Being a horse owner, you surely have experienced times when your horse has gone through intermittent bouts of physical and behavioural difficulties. While on other occasions, he seems to be doing fine. As a word of advice, these situations demand that you should listen to the distant bells of warning that your horse needs regular grooming. Horses are performers much in the same way as your high performing cars are. They also need regular maintenance. If you fail to do so, you will notice performance suffers drastically.
Thus, the primary reasons for grooming your horse regularly are: to improve physical and mental health; to maintain its skin and coat; to reduce the chances of developing thrush, scratches, and other problems like injuries; and to regularly bathe and clean your horse so that he remains fit.
However, many horse owners, notwithstanding their love and care, make a lot of mistake while grooming their horses. If you are also making them, you need to take care of a few things so that your grooming regimen may benefit your horse in a big way.
Here are some of the mistakes that you should avoid while grooming your horse:
1. Do not let your horse drink iced water
Horses are prone to develop impaction colic, a blockage occurring in their gastrointestinal tract. This blockage in the large intestines is caused by the build-up of solid material, which prevents the normal passage of gut contents. In order to avoid this from happening, check your horse’s water so that it’s not frozen solid. Be mindful of this situation even more so during winters. It is a good idea to use a water heater during colder months.
2. Do not drape them in blankets unnecessarily
Sometimes people seem to forget that horses have a thick natural coat that can protect them, even in harsh weather. So do not cover your horse with too many blankets otherwise, it will lead to overheating and dehydration. As a matter of fact, as long as your horse is under a shelter in a barn, rest assured he will be all right.
3. Do not waste an expensive shampoo
Using too much expensive shampoo for grooming is beyond the point. If you have to wash off a thick layer of mud that is stuck on the skin of your horse, wash it twice. In the first wash, you have to remove the surface muck, dirt, sweat, and grime and in the next turn, just take a closer look at the resistant strain. You can then use a cheaper shampoo that can lather up well so that it can remove the remaining impurities or dirt from the surface of your horse’s skin. It would be better to use a stain removing shampoo in order to tackle stubborn stains. If you want to skip this shampooing process, you’re better off using an effective horse grooming tool that can help you clean the mud and dirt from the skin of your horse.
4. Do not forget conditioning
After bathing and shampooing your horse, do not leave the coat and skin exposed for any potential outside contaminants. In this situation, the dirt and stains tend to stick very easily on the coat of the horses, which are even harder to remove. To avoid this, make sure that the product you are using contains silicones or oils. These components are very important as they introduce a barrier between the skin and the contaminants. It’s a simple process to follow – apply the protective product to the coat and tail, leave for a few minutes, and rinse it off. This procedure renders a silky texture to the coat.
5. Do not wash too often
If you have a dark colored horse, you shouldn’t wash him too often because doing so will make the coat dull as well as it removes the horse’s natural bloom. Contrary to the dark horses, the light colored horses, however, need to be washed frequently. Compliment your horse’s bath and thorough grooming routine with a diet which includes healthy oils for added benefits to the skin and coat.
6. Do not overlook sensitive skin
Just as some of us have sensitive skin, we are often recommended to avoid using certain kinds of clothes and products. It might just as well be the case for your horse, too. If your horse has an allergic reaction towards certain kinds of products, you should immediately visit a veterinarian. Also, before using any product on your horse while grooming, do not forget to do a patch test. If the sensitivity persists, you can change the product or meet the vet.
7. Do not use cold water when washing a horse
It is recommended that using cold water for washing hair and skin should be avoided. Using lukewarm water allows shampoos and products to lather in a much better way. It also makes your horse feel more pleasant. So, mix the shampoo into warm water, lather up, and apply with a sponge on the skin of your horse.