One of the most basic principles of horse riding is remembering to clean your horse regularly, but what do I need in terms of basic equipment so that I can clean my horse properly? The answer can be found here in our little cleaning 'ABC'.
Basic Equipment Checklist:
Additional soft brushes, sponges, hoof brushes and the like can be added to your kit if necessary. Let's take a closer look at these individual utensils.
Cleaning always starts with a curry comb. This has small knobs or rounded hooks and is used with gentle pressure to roughen the horse's coat. This removes dirt and grime easily.
It is best to start grooming with circular movements at the neck and then work your way over the trunk to the hind legs. Head, legs, mane and tail are not groomed.
A grooming brush is a large brush with soft, thick bristles. It is used to smooth the coat after the initial brushing and remove the dirt that has been loosened.
With a grooming brush, you work in stroking movements from the head to the base of the tail. After a few strokes, the brush should be full of hair and dirt. For cleaning, you simply wipe the grooming brush on the curry comb.
Quality should be particularly important when buying a grooming brush, as many cheap models lose their bristles relatively quickly. Grooming brushes are available with bristles of different hardness. Soft bristles are good for sensitive horses, while harder bristles stimulate blood circulation.
The harder coarse brush is used for the horse's legs, which are usually particularly dirty and full of sand and mud. The softer grooming brush has little chance of making an impact here!
With the coarse brush, the legs are simply brushed from top to bottom. If the legs are particularly dirty, the use of water can also help. In this case, you can consider using a brush with synthetic bristles.
As the name suggests, a hoof pick is used to clean the hooves - this is necessary because a horse picks up stones as well as earth, sand and dung, which can compact itself inside. A hoof pick has a hook to clear out the hoof and a brush to clean the frog.
After the hoof has been lifted up, the metal end is used to scrape out the furrows, then the brush is used to brush over the frog.
Finally, the mane of the horse is combed through with the mane comb so that it does not become matted. These combs are often wide-toothed and are used to remove knots and the like from mane and forelock.
Before using the mane comb, you should first untangle the coarsest knots with your fingers, because the hair is very stubborn and can otherwise tear out.
A mane brush is an alternative. This usually detangles the hair better than a comb. They can also be used to freshen up the tail.
Accessories for Wet-Washing
Grooming accessories that are also suitable for wet washing include a squeegee, which is used to remove water from the horse after washing.
Sponges are usually used for cleaning particularly sensitive areas. It is important to always use several sponges (one for the nostrils, one for the genitals etc), to clean the sponges regularly and, very importantly, not to swap the individual sponges with each other; you should not use a sponge today for one region, tomorrow for another.
And with that, the basic equipment for cleaning horses is complete. All the other things are not absolutely necessary but can certainly make life easier. We know from experience that one or the other new utensil will accumulate in the grooming box over time - depending on the preferences of the rider.