Friday, January 18, 2013

EC Day #18

Your grooming routine.

I do not have a routine per say.  I have two metal curries, a rubber curry, a stripping comb, a dog brush that works well on manes and tails, 3 different hoof pics, a bottle of "Mane n Tail", a bottle of Cowboy magic, a spray of some kind, fly spray concentrate, three spray bottles for the fly spray, three different bristle brushes of varying stiffness, and a grooming block (which was amazing when I was dealing with the bot infestation)  I have oatmeal shampoo, which I have used on Trax...once.  Why in the world would I use soap on them?  They live in a pasture and love to get dirty.

I only hose them down when it is really warm, and only after a long sweaty ride. If it is chilly I don't do it.  Besides, the minute I turn them loose they roll anyways, so it isn't like they are going to stay clean.   After I ride I curry again and get the sweat off. Then I use the bristle brush to push the hair up so it can dry quicker.   I always pick out hooves before and after each ride.

Last summer Killian ended up with a few dreadlocks in his mane.  I gal I know told me to just cut it out.  I used the Mane n Tail goop and spread it through with my hands and combed it right out. I love it for his tail too which is generally so thick.

Part of grooming, is sheeth and teet cleaning. Sassy cycles a lot it seems and tends to get pretty icky.  In the summer I try to keep her back end hosed off some to keep the flys off.  She loves being hosed down. Its just the boys that don't like it. She get that black icky crap in between her teets. I'm sure it has to itch, so I try to clean that out as often as I can.   The boys aren't bad about sheath cleaning, well except for Trax.  He is getting better, but the only time he has ever tried to kick me was when I had my hand up in there.

In the spring when fuzzy coats start to fall away, they all get brushed almost daily.  I use the flat stripping comb which works wonders.  The birds love me!   I get so much hair out Trax and Danny.  The red horses give up some but their coats don't get as thick.

I do not trim whiskers or ear hair. My horses are not show horses, they are working ponies.  I did cut a bridle path on Trax last year which I think was helpful so the bridle was not pulling on him.  I do strip the extra hair off of their legs but I do not trim it. Again, they are working horses and trail horses.  They need that protection.  With all of that in mind, I know that in June I will have to clean Trax up a bit for the RH competition.  Still I will try to stick as close to a natural look as I can.  The one issue I'm not sure what to do about is his mane.  You may or may not recall that last summer when he was so loaded with bots I ended up giving him a bad hair cut to get rid of them. It has grown a lot since then and looks better but it still looks a little funky on the ends and I will have to do something about that.  I do know who to ask though. My friend Kim will know just what to do.  The upper portion of his many likes to go on both sides. I like it like that.  Jay says I have to train it to go to one side.  I say that my horse is who he is, wild hair and all!

I will  tell you what is routine for me though. It is the wellness check. Everytime I am close to them I look for anything out of the ordinary. I look at their faces and their eyes,  I run my hands over them, down their legs, pick up their feet.  I don't clean their feet every day, but I take a second to pick them up and have a peek.  Even when it is cold I do this.  I do it for a few reasons.  One just to keep them used to contact, but second, because it is so easy to miss stuff when I just throw food and leave.  So although it isn't really part of grooming, in a way it is.  I also feel it is much more important than daily brushings.


  1. That's definitely true. Lucky for me, the barn I'm at is awesome and everyone looks out for everyone else's horses. Even though there must be between 50 and 100 horses at the ranch, the bm is really good about noticing anything that looks out of the ordinary (including if you are being unsafe/not providing enough care!!) So, if I can't get out to the barn for a week or a few days, I know that if pony was acting strange at all someone would provide care. But it is really important to make sure they are all acting right and are healthy.

  2. Sounds like a pretty decent grooming routine to me, wellness check is probly more important than pretty anyways.
    I tend to leave my horses more natural as well, as is well seen by the range ponies with wild manes and tails this time of ear, lol. But my riding horse always gets all prettied up and she loves it too so it makes it more fun :)