Horse Care - How to properly care for your Horse 2022

 If a horse lives in a species-appropriate form of husbandry and the equipment also fits perfectly, then the first steps towards keeping the horse healthy have been taken. This path should of course be retained. This starts with the daily routine: healthy horse care is of enormous importance and has a positive effect on its well-being. Find out what is particularly important in horse care.


Why is horse care so important?

Free-roaming horses in nature groom themselves independently, for example by rolling around or nibbling on each other. Horses that live in stables, on the other hand, are dependent on people who take care of the daily care. However, this does not only serve the appearance of the horse. Regular and correct care significantly increases the health and well-being of the horses. Because removing dirt and dust from the fur and skin prevents, for example, dirt crusts from forming on the saddle or bridle after riding. However, cleaning is not just cleaning, but also an essential health measure .

Careful care reduces the risk of horses suffering from health problems such as thrush , chafing or mallenders Thanks to the movements of the brushes, the cleaning process is also like a massage, which promotes blood circulation in the skin and the subcutaneous connective tissue as well as skin breathing and relaxes the muscles . Accordingly, grooming the horse is also a suitable warm-up exercise before riding.

Especially in spring and autumn, a horse should be brushed particularly thoroughly to support the change of coat . Because extensive grooming also brushes out the fur in hard-to-reach places. At the same time, the routine strengthens the bond and trust between humans and animals . In order to be as thorough and effective as possible in the care, cleaning should always be carried out in a suitable order. This ensures that no areas, such as under the stomach or on the legs, are forgotten.

Care of the horse - important tools to start with

Grooming utensils should be kept in a well-stocked, hygienic grooming box. It is also recommended that the cleaning equipment is cleaned regularly and disinfected occasionally . It is important that each horse has its own grooming box. In this way, the risk of diseases being transmitted to other horses via brushes and sponges can be kept as low as possible.



there is an unlimited number of cleaning supplies. One of the most important, however, is the classic harrow . A comb can be made of metal, plastic, or rubber and is used to roughen up the coat and loosen dirt with a circular motion. Since the muscles of the animal are massaged at the same time, only the muscular parts of the body should be groomed.

Another tool is the fine  brush . The brush cleans the fur after grooming and smoothes it out again. So that the horse is not frightened, a fine brush is used with only slight pressure on less muscular parts of the body, such as the joints. For stubborn incrustations, dirt, knots or tangles, coarse-bristled root, fur and mane brushes are used.

Soft sponges or unscented, biodegradable wet wipes are also useful for cleaning sensitive parts of the body such as the eyes, nostrils or genitals. In order not to risk infections, different sponges should be used for each part of the body. To care for the hooves, the cleaning box should contain a hoof pick with a brush . This can be used to remove dirt and small stones from the hooves.

Since the horse not only has to be cleaned but also washed, it is advisable to buy a metal sweat knife to wipe off the water after showering. Finally, hoof fat and brush , a mane comb and soft rags can also be important tools for horse care and should not be missing in the grooming box.


Hoof Care - An important part of horse care

Horse hooves are particularly susceptible to various diseases, such as thrush , hoof ulcers or navicular roll . Therefore, daily hoof care is extremely important as part of horse care and should not be neglected. Ideally, the hooves are scraped at least before and after each ride. If horses have injuries or loose horseshoes, their feet are easier to examine if they are cleaned.

Hoof care includes in particular scraping and greasing. A hoof pick with a brush is used for scraping . This removes any type of foreign matter such as dirt, small stones or manure by following the natural V-pattern of the lateral grooves from the ball of the foot to the edge of the hoof. It is important to ensure that you work very carefully at this point, as it is very sensitive.

When greasing , hoof fat is applied to the ideally moistened hooves to make them more elastic. This method preserves moisture in the hoof . The hooves of horses that are not grazed are usually particularly dry, which is why it is necessary to grease them. However, they do not need to be greased on a regular basis in healthy horses that are grazed, as the hoof horn is naturally permeable to air and water and the moisture content is effortlessly self-regulating. The outsides are cleaned with a strong brush and water.

But not only the hooves, but also the overlying pasterns should be cared for. They are susceptible to fungal diseases and mud fever and are therefore regularly cleaned and treated with ointments or sprays. Ideally, the farrier should trim and trim horses' hooves every six to eight weeks to prevent deformities or other health problems.



Grooming

First of all, it is important that you never stand behind the horse when brushing, but to the side. That way you won't get hit if the horse gets startled and kicks out backwards. When grooming, it is best to work from the front, on the head, to the back. The head is sensitive and is therefore only cleaned carefully with a soft brush. The eyes and nostrils can then be carefully cleaned with wet sponges to remove secretion and dirt deposits. For grooming, the dirt is removed with root brushes, curry combs and brushes.

In summer, a horse is also happy about a small shower with a water hose to wash off both sweat and crusts of dirt. The excess water is then drawn off with the metallic sweat knife. The other areas, such as the ankle bend, should be dried well to prevent problems such as mallenders . However, the pleasant bath should not be taken too often or for too long, so as not to wash off the sebum and fat layer that gives the skin natural protection. In addition to the area around the eyes and the nostrils, other sensitive areas such as the genitals, rear end and the root of the tail (the base of the tail) are also wiped off with different sponges.

Horses that are also trained in the cold season can have their fur shaved off so that it dries faster after sweating and the animal does not catch a cold. Sweat also dries faster when a horse rolls in sand or sawdust after work. Rolling and rolling is also part of grooming and horses can easily do it on their own.


Mane and Tail care

The mane serves to protect the horse from insects, rainwater and other biting species . If hair is torn from the mane, this causes great pain in horses. Therefore, when grooming a horse, each strand should first be carefully untangled with your hands and straw, burrs or leaves removed. The mane can then be carefully brushed out.

The same goes for the tail . With it, the horse protects itself from insects and it is ensured that the rear part stays warm and dry. Tail care should follow the same steps as mane care and the tail should be divided into individual strands before brushing out. When washing the tail and mane, make sure to use a mild shampoo so as not to irritate the skin.


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