How Much Do You Know About Horse Grooming?

Teresa M.

Image: skynesher/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Horses are magnificent and intelligent animals, but grooming is entirely left up to the owner. Having a horse is a commitment that goes deeper than feeding and cleaning out the stalls. To keep your horse healthy, proper grooming is essential. How much do you really know about it? 

From proper hoof care to preventing saddle sores, horse grooming goes far deeper than making a horse look beautiful for a competition. In fact, in order to properly care for a horse, it's recommended that grooming be done every day. In addition to cleanliness, horse grooming gives the owner a chance to check the horse for injuries and irritants like grit or bugs. 

During this quiz, we will take a tour through the stable and touch upon horse anatomy. How many of the grooming tools and basic horse care rules do you know? After you choose the response you think is correct, we'll tally up your results. Could you be considered a horse grooming expert, or could you use a few lessons? Once you've completed this quiz, your level of horse care knowledge will let you know where you fall on the scale. 

How much to you know about horse grooming? This quiz will let you know. Giddy up!


What is usually the first tool used in a horse grooming session?

The first tool groomers usually use is called the curry comb. It is used all over the horse to loosen, or curry, dirt and dust away from the horse's coat. Its oval shape fits easily in the hand, and its bristles can be made from either plastic or from rubber.

Why should sunscreen be applied to horses?

When exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time, horses can sunburn just like we do. Applying sunscreen can help to prevent the horse from burning. Horses also need plenty of water to prevent dehydration during those hot summer days.

Which direction should a horse always be brushed in?

When brushing a horse, it's always a good idea do brush in the direction of natural hair growth. Brush strokes should be a short front to back motion, until you reach the flanks. Then, you must adjust brushing according to the different growth pattern taking place there.

Which condition caused by exposure to wet weather should be looked for by the groomer?

When horses are exposed to wet weather or muddy conditions, they can develop a skin condition called rain scald. When grooming your horse, it is prudent to observe any rashes or unusual patterns. Rain scald can be spread from horse to horse.

What is the tool called that's used to clean a horse's feet?

Horse hooves require a lot of attention, to prevent a horse from getting thrush. All four hooves should be cleaned before and after a ride. Horse hooves can pick up things like manure and potentially dangerous objects. A hoof pick should always be used to keep your horse's feet clean.

What should be used to remove tangles from the mane and tail?

When removing tangles from a horse's mane and tail, you should use your fingers before using any sort of brush. Using a metal brush can often damage the hair and remove more of it than intended. Using your fingers to break up tangles then using a brush is the best method for a silky mane or tail.

What do you use to remove excess moisture from a horse's skin?

Whether a horse has just been bathed or its had an intense workout, the sweat scraper helps to remove excess moisture from the horse's coat. Almost like a small squeegee, the tool ensures that the horse is as dry as possible. It also helps to prevent rain scald.

What is a popular material for polishing mitts to be made from?

Although polishing mitts can come in many shapes, sizes and materials, sheepskin is a popular choice amongst owners. After the horse has been brushed, the polishing mitt serves to further remove excess hair, dirt and skin particles. Not only does it make the horse look great, it makes the horse feel more comfortable.

Which skin disease can be passed from horse to horse by sharing the same brushes?

Though not technically a worm, ringworm is a fungus that can be passed from horse to horse when their grooming tools are shared. The round-shaped spots can also spread to humans who have contact with them. Although gross, ringworm is easily treated.

What is the name of the tool sometimes used to comb a horse's tail?

Although some groomers prefer to finger comb a horse's tail, others prefer a tail rake to get the job done. Similarly shaped like your garden variety rake, the tail rake is smaller, hand held, and has wide teeth that function like fingers. The tail rake is often used before mane and tail comb or brush.

On what part of the horse's body would you find a girth sore?

Resulting from dirt and grit beneath the saddle assembly, girth sores are caused from rubbing and skin irritation. When left untreated, girth sores can become infected and affect the horse's overall health. Groomers should carefully remove all foreign particles from a horse's back before saddling up.

Where are horses most sensitive to brushing?

Although some horses enjoy having their belly and area between their legs brushed, many others are more sensitive. Groomers should always monitor horses for reactions when being brushed. Care should always be taken to make sure a horse is secure before beginning any grooming session.

Why should shampoos containing peroxide never be used on horses?

Shampoos that contain hydrogen peroxide can lighten darker coats of hair. Often used an an antiseptic and a cleaning agent, hydrogen peroxide can be found in many human hair lightening products.

What should you look carefully at your horse's hooves to find?

You should always carefully examine your horse's hooves for cracks and chips. Not only can they cause the horse to be uncomfortable, but it can also lead to infection. Cracks and chips should always be monitored carefully for spreading and attended to immediately.

How often should a horse have its teeth checked?

Unlike humans, horses only need to have their teeth checked once per year. While wild horses have teeth that wear down more quickly, domesticated horses do not eat as much roughage. Still, even domestic horses can grow extraneous teeth that need to be removed by a professional.

What kind of bristles does a dandy brush have?

The dandy brush is a stiff bristled brush used to removed excess hair and dirt from a horse's coat. The dandy brush should always be used on the main body of the horse. Groomers should follow the direction of hair growth.

What should you use to clean a horse's face?

When grooming around your horse's eyes, nose and mouth, it is important to use a soft cloth. The skin on the horse's face is a little more sensitive than the rest of its body. Wiping with a soft cloth will help clean your horse without making it uncomfortable.

What is a nonhygenic benefit of horse grooming?

One of the biggest benefits to horse grooming is that the owner and the horse get special bonding time. During the grooming process, the horse learns to trust the groomer more, and the owner gets a better understand of their horse.

Which grooming tool helps to get rid of excess winter hair?

During the winter, horses build thicker layers of hair to help them stay warm. Once temperatures are warmer, they begin to shed. A shedding blade is useful to help remove excess hair from winter growth.

When should you use a mud brush?

A mud brush is a stiff brush used to remove dried mud from the horse's coat. Horses love to roll around in the mud, and the mud brush makes removing any dried mud much easier.

How often should a horse's hooves be conditioned?

You should treat your horse's hooves with a lanolin-based conditioner approximately once a week. Proper conditioning helps to prevent cracks, chips and fungal growth. Horses should always be trained to lift their hooves on command.

What part of the horse should you brush to promote hair growth at the tail?

To promote healthy hair growth on your horse's tail, you should brush the tail's dock - the area at the top of the tail - every day. Brushing the dock stimulates proper hair growth, and it helps to loosen any stray hairs that could cause future tangles.

How often should you clean a sheath or udder?

In general, it's a good idea not to clean a mare's udder or a stallion's sheath until they need to be cleaned. Frequent cleaning may remove many essential oils from the areas, and it's best to leave well enough alone unless the horse requires attention.

How long should you wait to show a horse after performing body clipping?

Ideally, after performing a body clipping of a horse's coat, you should wait two to three weeks before showing the horse. Body clipping removes many of the oils that make a horse's coat shiny in appearance. Waiting two to three weeks will ensure that the horse's coat looks great when being shown.

What can you use to remove static cling from your horse's mane and tail?

When trying to remove static cling from a horse's mane or tail, keep dryer sheets on hand. Not only do they work on your clothes, but they will also keep your horse from having any crazy flyaways.

What baby item can be used beneath the saddle blanket to prevent rubbing?

Applying a little baby powder between your horse's coat and your saddle blanket can prevent rubbing an irritation. Much like the way baby powder protects a baby's bum, the layer of powder created a thin barrier between the horse and the blanket.

What must you do with grooming brushes after you use them?

It is extremely important to clean your horse's grooming brushes and tools after each cleaning. It is also important to never share brushes between horses. Both cleaning the brushes and not sharing them between horses will reduce the risk of your horse contracting any sort of skin disease or fungus.

Where would you start brushing a horse's tail?

When you are brushing your horse's tail, it is important to begin from the ends of the hair. Starting at the bottom and working your way up can make the hair easier to detangle. It also prevents breakage from higher points in the hair.

What can you apply with grooming mitts?

in addition to using grooming mitts to removed excess dust, dirt and hair from a horse's coat, fly spray can also be applied using this method. Applying fly spray with grooming mitts is a much more even way to distribute the spray. Many horses also do not care for the sound of the spray coming out of the bottle.

Why should you use soft sponges when bathing your horse?

When bathing your horse, it's important to use soft sponges. Sponges made from harder materials hold less water than softer sponges. Reducing the time you spend dipping your sponge in a bucket can make for a more enjoyable and warmer experience for the horse.

Should you bath the underside of a horse's tail?

You should always wash underneath your horse's tail and between its legs. It is important to take notice of every part of your horse. Checking under the tail and between the legs is another opportunity to access your horse's health while getting them clean.

What is the most important factor in a horse having a healthy coat?

The very first step in making sure that a horse has a healthy coat is proper nutrition. Without proper nutrients, a horse's coat can thin or look dull. High quality ingredients should always be fed to horses to make sure they stay in top condition.

How often should you muck out a horse's stall?

One of the most essential parts of horse grooming is keeping the horse's environment as clean as you hope to keep its coat. It's important to muck out the horse's stall every day to maintain proper health.

What should be applied to a horse after bathing to help maintain its temperature?

To help a horse maintain its ideal body temperature after bathing, you can use a cooling blanket. The blanket will help return the horse's body temperature back to normal and absorb extra water.

What might you use an old washcloth for while grooming a horse?

After using groom brushes, you should use an old cloth to give your horse a final rubdown. The cloth will remove any excess hair or dust, and it will stimulate the production of oils that help make your horse's coat so shiny.

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