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My horse hates her curry comb

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I just recently got my ottb mare, Missy. So far what I've found out is that she loves treats, but pins her ears back and stamps when I use the curry comb. I've tried different types of curry combs, but she pins her ears at all of them. Thing is, she couldn't care less about the dandy brush, so is it something I'm doing wrong or does Missy just have something against curry combs?

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How long has she been off of the track, and has she been treated for ulcers?

Also, some horses can just be sensitive in general and won't enjoy in-depth grooming such as currying. It can just be a bit too stimulating for some. What type of curry are you using, a rubber, hard plastic, or other type? It could be worth trying to curry lighter or trying out a differently designed tool that accomplishes the same thing.
 

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Welcome!!!

hmm.. do you always try the curry comb in one place or in different spots on her body?
For OTTBs, some spots can be more sensitive for them (like the girth spot and the stomach)

I know some horses just don’t like currys, my Ottb loves currys though.
If you can’t use a curry on her and you need to get mud off, try a magic brush! Or a flick brush works really good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How long has she been off of the track, and has she been treated for ulcers?

Also, some horses can just be sensitive in general and won't enjoy in-depth grooming such as currying. It can just be a bit too stimulating for some. What type of curry are you using, a rubber, hard plastic, or other type? It could be worth trying to curry lighter or trying out a differently designed tool that accomplishes the same thing.
She only came off the track a month or so ago, but she hasn't been treated for ulcers as far as I know. She shows no common signs of having ulcers but it's definetly something I'll look more into it. I'm actually using two different types of currys- jelly curry and hard plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome!!!

hmm.. do you always try the curry comb in one place or in different spots on her body?
For OTTBs, some spots can be more sensitive for them (like the girth spot and the stomach)

I know some horses just don’t like currys, my Ottb loves currys though.
If you can’t use a curry on her and you need to get mud off, try a magic brush! Or a flick brush works really good.
She is more sensitive around her stomach, so it might be a sensitivity thing. I'll look for a magic brush, too!
 

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That makes since, so should I curry her softly or not at all?
I would find something she can tolerate. I've had horses that didn't like a curry at all but did well with other types of brushes.
Experiment and find what she likes.
 

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My gelding has the odd day now and then when he's grumpy about the curry and even the dandy brush in his flank area. Pins ears, swishes his tail, even lifts a leg at me and stamps it back down. At other times he doesn't react at all. I've owned him his entire life and he lives like a horse should (outside, lots of grass or hay, low NSC diet, added magnesium since he has symptoms of a deficiency). I think sometimes it just tickles or annoys him or whatever. It could be something akin to ulcers that are flaring for whatever reason. He certainly doesn't look or act like an ulcery horse (good flesh, shiny, generally happy-go-lucky attitude, doesn't mind being tacked, girthed, etc), but he went through a period a couple of years ago when he definitely DID seem like ulcers were in play due to management and feeding issues at a previous barn. So, he could still have some and they might still bug him now and again. Your mare may be the same.

What is your mare's diet like? Before adding magnesium to my guy's diet, he was very fidgety and uncomfortable in his own skin when being groomed or bathed. It's worth a shot and certainly won't hurt anything.
 

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There are certain deficiencies in the body that will make touching in certain areas more sensitive and hurt, actually over-stress the nerve endings and cause pain or discomfort.
Now, of course I can not tell you how I know that tidbit of information but I just know it and have for many years, probably decades.

If after checking/treating for ulcer activity not help that sensitivity, again trying a different kind of curry and action still give the same results....
Well, if you are going to get prescription strength ulcer treatment medication so it heals the lesions then speak with the vet about the extra-sensitivity the horse has and see what that professional can offer.....
Utilize your professionals and their knowledge when perplexed with unexplained since they also know your animal and have contact with it where we on the internet do not.....seeing something is different than imagining from words written.
The internet and our members here are great to ask questions of but sometimes it may be something as simple as a environmental exposure to a plant we not know about creating grief.
🐴... jmo...
 

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I have to believe that it isn't the curry comb itself, but maybe related to her relationship with someone who took care of her grooming before you got her...if it isn't a physical ailment. My first two horses were adopted wild mustangs back in1981, when horses up for adoption were really wild. They wanted nothing to do with a human. I'm no cowboy. I found the curry comb to be an invaluable tool in calming them down and getting them to trust me. I had a couple of neighbors who raised Arabians. Once they sent a beautiful young gelding to a known Arabian horse trainer in the state. What they got back 6 months later was a disaster. The horse was wild. Before they headed for Florida in the Fall, they asked me if I could possibly do something with Nahabi over the winter. Again, I found the curry comb an invaluable tool in getting him to calm down and trust humans.
As far as your mare being thin skin. I find it hard to believe any horse can have thinner skin than my dear, late Amal. I couldn't even spray him with homemade fly spray, as I did all the other horses, because the vinegar in it burned him. And I had to make sure that his back was washed before saddling him, plus use a woven wool saddle pad, otherwise he would get a couple of raw spots toward his rump. He had thin skin.
On the other hand, it is a mare, and it could all just be in her head and be one of those mare things. In that case, I would try starting her by just touching her with the curry comb when you feed her and her mind is on food. And slowly advance from there.
 

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Okay, thank you! Any suggestions on which brushes to use?
Forgive me, but I got a giggle out of your response. How do you think us oldsters collected soooooo many of this and that over the years?
When one doesn't work, you just add it to your collection.
Bridles, saddles, brushes, you name it, you just seem to collect it over the years and you get to the point of whatever you need, you've already got it.

Have fun building your collections!
 

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Forgive me, but I got a giggle out of your response. How do you think us oldsters collected soooooo many of this and that over the years?
When one doesn't work, you just add it to your collection.
Bridles, saddles, brushes, you name it, you just seem to collect it over the years and you get to the point of whatever you need, you've already got it.

Have fun building your collections!
:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: SO TRUE!!!!!! My collection of brushes, curries, combs, sweat scrapers and miscellanious bits and bobs is truly impressive now.
 

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She only came off the track a month or so ago, but she hasn't been treated for ulcers as far as I know. She shows no common signs of having ulcers but it's definetly something I'll look more into it. I'm actually using two different types of currys- jelly curry and hard plastic.
Since she's just off the track and it's fairly common for OTTBs to have ulcers, I'd talk to the vet about treating for ulcers. It's pretty dramatic how quickly they respond when they do have them, so it's a pretty quick, simple and inexpensive fix. And while she's being treated you can go through a few different brushes and curries and vary your pressure and touch a bit to see if you can find something she responds favorably to. Once she's gone through the treatment, if she's responded favorably to that, then you can go back to currying, first with a light touch and then slowly increase it. I know when I first start with the foals, my touch is very very light until they get used to it. Before long they are leaning into it until they are practically pushing me over. Once they figure out how good it feels, they love it, but it seems to be a bit of an acquired taste.
 

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Forgive me, but I got a giggle out of your response. How do you think us oldsters collected soooooo many of this and that over the years?
When one doesn't work, you just add it to your collection.
Bridles, saddles, brushes, you name it, you just seem to collect it over the years and you get to the point of whatever you need, you've already got it.

Have fun building your collections!
Brushes I've actually gotten less of over the years but bits, saddles, reins, pads, etc.... You are not kidding!!!!
 
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