). I will look for these brushes on some of the English websites.
thank you very much
Try a leaf blower. It blows the dust from the hair real good. You don't have to touch them with it and it'll really desensitize em. They make electric ones. The horse won't patricularly like it at first but be persistant, they'll take it
Or a shop vac...
Ahhhhh yes I never tried that
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Much cheaper than the version that they sell in the high dollar horse catalogs...
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