Horse Grooming Reasons for grooming 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 Tools used for grooming Several tools are commonly used when grooming a horse. Proper use and technique helps to ensure the horse remains comfortable during the grooming process, and allows for greater ease in cleaning the animal. • Currycombs • Curry or Currycomb : A tool made of rubber or plastic with short "teeth" on one side that slides onto the hand of the groom. It is usually the first tool used in daily grooming. The horse is rubbed or "curried" to help loosen dirt, hair, and other detritus, plus stimulate the skin to produce natural oils. The curry comb is usually used in a circular motion to work loose embedded material. Curries are generally too harsh to be used on the legs or head, though varieties made of softer rubber are available. • Metal currycomb : a currycomb made of metal, with a handle. They are designed for use on show cattle. The metal currycomb is not designed for horses; the metal teeth can damage the skin and hair. There is no reason for a horse owner to buy one, though many barns have them sitting around and use them for cleaning out dirt and hair from softer-bristled brushes. For removing mud and winter hair, as well as for cleaning brushes, a shedding blade (see below) is preferable to a metal curry, and a shedding blade can do double duty for cleaning out other brushes. • Dandy brushes • Dandy brush or Hard-bristled brush : A stiff-bristled brush is used to remove the dirt, hair and other material stirred up by the curry. Brushes are used in the direction of the horse's hair coat growth, usually in short strokes from front to back, except at the flanks, where the hair grows in a different pattern. The best quality dandy
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- Fall '19