A horse is a wonderful pet to have. If you are new to owning a horse, it can definitely be a bit of a learning curve and there are a lot of things you will need to learn.
A horse isn’t the same as a dog or a cat and most of the time you won’t have the space to keep it with you at home. This is why you can invest in homes for horseback riding to be closer to trails, or you can simply keep your horse in a stable close to your home.
Today though we aren’t talking about riding, we want to talk about how to look after your beautiful companion and keep them looking amazing. Here is our top checklist of things you need to do to keep your horse in top condition.
Cleaning your horse
It is important to keep your horse clean to help them stay healthy and happy, and here are the things you need to do:
- Use great brushes
It is important for you to use the best for your horse, and brushes will make a huge difference to the coat of your horse and to their skin. Be sure to brush your horse regularly and make sure to use brushes for dusting and detangling.
- A set for each horse
If you have more than one horse in your possession, the temptation might be for you to use the same set of brushes to save money but this isn’t best practice. Make sure you use different brushes for each horse to minimize the risk of fungal infections.
3.Brush your horse everyday
The more you brush your horse the better. It will not only feel nice for them and help to grow your bond, but it is healthier for their coat and will keep it shiny. Brushing their hair every day will distribute the essential oils in their skin through their fur and this will keep the hair shiny and thick.
- A brush for all seasons
Just as the weather changes throughout the year, as does the brush we need to use on our horses. In winter the brush you use will likely be harder because it will be used to remove excess skin cells. In the summer, it might be softer to help detangle and be gentle on the skin.
- Wear mittens
The best thing you can do when you are grooming your horse is invest in a pair of grooming mittens. These mittens can be used by you to brush any dust and dirt off your horse before you start brushing. When your horse is or and about all day it is likely that they will roll around in the soil and get dirt on themselves.
- Massage the tail
If you want to stimulate hair growth and make sure the tail is healthy, massage it with a body brush and this will ensure that the hair grow thick and strong. It will also help to get rid of any dirt or debris which might otherwise cause your horse to itch.
As well as cleaning your horse with dry methods, now and gain you will want to give them a bath and make sure they are clean. Of course, you can’t place your horse in your bathtub so there are some different steps you should take:
- Use a sponge
When washing your horse it is important for you to make the process as easy as possible and you can use a sponge to absorb some water and make sure that you wash it well.
- Use shampoo
Make sure when you wash your horse that you choose a good horse safe shampoo which will get rid of any dirt and bacteria on your horse and keep them smelling and feeling fresh. Always work from front to back when cleaning your horse because this is the way the hair grows and it will cause less damage to the hair.
- Spray it away
Trying to rinse shampoo off your horse can be a big ordeal and this is why it is easier for you to use a water spray to complete this task. When working close to the face make sure to cover your horse’s eyes so that you don’t accidentally spray them with water or get shampoo in them.
- Don’t forget nooks and crannies
When washing your horse, make sure that you remember to reach all of those small niggling places such as the space underneath the tail and behind their hind legs. By washing these too you will decrease the risk of your horse developing a fungal infection.
- Make them shine
Once you have given your horse a bath you can apply a sheen or serum to your horse’s coat and this will make their coat look stunning and shiny, and it will also help to add essential oils back to the skin and hair which you will have removed when shampooing. This is a great finishing touch and it can help your horse stay looking great.
Like any other animal, your horse will need to be clipped now and again to keep their hair and hooves healthy and strong. This is one of the more difficult tasks on the list but it is something which is crucial for the health and well-being of your horse.
- Clip in advance of a show
If the reason you want to clip your horse is for a show, you need to make sure that you clip it a week in advance at least. Clipping the hair of your horse can be trial and error so giving yourself some extra time can be a helpful way for the hair to grow back and get rid of any mistakes you may have made.
- Use a sharp blade
When you come to clip your horse make sure that you use a good quality blade so that it can easily cut through and make a big difference to your horse. It will make the job easier and also tidier for the best results.
- Clean out the hooves
Clipping and cleaning hooves can take a long while but make sure that you use a strong tool to get rid of any compacted soil or dirt which may have built up in the hooves. Clip the hooves to a comfortable level and always check for signs of infection.
Finish with a flourish
There are a lot of little extras you can do for your horse to make them look and feel amazing, and here are just a few of the finishing touches you can do for a show or an event:
- Use oil on his face
To make your horse look glowing and youthful, you can use a simple mix of natural oils on his face to make his fur shine. This mix can be made out of oils such as castor, olive, argan or even almond oil. It will be easy to apply and will feel lovely on their hair and skin.
- Use a tail wrap
If you have braided or brushed the tail before a show, use a tail wrap to cover and protect the style before you head to the event. This will simply ensure that the hair doesn’t rub and fall out of the style before the time comes to view your horse.
- Cover up spots with baby powder
If you find any bites or small spots on your horse on the day of an event, you can create a quick fix with baby powder. Just place a small amount of baby powder on the spot to cover it up and you should be ready to go.
- Braid the mane and tail
Perhaps the most fun preparation of all has to be the braiding. You can create some beautiful horse hairstyles with a braid and even some accessories and it will make your horse look classy and stunning for the whole show!
- Fill hoof nail holes
If you really want to shine at a show and make your horse look stunning, you can fill in the nail holes of your horse shoes. The reason we can do this is that the nails don’t look amazing on their own, so filling it in with a colour the same as the hooves can be amazing.
- Bring baby wipes
Whenever you take a horse out, like any other animal, you might face a few spills. If they have a manure stain make sure to clean it away with a wipe or some rubbing alcohol. And if they have some gunk in the corner of their eyes make sure to wipe this away with a gentle baby wipe to keep them clean and comfortable.
You and your horse will have many years of fun and happiness ahead of you, and by completing this checklist your horse will stay looking and feeling healthy throughout your many years together!