Tips for an Effective Horse Grooming Routine

“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle” said Churchill. I would say that goes for horse grooming as well.

Grooming your horse isn’t an activity that’s just a chore. It’s also a great way for you to bond with your gracious friend. You will become more familiar with each other and notice if they have any kind of injuries or health issues.

Because of this, it’s important that the grooming process is done properly, as best as possible. If you want to know a few tips for an effective horse grooming routine, you came to the right place.

Horse Grooming Routine

Take care of the hooves first

According to Trimepil, starting the grooming process with hoof cleaning is a smart thing to do for a couple of reasons.

For starters, it will help you promptly notice if the shoe has fallen off or if it became loose. You shouldn’t ride a horse that day if one of their shoes is in such a condition.

Second, since you’ll be going over the legs of your horse in order to lift their feet, you will also notice if they have any skin issues or muscle lumps.

Don’t forget to position yourself properly during hoof cleaning. Stand next to the horse’s side and face the direction opposite of the one your horse is facing.

Never stand behind the horse, you don’t want to get kicked if the horse gets startled by something.

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Currying comes next

Do this only on the fleshiest parts of your horse’s body. Use a special currying comb and work it in circular motions. Start from the neck area and move on to their back side until you reach the tail.

This grooming process does a lot of good to your horse. It removes the dead skin cells from their coat, loosens the dirt and shedding hair and massages their muscles.

It also distributes the natural oils in their hair over the body, making them look shiny and healthy while also protecting the hair.

Don’t curry against the grain, go in the direction of the hair’s growth. You can do this easily by switching hands on different sides of the horse.

Use the comb with your left hand when currying the horse’s right side, and vice-versa.

Be careful when going over the sensitive areas like the belly or the flank. Ticklish horses may become defensive and kick you otherwise.

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Use a brush afterwards

Begin by using a stiff bristled brush. Again, start from the head and work your way towards the tail. Use the brush in quick flicking motions. Press as hard as you can, or as hard as your horse can tolerate.

You don’t want them to feel uncomfortable because then they may hate the entire grooming process. Clean the brush on a currying comb after a few strokes to remove the hairs from it.

When this is done, move on to a medium brush and do everything once again. After that, repeat the steps with a soft brush as well.

When brushing the horse’s face, stand slightly to the side. This way, if the horse suddenly lifts their head, you won’t get smacked in the face.

Related Post: Investing in Quality Horse Brushes – 10 Dos and Don’ts

Finish with the mane and the tail

Run your fingers gently through the horse’s mane and tail to separate the hairs.

Then use a wet wipe or sponge to clean around their eyes and nostrils. Use a different one to clean the area under the tail. Be careful though, some horses like this and others don’t.

Related Post: DIY Horse Grooming Wipes Recipe {Printable}

I hope this article helped you improve your horse grooming routine. If you know a useful tip that I haven’t mentioned here, let me know in the comments. Enjoy your riding!


  1. Reese
    July 19, 2019 / 9:25 am

    Learned something new. Thanks

  2. Kim Christopher
    July 19, 2019 / 11:55 am

    I do curry the cannon bones to get the “scurf” off of them. I use a soft rubber curry mit that fits around the horses lower legs. I am careful but firm.
    I read articles that say don’t curry below the knee, but I don’t see a downside to it. Can you tell me why? I’m not arguing, I am always looking to learn new things. Thanks!

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