Sunday, November 6, 2016

Question time: Your grooming routine

I've found grooming to be a very personal thing.  For a lot of riders, it becomes a bit of a ritual.  So here's my question:  What does your grooming routine look like?

For Theo, it take me on average 30 minutes to get him ready for a ride.  45 minutes to an hour isn't unheard of when I have the time to spare.  What can I say, my pony is a princess and requires a lot of adoration in order to feel content with the world.

As it's fall, the routine starts with pulling his blanket off.  Then I use my hoof brush to get the muck off of the outside of his hooves so they can dry before I pick his feet.  Then it's time to get out the tail brush and brush out his forelock, mane and tail.  This is to put him in a good mood and usually involves brushing the inside of his ears.  He's weird.  His tail is massive, so it can take awhile.  Good thing he really enjoys it.  Which is a little weird, but okay.

If I'm in a hurry, it's just taking out the hay and dirt clods.  If I have time, it gets sprayed down with detangler and completely brushed out.  I usually braid up his forelock to keep it out of his eyes and out of his fancy browbands.

Next comes the curry comb, making sure to really work over the good spots on the neck and hind quarters.  This eats up most of my time.  Theo doesn't have a friend for mutual grooming sessions, so that's my job.  His crest and withers get a lot of attention.  I know I'm doing a good job when he tries to return the favor, messing with my hair or playing with my shirt.  Then stiff brush to get the mud off of his legs and body brush on the rest of him.  By this point his hooves are dry and he can get his feet picked out.

Once he's cleaned up and fit to be seen in public, I rub the top of his neck down with liniment.  Gives it some time to soak in and get to work while I tack him up and get all of his boots on.  I've noticed it speeds up our warm up process.  He gets a cookie after the girth goes on so he doesn't try to take a chunk out of anyone.  By the time we get to the bridle, he's been pet, pampered, and massaged for about 30 minutes.  It usually gets me a nice, soft expression before we head out.

I've been informed by several people that the routine is a little over the top, but no one can argue with the shiny, happy results.

So, how does your grooming routine go?


  1. I <3 grooming and also spend a fair bit of time on it. It's just so satisfying to see the clean horse, and is my preferred method for both relationship building and general health assessment.

  2. My horse hates being brushed so I keep it simple with a soft brush and pick feel real quick unless he's disgusting. He can barely tolerate a curry so I usually just clean the saddle area and wait until he's warmer to dandy brush the rest off later. Annoying because I love grooming. Jerk!

  3. On some days, I'll spend 15+ min, especially if he's muddy. Typically it'll be a 10 minute session. I've never tried liniment on the neck. Ryon's had a sore back lately and maybe it's worth giving it a shot

  4. I have started feeding Stinker while I tack up so he is the rate limiting step. Typically I spend 10-15 minutes grooming/picking feet. 10 minutes tacking up. Then five minutes for me/letting him finish eating.

  5. I don't generally spend a lot of time doing it but I try to be thorough.

  6. I love to groom my horse to but my groping routine varies like crazy. Some days (more often then I care to mention haha) I groom for 2 minutes and just make sure there's no major dirt under boots or the saddle/girth area. Other times I will spend over 30 minutes just futzing around and enjoying my shiny horse :) Chimi's coat looks good no matter how long I groom him so I can get away with the 2 minute brush off 😁

    1. Wow. I should really check spelling/autocorrect before clicking publish!!! I do not grope my horse!!! HAHAHAHA!!! I can't believe autocorrect "screwed" me on grooming 😂😂😂

      And I meant too not to ;)

  7. My horses have 24/7 turnout, with a run-in shed. They grow full winter coats. This time of year, grooming is "once-over the entire horse to make sure horse hasn't gotten wounded in the field" plus pick out feet plus clean all dirt off tack areas. In the warmer more-daylight-equipped months, grooming takes a bit longer and there's some emphasis on "make horse look nice"... but with limited daylight in which to ride, it's Functional Grooming Only.