rules of horse grooming

The Unofficial Rules of Horse Grooming and Horse Ownership


  • It always takes longer than you think. This is usually because you have dreamed up a way to save time and it backfires. It’s also true when you try and take everything from the tack room to the cross ties and you turn around to see a trail of stuff you have dropped.


  • You will always forget one critical thing at a horse show. Sometimes you will notice this in time to borrow or buy a new one, sometimes not.


  • If you have plans after work to be at the barn, you will also have a reason to stay late at work.


  • Green slime will quickly become your most common accessory, most likely not by your choice, but your horse’s choice instead.


  • Your most challenging stains happen on your most important of show days.


  • The day that you start saying “It hasn’t happened yet, so it probably won’t” is the day that you eat major crow.


  • You will spent about 1% of your day actually grooming. The rest is a mixture of heavy lifting, hurrying, and waiting.



horse pink nose doing flehmen response

They laugh at us.


  • Even though you are diligent about having a spare set of clothes in your car for emergencies, when you have an actual wardrobe malfunction your spare set will be in the laundry.


  • At least once daily you will be clotheslined by the cross ties. Not because you horse moved, but because you reached for the cross tie to lift it and missed.


  • You will always tear your protective rubber glove while cleaning a sheath. Before lunch.


  • The minute you say “he hasn’t done THAT in a really long time”… is the same minute he executes THAT. In front of a crowd, for good measure.


filthy gray horse in winter


  • Your horse will always poop immediately after you have finished cleaning his stall. And you have shut the door.


  • Your clipper blades will become the equivalent of two rusty spoons when you have only finished one side of your horse.


  • Only the most beautiful and expensive pieces of tack and blankets will be destroyed by your horse.


  • The skill level of your horse’s shenanigans and haute ecole tricks are directly proportional to the importance of the people around you. Trying to impress a future date? You will fall as your horse dances on your head.


  • Your new farrier has been reassured numerous times that your horse *never* tosses a shoe. You must then call him about four hours later.


  • When your horse doesn’t roll in the mud, doesn’t become a giant grass stain, and refuses to stand outside in the rain, you will have no witnesses.



What does your horse do to prove you wrong?