7 Ways to Make Horse Grooming More Efficient
Grooming your horse isn’t really a chore, is it? Sometimes it can feel like one, but here are some tips to make horse grooming easier and more efficient.
Be organized at the barn!
- This is the best way to easily access your grooming tools. I keep the bare minimum in my grooming kit. I don’t have to dig for anything, and I can easily go through the routine without stopping.
- If you can get a routine down pat, this will also save time. I start with vital signs, hooves and the mane and tail. Then I curry, attack stains, brush, wipe, and I’m done. Having my tools in order in my grooming kit in the way I use them helps, too.
- I also store seasonal tools so they are only in the grooming box when I need them. In the winter, a stiffer brush replaces my soft one in the winter, and I bust out the Insta-Hot kettle. In warm weather months, they are packed. In the summer, I have a cactus cloth for sweat marks and sunscreen for pink noses and my own nose.
The cactus cloth has many uses at the barn!
Use clean tools.
- No effective grooming happens with dirty tools! Weekly cleans of your horse’s brushes keeps them, and your horse, clean. I may not need to clean them, but I do anyway to stay in the habit.
- Use a bucket or tub to store your tools, and use it can double as a sink. I clean my grooming supplies in their tote – I just fill with chlorhexadine solution and water. This cleans the brushes and their container. For step by step details, read this!
Use grooming tools with more than one purpose.
- Having several tools that do more than one thing keeps clutter down and makes grooming your horse go smoothly.
- Hoof pick with a brush. I find the brush is handy to have to truly get the hooves free of packed-in mystery stuff, like poop and dirt and bedding.
- I can’t stress this enough – grooming gloves are amazing. These genius gloves allow you to curry comb and bathe and shed your horse, every last inch of him. Great for faces, legs, bellies, and butt cheeks. I threw out several types of curry combs and just use this instead.
You can use code PEG for free shipping if you order your gloves here!
- Cactus cloth. This great grooming tool works as a curry, a sweat mark eraser, and even a soft brush. They get better over time, and they are also quite affordable.
- Soft brush. I use a softer brush as the dandy, the stiff, the body, the finisher in one. It’s time-consuming and largely unnecessary to keep switching up brushes for your horse. I have a marvelous goat hair brush that’s rather long and soft, and I can use it on every last inch of my horse. In the winter, I switch to one that’s a bit stiffer to bust through all the of the winter coat.
- Wipes. If you use baby wipes or even if you make your own wipes, they are multi-purpose as well. Stains can be wiped away, noses and ears can be swiped, and sensitive butt cheeks can be cleaned. They are also good for freshening yourself up before you head home.
Let your horse be oily!
- The more natural oil that your has, the easier it is to groom him. Stop stripping your horse’s skin of sebum and let that stuff build up! Unless you are brand new to this website, you know that I’m PRO-SEBUM in a huge way! It’s the magic oil secreted by your skin as part of your horse’s immune system. It’s the shine on your horse, his overall bloom, and a natural stain repellent. Fewer stains mean less bathing to remove them and more shine. It’s a win-win.
Attend to manes and tails daily.
- Manes and tails that are kept clean, conditioned, and picked or brushed daily only take minutes to clean. If you save the mane and tail care for the weekend, you will be spending much more time picking and brushing and stain removing. A little bit a day versus a lot in one instance.
- You may find that you love tail bags and keeping the mane loosely braided to help you with this. You may also decide to just zip the entire mane off with a very spiffy roach job! I never thought I would love this, until I tried it. I should have roached my horse’s mane long ago!
Loose braids shouldn’t itch the way some tighter show braids do. This might be a good idea for your horse, and it can help train the mane to rest on one side.
- A horse that has lots of “barriers” will stay cleaner, and therefore reduce the time and intensity to get him clean again. The first barrier is his own skin and coat, and those natural oils on his own skin. You can also use fly sheets, sheets, and blankets to stand between your horse and all that is dirty. My favorite fly sheets have a neck piece.
- Then take stock of your horse’s environment. Can you add more layers of fresh bedding to his stall or shed? What about doing some drainage and mud control to turnouts? Or adding mats to the areas that he spends the most time lounging? Anything you can do to block that dirt!
The more you can make a system and simplify your grooming routine, the more time you will have for other horse related things! Definitely don’t skimp on grooming, just do it more efficiently!
If you want to shop some of the items that I use, go for it! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!
HandsOn Grooming Gloves – use code PEG for free shipping!
I love my cactus cloth – so many uses!
More fly sheet coverage = less dirt on your horse.
The best horse grooming tool – a hot water kettle.