Guide to Greenies

Want to train horses? Same.

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2. Grooming.

With a green horse, you want to take everything step by step. They may not be used to people grooming them, or maybe people only groom a specific part of them. First, you want to introduce them to your grooming supplies. The basic stuff, hard brush, soft brush, metal curry, rubber curry, face brush, maybe a comb for mane and tail, possible clippers. And probably the most important, a hoof pick. To get a horse used to these items, you want to let them smell it, let them rub their face on it if they want to, once they are comfortable with the object around their head, move to the neck, chest, withers, barrel, back, hindquarters, stomach, girth area, front legs, then back legs. Take caution and take your time when doing this, the horse will spook, shift weight, and move. It's part of the process, work through it; not against it.

While picking out a horses hooves is extremely important, you don't want to start with it. A horse needs to get to know you before you start messing with his/her feet. Unless you want to get kicked or stepped on of course. I find currying is a great way to get to know a horse. Typically there is a spot on a horse's withers or on their croup, it may be somewhere else but this is most common, and if you curry there the horse will relax. The horse may respond to you with a nodding of the head, stretching the neck, quivering of the lip, licking, and chewing. This is a good sign and you want to take note of this spot. You may want to use it in the future.

While brushing a horse's mane and tail may seem like a priority, it certainly should not be first on your list. For many people, a long mane and tail are ideal, for others, a short mane and a long tail is preferable, this varies on the person. Personally, I prefer a pulled mane and long tail, but not so long as to touch the ground. This helps with maintenance. Brushing out a horses mane and tail can be a tedious process, especially if said hair is long and full. To counter this, I often use conditioner when bathing, while the conditioner sits, gently comb the mane and tail, starting at the bottom and working your way up.

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