An Illustrated Guide To
Grooming your horse for the show ring will usually start with clipping. Nothing improves the looks of man or horse more than a good hair cut.
Oil the clippers before you start. If your horse perks his ears forward when you turn the clippers on that means it is a good time to introduce him to the clippers again. Wranglers never mind RE-introducing the horse to the equipment. "See, this is okay."
Elfie goes even farther. After the horse smells of the clippers a few times she will then rub the clippers against the horse, but without the motor running. Then she lets the horse smell of the clippers again before turning the motor on. Again she rubs the side of the clippers against the horse's neck or cheek and lets the horse smell of them again. Any time the horse becomes fidgety she lets him smell the clippers again before proceeding. Eventually she can begin the actual clipping, interspersed with just rubbing the horse's neck with the clippers.
Because she takes this extra time
However, the vibration of the clippers can sometimes be more of a shock than the noise. To soften that vibration you can hold your hand firmly against the other side of the head, or ear as you clip. It is a good idea to pat the horse more than usual to let him know everything is okay and all this extra attention is normal.
|Before you bring the clippers out, fake tie your horse and use a stiff brush to remove all dust particles
from the horse's coat. Be sure to lift the mane up so you can brush thoroughly under there.|
Get rid of all his grandpa hairs.
If the vibration tickles, hold his head gently to absorb the vibration. You should keep following all the little hairs you want to get rid of.
To clip the bridle path on a horse, tip the ear back and draw a imaginary line to this point clip the hairs back to that line and this makes a nice bridle path that also gives the horse a clean cut appearance.
Hold the forelock up and clip up close, then hold the forelock down and go around it.
When you are clipping the ears, start at the top and come down. This lets the hairs inside the ears keep the clipped hairs from falling inside.
Be sure you don't clip away the eye lashes. He needs them to keep the dust and flies out. But your grooming does look better if you clip right up to the lashes.
Be sure to clip under the jaw line.
When you are brushing the horse's coat, at the end of each brush stroke you'll want to FLICK the brush away from you so that dust and loose hair is launched away from the brush. To be even more efficient, Elfie has installed a thin rod beneath the hitch rail. She cleans the brush out against this rod as often as necessary.
If there is too much activity going on around the grooming area you will be better off to just wait until things are quieter. This is smarter for both of you.
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Professional wranglers -- like Elfie --have a lot of tricks up their sleeves to make the grooming process go much smoother. So, as John Wayne would have said, "Listen Up, Pilgrim!"
For greater coat shine you can feed the horse liquid vitamins,
making them available in a separate bin. When supplying your
horse with dry vitamins you can add 1 cup of Corn oil in their grain and vitamins if
you think they need it
Leaving halters on horses in a pasture can be dangerous. If you need to use one, the break away halters will
at least come off and keep your horse injury-free. They can be easily
made with another piece of leather.
Please click on each small picture in turn
Steel curry brushes shouldn't be used where top show horses receive extra grooming. Grooming students should start off with a hard rubber brush until their arm muscles are trained to render just the right amount of pressure every time. Their focus should be on learning to go round and round in circles with the brush, much like using a scouring pad on a burnt skillet.
The idea is to loosen up the dead hair and the dust or dirt hidden inside the coat. Remember too, any debris that gets left around the ears could cause sores there since the bridle rubs that area frequently and behind.
After the entire coat is completed students come back with a softer hand brush. Using short, fast, flicking motions -- going WITH the grain of the coat-- the loosened hairs and debris are flicked off. Note the rope holding the head.
Letting the grooming go until just before show time is a bad
mistake; your horse will just look like a spruced up poor boy.
However, the owners of show horses quite often leave the manes and tails alone most of the time because too much grooming there can leave the tails and manes ragged.
|In Fact:||Some owners go so far as to keep the tails and manes braided so they stay nice and thick. This also keeps longer tails from being stepped on. When showtime shows up, untangling those manes and tails can be made easier by spraying them with WD-40.|
Care of the hooves comes next. Starting at the back of the knee, run your hand down the front leg to a point about half way down, and press. The horse will automatically raise the foot up for service. It is almost shocking how much dirt and mud will be packed between the foot and the shoe. All of this should be cleaned out, being sure to get as far beneath the shoe as possible with the hooked tool.
At least once a month grease the feet with hoof moisturizer.
If your horse is valuable or means a lot to you it would be a good idea to wrap at least the front legs to protect them.
Starting on the inside of each leg and going towards the front, start just below the knee and wrap the elastic bandage around and around, going down , then back up. The back legs can be protected in the same way.
Cowboys doing serious work or participating in rodeo events will add hoof protectors as a matter of course to their grooming regime.
Bright sunlight can change the colors of your horse's coat. Many show Morgans are not even allowed out of the stall until after dark for fear their coat will bleach out.
Around the stables Avon's Skin So Soft is used, as it keeps mosquitoes and flies off while being safer for kids.
Corn Huskers lotion feels good on your hands, and it can also be used for protecting cuts on the horse.
Deeper cuts are treated with Vaseline while deeper cuts or sores are treated with Bag Balm. Cuts that once required stitches can now be treated with Wound Cote®.
For anything worse, you are advised to call in the veterinarian.
All Morgan Horses
originated from a horse owned by Justin Morgan,
a teacher and a composer from Vermont.
One last link before I wind this article up:
Click HERE to learn some final grooming tips especially for miniature horses.
Click HERE for the complete Book on grooming
Please RIGHT CLICK.
Lin Stone is an author, writer and photographer living in Mena Arkansas among the gentle mountains known as Ouachita. His articles and essays are syndicated by talewins dot com to be published automatically on other web sites. He writes about adventures for Gates of Go, and he writes about the peaceable things of this world for Share Your State. In his spare time Lin writes copy for insurance roundup. You can have immediate, and free, reading of many more pieces when you send your little surfer scooting to Lin's home page at http://www.amazon.com/author/linstone/ where he keeps stirring up more good things for the soul