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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Summer Grooming For Horses

Summer’s here, and that means more rides, more muds, and more grooming. Grooming not only keeps your horse looking shiny and gorgeous, it also stimulates circulation, fosters a strong, trusting bond, relieves muscle soreness through massage, and supports healthy, lustrous skin and coat.

Daily Summer Grooming For Horses
The key to successful grooming is an effective routine. Frequent grooming gives you more opportunities to habituate your horse to being groomed so they learn to trust you, and even enjoy the extra attention and care.
You’ll also be able to inspect them for bugs, debris, and signs of injury. You’ll also be able to help ease the burden of shedding so your horse transitions smoothly from their winter coat to their summer coat and back again.
Start by inspecting and cleaning your horse’s hooves. Facing your horse’s rear, encourage them to pick up their hoof by gently stroking their leg and saying the word of your choice - “hoof” works well. Use a hoof pick to dislodge any dirt or debris from the frog of the hoof.
Once you have picked all four hooves, you can move on to the coat.

Brushing Your Horse
Use a rubber curry comb to remove dirt and bring shed hair to the surface. Working in a circular motion, pay extra attention to fleshy areas. Skip bony areas, for example, below your horse’s knees or across their spine. Don’t be afraid to put your weight into it. If your arms are sore the next day, you’ve done a thorough job.
Then, go over all areas with a body brush. Your body brush should have softer bristles than your curry comb. Use the body brush to clear away any shed fur and dirt that you’ve loosened up with the curry comb.
Use a soft finishing brush to flatten the coat and create that sleek look. This will also help distribute the natural skin oils through the coat for a healthy shine. You may then use a cloth to apply a silicone spray to further smooth and moisturize the coat.

Your Horse’s Mane And Tail
Finally, comb out your horse’s mane and tail for beautiful flowing locks. Spray with detangler or your preferred silicone spray, and gently work out knots with your fingertips. If your horse’s tail is especially tangled, start by combing the bottom few inches and work your way up until the whole tail is free of knots.

Feed For Skin And Coat Health
Nothing will make your horse’s coat shine like a healthy diet fortified with vitamins and minerals. You can use a feed supplement like Missing Link Skin & Coat formula to provide omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins, all of which are building blocks for a healthy coat.