Horse Grooming (to wear gloves or not to wear gloves)
I always wore gloves while grooming my horses (at the previous equestrian facilities where I used to ride), but, at my current equestrian facility (where they teach great natural horsemanship), they advised me not to wear any gloves while brushing, grooming, cleaning hooves, etc...because the horse has to feel your natural touch, etc....
But, does wearing protective gloves matter to the horse? Wearing protective gloves while cleaning your horse before a ride is a very good hygiene practice to follow. The question is Shall we wear gloves or not while grooming our horses for ride. The horses that I ride are Pasteur horses (not stall horses).
I have never worn gloves while grooming. Ever. It really isn't that hard to wash your hands before putting them in your mouth.
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The horse is covered in fur. I doubt he can physically feel the difference between skin or leather or cloth.
Even if he could, he's still a horse, and doesn't understand the concepts of "skin" "leather" "cloth".
If you're concerned about hygiene, then a barn probably isn't a good place to be. Even with gloves you really should wash your hands before sticking them in your mouth, or on food, or in your eyes, etc.
Wear gloves if that makes you more comfortable, but unless they're some kind of latex medical kind of glove, your hands aren't really that much cleaner for having been covered.
I wear gloves when it's really, really cold out. Particularly when attempting to pry iceballs out of hooves..... and the horses don't give a hoot.
I don't wear gloves on a normal day though, way too hard to try and hang onto hoof picks, brushes and whatnot with gloves on. I wear thin riding gloves when actually riding though and plenty of times I've hopped off and picked up a foot or re-tacked a horse or whatever and I leave the gloves on because I don't have pockets. None of the horses have ever batted eye or cared that I had gloves on.
I wear gloves when it's cold and none when it's warm.
Unless you're forcefully rubbing them down with something like rubber kitchen gloves that would pull out hairs, which would raise questions about what you were doing regardless of NH or not, I have never seen a horse that would care.
Sorry OP, i suspect your spelling mistake was caused by auto-correct and I couldn't resist...
Anyway, to answer your question - no doubt the horse can tell the difference between your hand and your glove, but I don't think he cares. Personally I like to groom without gloves because I am more likely to detect lumps, bumps and heat in the skin. But in the damp or the cold I put gloves on because I like to keep my hands chap-free.
I've never worn gloves while grooming or even cleaning their privates. Horses are dirty no matter where they are kept. I could see wearing cloves right before a show so they stay clean for the show.
Maybe I'm just not that concerned about hygene but there are more times than I can remember I've ate without washing my hands before eating. Many times have been while camping with the horses.
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I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer and a roll of paper towels in the tack room to get the grime off my fingers after grooming.
When it is cold out, then I wear gloves to keep my fingers warm.
Otherwise, no gloves.
From my perspective, I like to physically feel all my horses legs before every ride with my bare hands so that I can feel for any bumps, swelling, or heat.
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