Welcome to day number 2! And for the second day we are going to focus on groundwork and grooming, but in reverse order. Because before we work with our horses, we really should make sure they are groomed, and comfortable right?
And if you are doing this challenge with me over the next 31 days, I think the first thing you should do today is go take a picture of your horse. You don’t need a fancy camera, and you don’t need to groom your horse. Grab your phone, and go take a few pictures of your horse.
This is your ‘before’ photo (or if you are like me photos). And this will be really helpful throughout the challenge. It’s one thing to see your horse on a daily basis, it’s another thing to be able to ‘see’ the difference over time. So my first challenge for you in this challenge is to take a picture, or two, of your horse today for your starting point.
Ok, lets get this challenge started! And to start it off right, let’s begin with the grooming!
I think one of the most important things I do on a daily basis with my horses is grooming. And partly because well, I love to brush horses for some reason. I think I get just as much satisfaction caring for my horses as I do riding them.
And grooming doesn’t have to take hours. Well, unless you want it too. But the more you practice the grooming, the faster you will be at it. As an example, every night when I come home from work the first thing I do after I give my husband a big hug is go out to the barn. I mix up the horses evening mush, clean their stalls, and then groom both horses. And because I have a nightly routine, the entire process takes about 45 minutes.
I start with their feet, and clean their hooves. Then I bust out the curry comb and curry, curry, curry. I’ll let you in on a little secret….if you want your horse to really shine, spend some extra time currying.
I know I have said this multiple times, but my most treasured curry is the Decker Flexible Curry Comb which you can find at Jeffers Pet for about $6.00. This is the best curry comb I have ever found, which is why I use this one on a daily basis. Sometimes I worry that they may stop making it, so I do have a spare. I love it that much.
And after currying, then I use a flick brush to get all of that dust and loose hair off my horse. Watching that fly off of Plezant is soooo satisfying!
Then I spray a mist of fly spray all over his body and legs. And then I apply a little bit of the fly spray to a soft face brush, and wipe his face off.
And then I use my Haas Diamond Gloss brush to really bring out the shine, as well as distribute the fly spray across his body. This is when you can REALLY see the shine!
Then I brush his mane and tail. And you will be surprised at my favorite mane and tail brush. Because well, it’s a people hairbrush. But it works so well, I love this brush! This is the Goody Styling Essentials Hair Brush. It works fantastic on manes and tails. And it is less than $5.00!
This entire grooming routine takes me about 10 minutes. Not too bad right? To me, this is one of the most important daily things I do for my horses whether I am working with them or not. It gives me the opportunity to examine every part of my horse, as well as apply a much needed fly repellent. So every evening, this is one of the first things I do.
And Then There Was Ground Work
And if you think about it, grooming really is a part of ground work. Because you are getting your horse used to standing still as you work all around him. For myself, this was a challenge when I got Plezant.
When I brought him home, he wasn’t accustom to being tied. He had been trained to stand cross tied. But I don’t have cross ties. So we have spent many hours working on standing still, as well as being tied to my hitching post.
He also wasn’t crazy about being sprayed with spray. He has gotten MUCH better with this. But I still hold the lead rope while I am spraying him.
He has come a long way in 6 months. As have I. I was very intimidated with his size. But with many, many grooming sessions, he doesn’t intimidate me anymore. He is a very sweet horse.
So my nightly grooming sessions also work as ground work training too. But I am not finished with him yet. Oh no, we have more to do! And ground work doesn’t have to be fancy, you just need to work with your horse on the ground. Because everything you do with him on the ground will transfer when you are up in the saddle.
I always start every work session with ground work. Whether I am riding or not. We will walk around the arena.
We will work on bending and flexing.
We will work on backing up, and moving laterally.
And the more I work with Plezant on the ground, the more comfortable with him I get. If you yourself have confidence issues around your horse, or feel anxious when you think about riding, do more ground work. I think you will find in time that the more you do this, the more confident you will become. It won’t happen overnight, but with consistency it will happen.
August Challenge Day 2 -Groundwork and Grooming
Alright, there you have it. That is day number 2 of this challenge. And just in case you want to follow along with the videos, here is yesterday’s video. After you watch the video below, then you can go watch today’s video too! Well, at 7:00 PM, that is when today’s video comes out!
I hope to see you tomorrow for another day of work in my August challenge!