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Beginners Guide to Horse Training by Yates
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Horse Grooming Information

Grooming is a very important part of your life with your horse. Stabled horses are generally clipped and fed quantities of heating food and tend to create additional waste matter. Much of this waste is removed through an increased rate of breathing and through excrement, but quite a lot is also disposed of through the skin.

Grooming is most effective on stabled horses when done just after morning exercise when the horse is warm and its pores are open.

Strapping encourages muscle development and tone, and also promotes circulation. What is strapping (sometimes called wisping)? It is when the horse is rhythmically thumped with a pad on the shoulders, quarters, and neck.

In the case of the stabled horse, grooming is best carried out after morning exercise, when the horse is warm and its pores open. Strapping, sometimes called wisping, builds up muscle - both on horse and human - but it is better done toward the end of the day in order to maintain the rate of circulation during the night.

Horses kept out at pasture should not be overly groomed since you remove the waterproofing layer of grease from the coat. It is sufficient to brush off the worst of the mud before going for a ride.

Grooming is best carried out from front to rear, starting high up on the horse's head behind the ears. Stand away from the horse, the secret of grooming lies in getting one's whole weight behind the brush, which cannot be done when too close to the horse. The body brush can be used for cleaning the head but great care must be taken not to bang the bony projections with its hard edge. After every few strokes, clean the brush on the curry comb, which is held in the opposite hand. The stiff dandy brush is used for cleaning muddy legs, which usually are left unclipped as a protection against the cold. It is far too stiff and harsh to be used on the horse's body.

More information on grooming coming soon.
Page last updated May 1, 2007