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kalynn 05-25-2010 09:31 PM

new horse needs grooming
Hi, I have just started boarding a thoroughbred (bay). The owner rarely rides him and he has not been ridden or groomed much since the winter. He could be a pretty fellow but badly in need of some good grooming. His coat is dull and uneven looking, he has lots of nicks and scrapes and his mane and tail are raggedy and lifeless. I've been brushing him out really good for a few weeks, but he still isn't looking so great. I will be at the barn 3-4 times weekly and can spend some time grooming. What should I do to get him looking better? Thanks, Kalynn

JustDressageIt 05-25-2010 09:45 PM

A good grooming routine can really help a horse to start looking their best. Here's what I do:

- Clean out the hooves, top and bottom
- Spray mane and tail with detangler, let that sit in while I do basic grooming
- Use a rubber curry or jelly scrubber to break up mud and loosen up the big grit (you can gently use a jelly scrubber on the lower legs)
- Use a hard-bristled dandy brush to get most of the big grit off the coat
- Use a medium-bristled dandy brush to get the next layer of dirt off
- Use a medium body brush to get the next finest layer of dirt off
- Comb (don't brush!) out mane, spray tail again
- Use a soft-bristled dandy or body brush to get the fine dirt off, and brush off the face
- Apply hoof moisturizer if needed, let that sink in as you're finishing up and tacking
- Comb (don't use a brush!) out tail
- Use a goat hair dandy or body brush to get the finest dust particles off

You can use a product like Miracle Groom as a bath-in-a-bottle for cold days, or if it's warm enough, bathe him and then hand-graze him while he's drying off - great bonding time!

Keep in mind that coat health comes from the inside - literally! Make sure he's getting good quality feed, and enough of it. Mineral or vitamin deficiency can lead to a really dull coat, so a salt and mineral lick should always be available to him. Deworming is also a very important step in horse care, if the horse is not properly dewormed, it can start affecting his coat.
If all these things are taken care of, then you can try adding some flax or oil to his daily feed to see if that helps.

themacpack 05-25-2010 09:52 PM

I am a bit confused as to the specifics of your situation. You state you just started boarding this horse - which would imply you own/operate a boarding facility, yet you state you will only be at the barn 3-4 times a week. Perhaps you mean you are leasing a horse? Or is it a horse that is being boarded at a facility at which you also have a horse? The actual situation will impact what you can/can't (or even should) be doing with the horse and what position you are in as to his grooming, keeping and feeding.

hillarymorganstovall 05-26-2010 05:30 PM

Dull or rough coat could be a sign of worms or other problems. If it's been a few weeks of regular grooming with no results, he may need to see a vet or be dewormed. If it's not your horse, you should suggest a worming and if he still doesn't improve maybe he has some other health issues that should be addressed.

As for the nicks and cuts, MTG works wonders for making hair grow over bald spots. I'm not too sure if it can work over certain types of scars, but over small little scrapes it should work just fine. That goes for the mane and tail as well, but I would be more concerned with worms.

kalynn 05-28-2010 09:46 AM

Thank your for the responses. The detail of JustDressageIt really helps me think of what I need to start to do with him. In response to the boarding question - perhaps I am used the wrong terminology. I guess I am leasing the horse from the owner. Of course, I will be checking with her regarding any new grooming routines with him, but I'm pretty sure the owner is open to anything that will make him look/perform better. I'm quite sure the basic vet care and feeding is fine, it's a good facility he is at. Some of the other horses in the paddock seem to pick on him though so he has a lot of nicks and cuts. He just hasn't been ridden/groomed much lately. What is MTG? It sounds like that might help.

glam1 05-29-2010 02:46 AM

:shock: sorry but if this is not your horse , you shouldn't be touching him unless you have permission.

You could suggest things to the owner , i would be thinking he needs a wormer and a change in diet , perhaps teeth as well.

Opps just re checked your last post. Yep give him a worm, make sure he is getting some mineral/vit supplement and mayby start adding a small amount of oil to his diet. But a grooming session whenever you see him will help as will - i love the jelly combs, both my horses love it!!!

Can you post some pics?

aforred 05-29-2010 03:04 AM

MTG is Mane-Tail-Grow. It is a great product that I'm using right now to get rid of some oozing crusty stuff in Tequila's mane and to get her tail to grow. About a quarter of her tail hair makes it all the way down to her fetlock, so I'm going to see if MTG will help that.

I've also used it successfully on ringworm and bald spots of all kinds. I love that stuff. Original M-T-G (Equine - Grooming - Horse Shampoo Conditioner - Conditioners) You can find it in many tack/feed stores.

MaggiStar 05-29-2010 03:33 AM

I use just normal vegetable oil and put a good dollop into feeds at night they start to get a nice shine up.

Have you tried washing him if it is hot enough to get all the surff up to the surface. A good mane pull and trim does wonders for appearance.

Otherwise its regular hard grooming basic rule after a full grooming you shoud be tiered!!

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