How many of you can relate to this scenario? You just got off work, or dropping the kids off at school, and now it is time for some time in the saddle. You catch your horse, tie him up, take out the grooming tote, and then you dust off where the saddle goes, pull a few twigs/shavings from his tail, and pick out his feet before tacking him up and riding. This may seem all well and good, but if you do this or find yourself doing this you are grossly misunderstanding how important grooming your equine partner is.
 
1. Grooming gets your hands on all of your horse. I highly recommend that you never groom your horse with gloves on so that as you brush your horse you can feel any oddities and changes in his coat and skin. Does he have a lump that was not there before? Is he suddenly sensitive in a specific area? How long has that fungus been there and is it getting better or worse? Grooming allows you to catch these things before they turn into something serious.

2. Grooming is good for you horse’s health! Grooming helps to increase circulation in the skin and relaxes his muscles before and after a workout. Picking out your horse’s feet keeps them clear of debris as well as preventing bacterial and fungal infections.

3.  The key aspect of grooming your horse properly is to bond with your partner. Grooming is something you do with your horse to help increase your relationship. Spending time with your horse without asking much of him in return will strengthen your relationship and in turn help you in both your riding and your groundwork.

 
So next time you go out to ride your horse bring him in and groom him thoroughly, for his sake and yours.