Grooming for Wellness - more than cleaning!

Grooming your horse - chore or something to look forward to?

I have always loved to groom horses. There is just something wonderful about feeling that you are doing something good, right here and now, for the horse in question - whether your own or any horse for that matter.

Horses are so beautifully able to bring us out of our mental chatter into the 'zone' of timeless focus. A little bit like meditation, perhaps. I have groomed horses spontaneously (as in "may I groom your horse a little") that I had never seen before and had the most enjoyable 15-minute or so bonding experience with them.

Grooming as a chore - what you (and your horse) are missing out on:

When you view grooming as a chore, however, things start looking quite differently.

Have you ever felt or thought "Have to still groom, must still get this stain out, should really give a thorough bath, etc....".

Have you felt rushed, trying to squeeze grooming into a busy barn routine right after a busy day at work, perhaps?

Then you and your horse are missing out on the mental and physical Wellness benefits of grooming.

How to bring the "Zen" into grooming - and still get results!

If you groom on a regular basis with the right grooming techniques and tools, you will have a good-looking horse, even on days when you do not have as much time.

When time is an issue, you can decide to just do the basics in a spirit of relaxation instead of rushing through the entire grooming routine to 'get er done'. Here some tips to get you started in Wellness Grooming:

  1. No matter how much time you have, decide to NOT rush, instead stay relaxed or take the opportunity to become relaxed. (Your horse will love you for it!) It helps to decide what grooming routine to do that particular day and to get your tools ready before you get the horse out. Then take a deep breath, slow down a little and get your horse.
  2. While grooming, slow down to a pace of about half what you would normally do. Make sure to put a smile on your face. Yes, the old 'sloth' routine, moving slowly and smiling! This has physiological effects on your body and brain chemistry. Your horse will feel it right away.
  3. While you groom slowly, smiling ;-), keep a soft eye on your horse's face and body posture. What does he like? When does he start to soften his eye? When does he start licking and chewing? Keep on doing what you are doing.... Pinned ears, wide eyes, grinding teeth, hollowed backs are signs of discomfort. Soften your touch. Now you have a really good dialogue with your horse!
  4. Once you are done with whatever you had intended to do that day, finish by gently stroking your horse on the neck and around the base of the tail and perhaps a little wither scratch. Horses love routine. If this is always the last thing you do, your horse will know that now it's time for something else. Do not, however, slap the horse in a well-meaning way as I see so many people do. This shocks the horse out of its relaxation zone. And why do that?

In short: Grooming is much more than cleaning. The most successful grooms are those, who can bring the horse peace of mind and a sense of relaxation. This supports everything you do with your horse.

Stay tuned, I will post more articles on the Wellness Benefits of Grooming.

Enjoy your horse!

Stefanie Reinhold

Views: 787


You need to be a member of Barnmice Equestrian Social Community to add comments!

Join Barnmice Equestrian Social Community

The Rider Marketplace

International Horse News

Click Here for Barnmice Horse News

© 2024   Created by Barnmice Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service