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A Complete Horse Care Guide

Updated on October 1, 2017
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie has a passion for people and animals. The love and care of both people and animals is important to her. Sharing is caring.

Horses are a Beautiful and majestic animal. They will do anything a human asks of them. In return all they want is grooming, proper equipment, a little exercise, and a clean place to sleep and eat. All these items and some love is all a horse needs to live a happy, and long life. Everything required to make that happiness possible will be discussed here.

A Beautiful Horse

Horses need care and grooming.
Horses need care and grooming.

Basic Grooming Kit For Horse Care

This list of grooming items is required to properly look after and keep your horse clean and healthy. Keep all these items together by using a grooming container or box.

  1. Hoof Pick with brush
  2. Curry Comb
  3. Dandy Brush
  4. Soft Body Brush
  5. Sponge
  6. Mane Comb
  7. Towel
  8. Shedding Blade
  9. Bot Knife
  10. Sweat Scraper
  11. Mane and Tail Shampoo
  12. Grooming Box or Kit

Basic Grooming tool kit.
Basic Grooming tool kit. | Source

What These Grooming Items are Used For

  • Hoof Pick, Used for removing dirt and small pebbles from the underside of the horse's hoof. Should be used every time after riding. Not cleaning can result in thrush and can cause the horse to go lame.
  • Curry Comb, made of metal, plastic or rubber.It has teeth on one side and a handle on the other. It removes dirt and debris from the coat and stimulates natural oils in the horse's hair. Use in a circular motion for the best results.
  • Dandy Brush, It's a stiff bristle brush that is used to remove the dirt already brought to the surface by the curry comb. Begin at the head and work your way to the rear. This brush can be used on the legs.
  • Soft Body Brush, Used to remove dust and small bits of dirt. It works best on the sensitive areas of the body. For example the face and inner legs. Take extra care when grooming around the eyes.
  • Mane Comb, Used to straighten the hair on the mane and tail. Recommended using after you remove large tangles with your fingers. This comb comes in metal or plastic.
  • Sponges, You have two for grooming your horses. A small one for cleaning eyes, nose, and mouth. It can also be used to clean the dock, Or top of the tail. Use the large sponge to clean the rest of the horse's body. Use a mane and tail shampoo to clean and shine up the coat.
  • Towel, Use to polish up the horse after you are all done grooming. This towel is a special towel for grooming and very absorbent, to capture as much moisture as possible and to dry the horse as quickly as possible.
  • Shedding Blade used to help with the shedding of the winter coat. It also works great on large outside dogs that have long, thick coats. This comb can be straight or curved with teeth. Be sure and use it gently, it can irritate the skin.
  • Bot Knife, This knife has a curved edge and is used to remove fly eggs. Removing eggs will keep the horse from licking those areas and swallowing the fly eggs that lead to tummy issues. If you don't have this knife, you can also use a bot block. The block is also used to remove the eggs from the horse's hair.
  • Sweat Scrapper, made from plastic or metal. This scraper can be used to remove sweat or after riding to remove excess water after the horse has been hosed down. Sometimes this blade comes as a combo with the shedding blade.
  • Mane and tail shampoo used just like you would use to clean and condition your hair. Use for the hair, tail, and mane. Add after water and wash accordingly, rinse and dry.
  • Grooming kit or box, Used to contain all the items you need to care for your horse. It's a handy way to make sure everything is in one place.

Why Should I Groom my Horse?

You need to groom your horse to it healthy and clean. A quick brushing will work before a day ride. It's Important to clean your horse before and after riding. You need to make sure the horse is clean, and the feet are clean and not soft or smelly. Sometimes if your weather is wet and the ground is soft, the horse can get things stuck in the hoofs, and you need to check for heat or smell. Some horses are sensitive to feet care; please use caution when handling their feet. Brushing will remove dirt and bedding from the horse's coat, mane, and tail. Comb the tail and mane; then braid add ribbon for an event or show. If you have been working the horse vigorously, then you need to help him cool down, and you will need to brush off the sweat. Each piece of equipment has its purpose and gives the best result when you're finished caring for your horse. Grooming will also allow you to check your horse for any lumps, bumps, cuts or hot spots that can affect the horse's health. Whether you ride for pleasure, run a ranch, or compete in events and horse shows, these basic grooming tools and tips are of the utmost importance to care for your horse.

Saddle pad and saddle are important horse equipment for riding.
Saddle pad and saddle are important horse equipment for riding. | Source

Horse Tack and Accessories

When you have a horse, there is a variety of equipment that's needed for working with and caring for your horse. Along with tack, your horse needs a place to run, sleep and eat. Here is a list of tack and items needed to get for your horse.

Basic Necessities and Tack Equipment:

  1. Grooming Kit, all items mentioned above.
  2. Halter and lead rope, Used to catch and lead the horse around.
  3. Bridle and reins, headgear used when riding and controlling the horse.
  4. Fly Mask, Used to protect the face and eyes from insects.
  5. Saddle Pads, used under the saddle
  6. Horse Blanket, used when the weather is bad or the horse is sick.
  7. Saddle goes over the pad and used is used for riding.
  8. Breast collar and tie down, used when in competitions or climbing hills.
  9. Leg Wraps used when a horse is injured and sometimes colored for parades.
  10. Feed Pail and water container, used to hold food and water.
  11. Hay and Feed, Nourishment and extra nutrition. Depending on the needs of the horse.
  12. Corral and pasture, the corral is used when the horse is sick or needs to be confined. The pasture is used to run around and be active.
  13. A shelter or trees to protect from the weather.
  14. Horse Trailer for transportation, allows you to take the horse to other places for events.
  15. Regular Veterinary Visit, to keep the horse healthy or diagnose early signs of illness or problems.
  16. Someone to trim hoofs, float teeth and make horseshoes, when needed. It's important to health and well-being of the horse.

Additional Show Equipment

What You Need
Coloured Horse Boots
Good Cowboy Hat
Decorative Head Gear
Coloured Elastics
Cowboy Dress Clothes
A Decorative Saddle
Plastic Beads
Good Polished Boots

These items are a must, but are used if you do jumping events or have an horse that needs extra protection. Some sjows require you and your horse to dress up, these items are also needed in this case.

How to Tack up Your Horse

Did You Know?

That Horses Need This Much Care?

See results

Barrel Racing

Always groom and clean the horses feet after riding or competing. Emily and Skittles, make a good team.
Always groom and clean the horses feet after riding or competing. Emily and Skittles, make a good team.

Horses Love to Walk Run and Jump

Horses love to be active. By grooming regularly and using the proper tack and equipment, you can enjoy the equine life for a long time. If you become ill or are disabled, you can still ride. Horses will still need to be exercised in some way if they don't have a large field to run in. If a horse becomes injured or sick, you can still use the lead line and take it for a walk. Our horses love to come out of the pen and go for a ride. Whether we are walking, running or trotting, you can tell they love it. Making sure your horses are active keeps their heart healthy and their digestive system working properly. Riding gives us humans a rush and freedom you can't get any other way, without partaking in extreme sports. Both Skittles and Shadow love to walk, run and jump. When you hear them whinny, nicker or call, you tell they enjoyed it all.

Horse Activities

Horses love to be active and have things to do. If your horse isn't being used for ranching, then you might want to consider these activities that our horses love to do. Equine events are quite popular. They can be organized or just some fun things to do with family and friends.

  • Poker Rides
  • Gymkhana
  • 4H
  • Trail Rides
  • Equestrian Jumping events
  • Pony Club
  • Teen or Adult Rodeo
  • Therapeutic Riding, For special needs

Some People Need Help to Ride

My daughter Is special needs and loves therapeutic riding.
My daughter Is special needs and loves therapeutic riding.

What Happens If my Horse Isn't Active?

Some horses start to display bad habits when they aren't active or given things to do. There are some obvious signs like cribbing, chewing on fences or walls. Some knock over food and water containers. Usually, these are signs of boredom. There are ways to stop or help with boredom that leads to this behavior. Some people have gone as far as to put giant exercise balls into the pen for them to play. Others have made sure there are other horses to run and play. There are times when just giving them a buddy makes them more active. An example is to have them in with other animals. A good companion is a donkey or burro. Not only will they become Friends they will act a guard animal for the horse. If you also own cows, the horse can go in with them and run around. Horses are happy and healthy when they are active and can run around. Please sure you have enough room to keep a horse properly and have time to care for them. The only time you should restrict activity or confine them is when they are injured or sick. Then they should be in a barn stall or paddock for their health and safety.

Please Remember!

A horse may be livestock to some.

But they have feelings and need

loving care.

When you take good care of them,

they will love you back.

A horse is beautiful and majestic,

Wild and kind at the same time.

Rounding It All Up

Living in a world with horses is a fabulous way to live. Grooming and care are important parts of their life, but as you can see, there is a lot more that is involved. You need to be able to afford all the things they need, and the time it takes to care for and feed them. I can't imagine life without horses. Everything you do for them you get back a hundred times over. They are the icon of freedom and life for my family. Horses symbolize strength, power, endurance, and speed. If you can harness the power and grace of these beautiful animals, you can accomplish anything.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn


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    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Yes Flourish, they are wondreful creatures. we have 2 now and are getting more. They are work but it is all worth it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      They are such beautiful animals. I had no clue there was so much needed in their care.

    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Hi, Lynn. Yes large animals requir a lot of work and care. Buit in the end it's always worth it. Thank you for stopping to read.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I love horses. They need way more than I thought they did. Thank you for sharing.


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