An Illustrated Guide To
|When you return from your ride the first thing you'll want to do is remove the saddle and let your horse cool off. Weather permitting, you will then want to rinse or bathe the horse to get the sweat and the dirt off of him. Next, if it is fly season reapply fly repellant before turning him loose. That's the plan. Here's how to implement it.|
A good wash stall can be made from four sturdy poles with two long pipes connecting those poles on opposing sides. This leaves both ends open. This arrangement allows you to walk the horse through it without stopping, when it is open.
That is just what you'll want to do the first few times you use this stall -- walk your horse straight through to acquaint him with the stall. See, it is no big deal -- you're telling him.
The chest rope is tied loosely. Then once the horse is loaded in the stall a rump rope keeps him from backing out. Ideally you'll leave the horse about two feet of room to back up or move forward in This extra room gives your horse an opportunity to let you know his feelings on the subject at hand. If the horse is new to you and begins dancing around he is definitely new to the concept of bathing. You'll want to slow everything way down and let him get used to the idea every step of the way.
The first time you give your horse a bath you'll definitely want to first show him it is water that's coming from the hose. Then you'll splash a little bit on his feet repeatedly until he becomes used to it. You'll want to take a lot of time going through his first few baths, being careful at each step to introduce him to that step and all it involves.
Light colored horses show up dirt more. They will need more attention. Hard to reach, but essential, is the hip section of the back. Every time your horse rolls over this section catches more than its share of the dirt.
There are lots of tricks to the grooming process. For instance, if you find cockle burrs in the mane or tail there is a quick trick to get it out without having to clip it out. That is by rubbing that area with baby oil -- or even WD-40.
Iíve been told that you can add wd-40 to fly spray and there wonít be a fly out there that wants to bother your horse. Unfortunately wd-40 is an oil based product and that attracts dirt. However, you can apply less and less every day and the residual effect will keep working.
They also have products out there on the market that will brighten the natural colors of your horse. Just put it on there for the length of time recommended. With darker horses it doesn't matter on the shampoos however Elfie adds one small bottle of iodine to a bottle of shampoo and shake it up.
"I have found," Elfie says, "that horses do get fungal infections and I add iodine to my shampoo and apply it to the horse as in bathing, but I leave it on for like twenty minutes, and rinse them off thoroughly. It gives their coats a really pretty shine too. You can buy horse products that do the same thing, but they cost three or four times as much."
Letís say you are going to a horse show. And you want to make your horseís white markings show up more you can use baby powder or corn starch and this will do an even better job than most professional products. Just dust it on.. It sticks to their little hairs and you can wipe off the excess and stand back to let people admire your horseís best features.
Once you get the horse wet just sprinkle your shampoo on and go to work. Notice how the fingers here are arched and separated. Working in circles with pressure on each finger loosens the dirt and also massages your horse. He's going to love it, and so are you. Remember though, the more shampoo you apply, the more rinsing you'll have to do as you don't want to leave a residue on there that will irritate your horse.
If you went through any mud you'll want to use the coarse curry comb to begin with, instead of your fingers. You will also want to use a stiff brush to clean the mane, tail and forelock. To give the tail a good cleaning you can fill a five gallon bucket about half full of water. Add some shampoo and put the tail right inside the bucket. Swish it around, back and forth and then let it soak for a few minutes. Be careful here and use your fingers to thread through any tangles because you could rip some of the hairs out.
Be extra careful of putting water, soap, shampoo, or conditioner near a horse's face as most horses consider this a sensitive area.
If your horse becomes grouchy during the grooming session be prepared to cut the session short. Elfie takes her horse out to the round pen and lunges the horse to wear out all those naughty feelings. After a round pen session she brings him back to the grooming area and the session is usually good from that point on. You always want your horse to be settled down and not acting silly. Do whatever you find best to settle your horse down before grooming and reassure him with gentle pats during the process.
It is not a good idea to share your grooming tools on several different horses if they have any kind of fungal problems. By using the same equipment you could be transferring fungus right over to your favorite horse. If you must share the brushes, clean them with a solution of shampoo with a little bit of iodine in it to kill the fungus so there is no chance of a fungal problem propagating. Bleaching your hoof equipment -- such as hoof picks -- is handy too since otherwise it is possible you could transfer thrush and white line disease.
|The Self Improvement Kit for Christians |
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The Value of Money explains why we are always broke.
On the sides and back a good sweat blade
On one side it has little teeth. The other side is smooth so when you drag it towards you it will pull the water right out of the coat. If the weather is cool you'll probably want to use the steel teeth curry comb, remembering that some horses tend to be more sensitive to different types of grooming. If the horse begins flinching you'll want to soften up with any procedure, but many horse do enjoy the massaging pressure.
Watch for shivering when a breeze comes up while you are bathing a horse. The temperature may have changed more than you realize. If you pick up on a horse becoming irritated or fidgety you need to reassure him that this is a normal process and that he can relax. You'll get so much further with a horse if he is calm or relaxed.
If you'll pay attention to when your horse moves suddenly during the grooming process you'll quickly learn which areas are most sensitive for your horse.
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