Once-Over Grooming

Grooming gives you visual and tactile information about your horse’s health.

No account yet? Register


Once-Over Grooming
Grooming gives you visual and tactile information about your horse’s health.| Photo: iStock

As your horse leans into the satisfying feel of the brush and curry, you have an opportunity to do more than clean away dirt, grime, and loose hairs. Grooming also gives you visual and tactile information about your horse’s health, and if done on a daily basis it can help you catch potential health problems early. Familiarize yourself with your horse’s normal vital signs, sensory reactions, and physical characteristics so you can detect when something isn’t quite right.

“Ideally, the grooming area should be well-lit to provide the best view,” says Julie Wilson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Turner Wilson Equine Consulting LLC, in Stillwater, Minn. “The parts (of the horse) most likely overlooked are the ones you may not groom every time due to time constraints, the horse’s behavior, or an ‘inconvenient’ location.” Thus, it helps to formulate a standard pattern that you follow with every grooming, whether you work front to back or bottom to top. If you stick to a routine you’re less likely to overlook an important area.

Once-Over Grooming
Pick out your horse's hooves daily to remove accumulated manure, debris, or stones from feet. | Photo: The Horse Staff
[et_pb_text _builder_version="4.4

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Nancy S. Loving, DVM, owns Loving Equine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, and has a special interest in managing the care of sport horses. Her book, All Horse Systems Go, is a comprehensive veterinary care and conditioning resource in full color that covers all facets of horse care. She has also authored the books Go the Distance as a resource for endurance horse owners, Conformation and Performance, and First Aid for Horse and Rider in addition to many veterinary articles for both horse owner and professional audiences.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Where do you go to find information on pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID)? Select all that apply.
17 votes · 27 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!