My fella is pretty prissy about staying clean, so I never have much of challenge. If he's shedding, I shed blade then whip out the good ol' standby cowboy mud brush. I use a pin brush for his mane and tail, and the soft bristle side of the brush for his face. I also have one of those nubby rubber scrubby things he loves to get massaged with, and it loosens up a lot of dirt and hair. As I groom, I generally follow the brush with a hand, to smooth and feel for scabs or boo boos. We have well water, so he only gets a bath when he really needs it.
I am enjoying the wonders of having a stalled horse, since he was in a mud bog for the last few months- glorious to spend less time getting mud off and more real grooming. Anyway, I curry then brush with a stiff brush then use a flick/dandy. He loves having his face brushed and right under the jaw. I get all the dirt off of his legs, pick his feet and then flick all over again. I love to mix Mane n Tail conditioner in water and spray this on his tail (the envy of the barn) and comb out all the shavings and dirt. When we're done riding, he has a good roll then I pick feet again, brush with a stiff brush followed by flick and then put on hoof flex on his feet.
this time of year, the old man is shedding so after a ride (when the hair is loosened from him warming up and sweating) I curry and use a shed blade, he acts like he is in heaven. I finish off by a quick spritz with the mane n tail all over his body. He is really shining and has started to dapple up. All the girls have been commenting on how beautiful he looks. I hardly bothered grooming at the other place because it was so muddy, I just cleaned where the tack went since the first thing he did when I was done riding was to roll in the mud!
Before every ride, I pick my horse's feet out, curry him (I especially love the grooming mits) and follow that with a medium and then soft brush. After that, I brush his mane and forelock out.
After a ride I pick his feet again. If he's sweaty, I hose him off, making sure to get up under his tail and between his hind legs. I feel like hosing is really key to a good coat in the summer, as I take my time with the hosing and really make sure I've gotten all of the sweat and dirt off while not stripping his skin of healthy oils like shampoos can do. Oftentimes it seems people rush the hosing and just sort of quickly run the hose over their horse and are done. I really try to go over areas with a back and forth motion (a good hose nozzle is key---I like the kind with multiple settings and I go for the "shower" setting) over and over again, trying to get down to the skin so that I really get all of the dirt and sweat out. I don't believe in spraying a horse in the face, so I sponge his face off really well. If he's not sweaty or just barely sweaty under the saddle, I'll just curry the saddle mark and let is sit a second to air dry while I clean his feet, unwrap his legs, etc. Then I'll brush over everything with a medium brush. I've found that with this routine, I never really need to bathe my horse (of course, he has no white on him!) except for shows and his coat is gleaming.
I try to avoid brushing the tail especially often so that I avoid breakage. However, once every week or 2, I spray his tail with show sheen and brush the tail out. I also apply hoof moisturizer once a week.
I don't groom that much....only when I'm going for a ride. I think my horses like the feel of the cool mud on them when it's hot like this, so I usually let them keep cool that way.
When I'm going for a ride, though, I cross-tie Arthur and then run him over with a stiff curry during shedding season. Then I use a stiff brush and run him over, getting the dust and excess dirt off. Then I use those curry mitt things and rub him all over....followed by a medium brush, then a soft brush, and I pick his feet. I don't bother cleaning the mud off his lower legs during mud season because it's just so hard to keep a horse who's on early spring pasture's lower legs clean. I've lately been trying to just finger-groom his mane and tail to avoid breakage, as we'll be showing at the fair this summer and I'd rather he looks like the rest of the Paso Finos with their long manes and tails instead of some type of non-growing-mane-breed of horse haha. I only bathe them in summer when the weather's 75+, and with hot water....he loves it.
I use a metal curry first, then a soft body brush, then I pick out his hooves, then I comb his mane/tail (most often, he always has shavings in it) and if needed I use a facebrush.
After I ride I go over him with a soft body brush and sometimes braid his tail.
I start with either the plastic nubby thing or another plastic curry that has smaller nubs. Then I use the stiff brush to get most of the excess hair off. After that is all done, I use the soft brush and pick out her feet. After all that, I comb her mane and pick out her feet. Once a week, I use MTG; and I use the Mane and Tail Detangler about twice a week. I also take her tail down about once a week, use the detangler, comb it out, then rebraid it and rub the Mane and Tail conditioner into the braid before I put it back in the sock. Then I take the face brush to her face. She likes it the best, so I save it for last for her.
In the warm weather, after a ride or working her, I take a sponge to her to get the sweat, then hose if she's really sweaty. She gets bathed about once every other month. Her tail and mane washed about the same. I let her graze until she's dry, then go through the whole grooming routine again. In the cold weather, I let her dry and follow the original routine.
The barn seems to be the only place I'm actually calm anymore, and Rosie is my best friend. So, before I go to work in the morning, instead of just feeding and mucking the stalls, I groom her and spend as much time with her as I can before I have to leave. Then after work, it's straight back to the barn to groom her, work or ride her, then groom again. I'm loving the warm dry weather now. I was 7:30 pm getting home last night, and 8 tonight!!!
I love grooming my horse and use it as a daily bonding quiet time with my boy.
I was always taught to groom thoroughly and I use Cowboy Magic Body Shine to keep him extra soft and it helps keeping him clean.
First I use the shedding blade all over
rubber gum curry - all over
med bristal - brush body & legs
soft bristal - brush face neck & body (spray brush with cowboy magic)
Mane & tail is done with mane brush
Then I pick his feet
I have also given him a little bath with a cloth & hot water. And sometimes I will rub him with a towel. I also run my hands all over his body checking for new cuts or bites or kick marks.
This is this first week without blankets and he's rolling daily so I am really getting lots of practice.
Night Heat lives out, so I can't really keep her THAT clean...LOL. But when when I ride her or visit her I give her a nice groom.
When Stoeka was alive, and she got brown marks (she was grey), I would take a wet sponge and wipe the mark away. And then when she got really dusty, I would wet a soft body brush and brush her with it. The dust would stick to the bristels.
I can't think of any more tips right now... :mrgreen:
Metal curry (shedder) the entire body. Then use the cowboy brush, then the rubber curry to rough up any more dust (there is ALWAYS more dust lol), then cowboy brush again. Then I use the finishing soft brush everywhere. Then I clean all the feet. Then use baby wipes to clean eyes and nostrils....then check if udders or anything else needs attention. Plus I always have a mini battery powered clipper for a shows, just in case.
Here's what it is right now. Metal curry, jelly scrubber(which was made to use during bath time but I love it for getting the dirt and hair off), hard brush, soft brush, face brush, detangler and conditioner in the mane and tail, brush the mane and tail with an Oster mane and tail brush, then pick hooves. During the summer, I dont use the metal curry and I only use the jelly scrubber if they're really dirty.
metal curry, rubber curry, soft brush [my mare HATES the stiff brush but loves the metal curry... huh ? lol ] then i check hooves & sometimes pick them if necessary. i also sometimes brush & pull her mane & braid her forelock. after i ride i either put her away or curry/soft brush again =]
If rugged and its been muddy
metal and rubber curry on body followed by dandy brush
plastic curry comb dandy brush on legs if dry and will somtimes dry and brush using towel depending on how bad
mane and tail with de tangler/conditioner and oster/pin brush
forelock gets combed
flick with soft brush
feet cleaned and regularly conditioned
in Summer if not rugged more or less the same but swap the metal curry for a rubber one. and the body brush for a damp sponge if its warm
Lilly gets a once-over with the body brush since she's so clean. She's not shedding much at all right now so currying is not really necessary. I then pick out her hooves.
Pickles gets a rubber curry to loosen stuff up, then his shedding mitt thing which does a good job of picking up the buttload of hair he's dropping right now. Then a hard bristle brush. Then the dandy, and last but not least, his hooves.
Any sleep/dirt is removed from the eyes and outer nostrils with a moist sponge.
About once a week I comb out and condition manes and tails. Both horses get rainmaker on their hooves about 5x a week, usually whenever I am out there.
I also make a point of deliberately touching and moving around sensitive areas, such as the udder, underbelly, stroking the legs, etc.. Just to keep them used to action in these normally out-of-the way places.
-I will use a shedding blade (atleast now, during shedding beastie season)
-Every couple of times I will spritz with Laser Sheen, or dilute Mane and Tail conditioner, before brushing with bristle brushes...
-mane and tail, I will condition, and then use a soft pin mane/tail brush, otherwise, I just run my fingers through, and leave it be; because of the winds around here, the tails are most often braided and kept up anyway, to prevent over tangling. Manes are short.
-in the summer or warmer months, I bathe or atleast hose off fairly frequently, especially because of all the dirt, dust, and sand around here...it's gotta feel good to get rid of all those 'itchies'!