You know how it is, we’re all busy and the last thing we want to do is peel off a huge pile of rugs (it’s winter after all) and stand around and brush off mud for hours and hours. The mud dust ends up flicking in your eyes, the grease is embedded underneath your nails and two horses in your arms feel like they are about to fall off.
Today I stopped running from job to job and actually spent well over an hour standing just grooming both horses, I felt calm and there was such a nice connection and appreciation from both horses (admittedly there were treats involved) but still it was enjoyed. Naturally being the knowledge addict I am, I wanted to look in to some of the additional benefits of grooming your horse, and have then elaborated on them.
Grooming doesn’t just make your horse look gorgeous. it’s actually also proven to be a genuine health booster. Vigorous (depending on how long your arms can last) grooming promotes circulation, massages muscles, sloughs off dead skin cells, and stimulates the production of beneficial oils. It also enables you to spot emerging lumps, swellings, or skin issues so you can deal with them early for best results.
This part of the benefits I have added in ‘off the cuff’. As someone that has dealt with mental health issues for some time (anxiety in boat loads) I can honestly tell you that I have never felt calmer, there was nothing else to focus on but grooming, which is rare in this day and age of social media dinging at you 24-7. After grooming two horses I felt really relaxed, great that I had done it for them as they enjoy it and just had a general good wellbeing vibe,
From researching (which is basically a technical term for googling) it’s also proven to be amazing for your horses mental health. They find it relaxing, it only improves the bond you have with your horse and if they are a tense horse (which one of mine is, she’s like a ball of nerves) it’s a great way to help them relax those tighter muscles. You know you see horses grooming their friends over fences when they are turned out, well it’s the same when we groom them (one of my horses actually insists on grooming me back, which more often than not involves my ponytail ending up in his mouth).
Getting to Know Your Horse
As I mentioned in the previous point one of the horses I have is incredibly nervous. By working with a bush and touching her whole body I’m starting to understand which parts of her body she is most anxious about. This puts you in good stead to not go rushing in with a boot on a leg they are a bit touchy about and thus keeps everything calm in situations where it could turn in to a quick spin, a boot and an unplanned trip to A&E (We’ve all been there).
A Shiny Horse Makes for a Happy Owner
An entirely selfish one here, as a horse owner (but hey this blog is about honesty). Having given my horses a lovely groom leaving them shining and knot free, this actually makes me feel really happy and bright. Much like a tidy car (which sadly I can’t relate to) or coming home to a tidy house (this one I can, thanks to my mild OCD) It sets you up for a quick preparation before riding the next day and a positive feeling switching the lights off at the end of the day.
I’ve not covered the common point of ‘it keeps them clean’ because lets face it we all know that. This was just a post to transfer my happiness earlier in to a bit more exploration in to the ‘Real’ benefits of grooming. To be fair thinking about it, if I have a nice hot bath and give myself a ‘groom’ I always step out of the bathroom with a touch more pizazz.
Thanks for reading as always
I’ve also gone wild today and started an Instagram account too, so would love it if you checked it out: www.instagram.com/the_equestrian_blogger