By: Sheena J.
Having a horse is almost also like having a kid. You have to feed them right, make sure they get the proper vitamins and nutrients they need, ensure they have a nice, comfortable and clean home to live in, and most importantly, they must be well groomed. It is very necessary to keep those manes shiny and elegant not just because we want our friends to see how beautiful they are, but also because cleanliness is equal to health. Unkept horses may experience discomfort and may not be in their best shape.
Horses, just like humans, will do anything to get rid of itch when the coat is not groomed, especially in hard to reach places. They rub their bodies or the body part affected by the itch, against anything they see can be used, poles, fences, trees or even walls. This mainly happens when their coats are dirty and also due to fungus and insect bites like mosquitos. This is very dangerous for horses as this can hurt their skins and may cause infections in the long run. When we groom a horse, it is essential to cover everything necessary to not miss spots that may cause problems to your horse in the future.
But what are the things to consider and do when it comes to maintaining a sleek horse? Below are some tips that I think are relevant when it comes to our horse friends.
1. Make Sure to Have the Best Products When Grooming
Making sure that the products you use for your horses are the best in the market and are safe for them is very important. Some use Highlighters that emphasizes parts of the horse's face, especially for show purposes. It is in a form of a gel or an ointment and can be applied easily to the horse and will not cause any discomfort to them. It's just like petting them and they will even enjoy the gesture a lot. There are also Coat treatments that can be sprayed that add shine and extra-gloss to a coat. There are coat treatments that are oil-free and this is more advisable as oil-based tend to attract dust and may not be beneficial to the horses.
2. Mane Care
One of the first thing you must take care of is the mane. Since it is rougher and thicker than the rest of the coat, this part requires more attention. One must also keep in mind that manes must be groomed to fit the particular breed of horses, purpose, and style as these are vital to what kind of process will be done. Some horses require long manes to minimize dirt and insects from entering the skin. For some breeds, the mane is trimmed and shortened, particularly for competition reasons.
3. Keeping the Coat Not Only Shiny but Healthy
As for the coat itself, there are parts that need more attention. Trimming is also imperative to show the style of the horse to its purpose. Below are the most common areas for the clippings.
Face – primarily for beautification purposes.
Ears – both the insides and the outsides of the horses' ears can be trimmed, although some don't believe in trimming the inside part as the hairs naturally prevent foreign objects from entering the ears.
Legs – also called the fetlocks, hairs in this region can acquire dirt and mud and may cause undesired itching to the horse. Legs are commonly trimmed for practical purposes and are quite healthy for the horse.
One part you must also not forget are the hooves. The most basic and most commonly used hoof care is picking. One must have a hoof pick and must be careful when removing the dirt, mud and different debris on the hooves. Removal of these unwanted filth prevents thrush, a disorder that, if left untreated, can cause severe problems in the way the horse walks or stand. Hoof dressing can also be used to increase moisture in the feet area, as to prevent cracks, tender feet, and other problems.
Grooming is not only to make a horse more presentable. Owners must have a routine for this especially because it is for the well-being of our precious horses. Their health should be the utmost priority as they need help in maintaining a good shape. After all, they take care of us as much as we take care of them. We as their family must be there for them and must help them be better horses, as they also bring out the best in us.
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