Day 18- Your grooming routine
From Clover Ledge Farm
I feel like I'm going to need to break this down into different routines based on what I'm doing and what season it is but I'll try to just add a ton of asterisks instead, LOL.
To start, Gwyn is basically out 24/7. She has access to the barn 24/7 as well, but I let her decide what she needs and she's a wild thing, getting super fuzzy in the winter and dirty as she pleases. This influences my grooming of her.
If I have limited time, I do a couple essentials but really don't do anything thorough. I always groom in some manner as it serves as a good way to do a visual check of her body to see if there's anything concerning or new. Similarly, every day I'll make sure I have eyes on her outside at some point and watch her move, is she limping, does she look different than her normal.
Even if I don't ride, I always at least do a full body check of them both at dinner time too and run my hands over them for lumps and bumps. I love having my horses at home. I know their routine intimately and I'll know if something is off.
When riding on short time (I got side tracked) I'll curry out the mud, really focusing where the saddle and girth go but always doing a full body. I don't use boots every time so I don't get nitty gritty with her legs. Then I use a body brush and brush with the lay of the hair. I'll brush her mane (if it's not in braids*) but not her tail if I'm in a rush. Lately the tail is in a mud knot** so I don't have to bother. I'll pick her feet out checking for thrush and chips and then tack up.
When I'm not as rushed, I stretch out the brushing per how I was taught as a child. Curry in circles. Then a stiff brush to smooth out the hair and get rid of the major dirt, then a body brush in circles and a soft brush to add final shine. Hair brush in mane and tail, I'll add detangler here if it's causing issues and then braid the mane if it's hot since Gwyn has a super thick mane. I don't braid her forelock. I'll use fly spray if it's fly season.
After picking out her hooves I'll put hoof dressing on them. Then I tack up.
After riding in the summer I'll spray her down with the hose and scrape the water off with a sweat scraper. Then I toss her out in the pasture and let her roll as she will.
For shows***, I bathe her and really lather her down and get things clean. She doesn't have white, so I'm a bit spoiled in that stains just REALLY blend in. Sometimes it's hard to tell if she's muddy. She also doesn't tend to get manure stains so again, lucky and requires minimal bathing effort.
If her tail gets gross after a heat cycle, I will do just a tail wash and dunk it in a bucket with shampoo to get the crusties out. Every so often, but not regularly, I check the gunk between her teats and pick that out with my fingers. I don't bother to use any soap as she just lets me (gooooood mare) and will make silly faces because it feels good.
Even though I'm a friesian owner, I do not pick her tail, I brush that sucker and toss the extra hair to the birds. It grows just fine without needing to be babied.
In the spring, I curry her EVERY day to help the shedding along. Just a quick pass as she eats grain and then kick the hair pancakes out for the birds.
** Winter only
*** Showing only
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