Horsemen agree that grooming is an important part of horse care, and proper grooming is essential for horses that are used in competition. Most recommend grooming a horse daily, although this is not always possible. When grooming a horse, start at the top of his neck and work your way to his rear, then switch sides and repeat. Proper use and technique helps to ensure the horse remains comfortable during the grooming process, and allows for greater ease in cleaning the animal.
The main reasons for daily grooming include:
- improved health of the skin and coat
- decreases the chance of various health problems such as thrush, scratches, and other skin problems
- cleans the horse, so chafing does not occur under areas of tack
- gives the groom a chance to check the horse’s health, such as looking for cuts, heat, swelling, lameness, a change in temperament (such as depression) which could indicate the horse is sick, and look to see if the horse has loose or missing horseshoes
- helps to form a relationship between horse and handler, which can carry over to other handling duties and riding