Grooming the Horse

So there he is. Rained for days. Just rolled in the mud. Must remove the dirt on his back or he will get rain galls. Rain galls are oozing sores on the back caused by rain pounding the dirt into the skin. Common in the northwest US where it rains 6 months of the year. Then the other 6 months it is too dry and dusty.

This is the minimum grooming the horse needs. A metal curry comb will remove the dirt from his back. Use the metal curry comb lightly when he still has his smooth summer coat. When he grows a winter coat you can use the curry comb more vigorously. Clean his back between each rain.

Pick out his feet often. Stones get wedged in the groove of his soles. Picking out his feet also keeps thrush from getting bad. Northwest US has thrush problem as well as rain gall problem.

When you have the time and just want to do something nice for your horse. Give him a thorough grooming. Brush the dirt out of his coat from head to toe. Brush his face with a soft brush. Comb out his mane and tail. Take a small whisp of hair and comb each section out. For tangles, separate hairs with your fingers as much as possible. Sometimes you just have to cut off rats nest tangles that cannot be untangled. But I have managed to separate most tangles with my fingers. If you keep up on the tangles, you won't have to cut chunks of hair off.

Massage bag balm or corona ointment on scars and the hair will grow back.

Once a year on a warm spring day give the horse a bath to wash off the winter dirt. I find that too many baths wash out the natural oils that make the coat shiny. But lots of brushing is most appreciated by the horse and make them more shiny than any artificial silicone shiner spray that you buy at the feed store. Nothing gives as good a shine as a lot of elbow grease. The vigorous grooming stimulates healthy skin and gives great exercise for the groom too.

I never have to cross tie my horses to groom them. They love it. The bully horses want me to groom them exclusively and will drive the other horses away.


Good looking pasture with electric tape fencing. Horses in good condition. I remove halters from my horses.
I have heard of horses scratching themselves on a forked tree and accidentally getting caught and hanging themselves when halters are left on.