The Mutual Magic of Grooming Your Horse

Relieve stress, shine up his coat, keep an eye on his health, improve your mental well-being, and bond - all by grooming your horse.

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This article is part of our Guide to Grooming Awareness Campaign, brought to you by ShowSheen.

Grooming doesn’t just make your horse look good; it’s also a genuine health booster. The benefits of grooming can’t be understated. Vigorous grooming promotes circulation, massages muscles, sloughs off dead skin cells, and stimulates the production of beneficial oils. It also enables you to spot emerging lumps, swellings, or skin issues so you can deal with them early for best results. Daily currying can almost completely control some skin conditions, such as cannon bone seborrhea (that thick, grungy skin that can form on the front of the hind legs). Grooming time is also an excellent opportunity for you to unwind, relax, and enjoy the time spent being with your horse.

Let’s look at some basic ways that grooming can benefit your horse – and you.

Bonding

Grooming your horse can be an excellent way to bond with them. Regular grooming sessions can help you connect emotionally with your horse, and over time, they will learn to appreciate your presence. Pulling your horse out to groom him, without the expectation of working afterwards, can be a great way to help him relax.

Groom him thoroughly before riding, but don’t skip a good grooming session even if you have nowhere to go. Practice patience if he appears anxious or doesn’t enjoy grooming at first. He might correlate his grooming sessions with work, and anticipate that’s coming next.

Use grooming time as a way to build a bond with your horse. Andrew Lever/gettyimages.com

Improves Circulation

Grooming your horse can help improve their circulation. Regular grooming sessions help distribute their natural oils, which helps keep their coat healthy and reduce skin conditions. Additionally, brushing your horse’s coat stimulates their blood vessels, which effectively improves blood circulation.

A thorough grooming session can even be a sort of mini massage for your horse. It can give you a chance to put hands on and see if there are any areas where he flinches away from pressure or find those spots where he loves a good scratch. This goes back to the bonding piece as well. Win over your equine friend with a scratch in just the right spot, and watch him melt in your hands.

Detect Early Onset of Health Issues

Early detection of health issues goes a long way in ensuring that your horse stays healthy. Regular grooming sessions give you the opportunity to keep an eye out for any changes in your horse’s skin, such as skin lumps, scratches, and any other skin problems.

Use your grooming time to not just give his back a quick brush, but to pick feet, check hooves, palpate his back, and even determine his baseline health. If you find any skin concerns, you can monitor them for changes and alert your vet if you notice anything of concern.

[Read about the extra steps you can add, to level up your grooming game]

Benefits Mental Health

A good grooming session can help your horse relax, ease anxiety, and enjoy your presence. However, this is also a beneficial practice to you. If you find yourself heading to the barn in a stressed state of mind, knowing that you won’t be good in the saddle, don’t turn around and head home! Pull him out and gather your grooming tools.

Those quiet moments together create an oasis where you don’t need to think about the outside world. The non-judgmental presence of a horse, and the soothing sensation of grooming can be like a warm hug for your soul.

Now, prepare to disconnect from the digital jungle and dive into the simple pleasures of the stable. Grooming is your passport to a sensory wonderland. Say goodbye to screens and hello to the symphony of sights, sounds, and smells that make up the barn experience. It’s a grounding and therapeutic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Focus on nothing but the horse in front of you and see how relaxed you are afterwards.

So, my friend, groom that horse and let the good vibes flow! It’s a ticket to mental well-being, a time to bond, and a chance to look your horse over for issues. Not to mention shine him up, keep him clean, and make a good impression in the show ring or arena.

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