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  • Danielle Perry

Two Minute Training Tips – Can’t Ride? Groom!

The horses have each thrown an oar out their window and someone is kicking a door in time so they can row the barn to higher ground. Welcome to the joys of loving an outdoor sport when it’s cold and rainy. You can always help out your trainer or your facility and decide to sell lemonade when it’s sunny again, so you can fund the covered arena. Just remember – that pretty much means no days off for your trainer! So back to our plan to bond with our horse while it’s raining and too cold to bathe. Let’s keep calm as we drive to the barn and then sprint to the barn dodging as much mud and puddles as you can. Get your horse into the cross ties and give them a thorough once around. Start by making sure your area is clean – sweep if you can. You’ll know why later. I like to start with feet. Pick out and brush out your horses’ feet. Take your time and get all the crud out of the frog, wall and in the crevices of the shoes. Inhale at your peril! That icky garbage smell is usually a sign of thrush. We’ll treat that in a minute. Use a stiff plastic brush or the brush on the end of the hoof pick to clean the entire hoof. Then get out your curry comb and brush and start a good brisk circular curry of each section of the horse. Start with the left neck. Then use a stiff brush to flick off the dirt and dander. Please keep your mouth shut while doing this otherwise it’s just gross. LOL! Then move to the next section until you’ve done the whole horse. Then I like to sweep up the hoof debris and check for anything strange - like a dead tick – ewww! Then I get a small bucket, old hand towel your trusty hoof pick with the brush on it and some Betadine wash. I fill the bucket with warm water and a few squirts of Betadine wash and scrub my horse hooves – frog, wall and outer hoof. Then a good rinse and a towel dry. If necessary, then I apply a thrush medicine that I have on hand and then my favorite hoof conditioner. Then I start on the legs – for some it might mean a soft curry to break up the crud and then brush off. I think spray the mane and tail with a conditioner/detangle and start with small sections I brush from the bottom up until its tangle free. Then I get out my special soft face brush and do the face and ears. Lastly, I take a body brush and brush the whole horse nose to tail so they are shiny. I then take a soft cloth and rub them nose to tail again. I’ve spent about an hour grooming my horse. Destressed my brain from a hectic day and burned some calories. My horse feels like an Olympic prospect and I can pack up and go home feeling like I had my barn time! For extra credit you can get a large bucket fill it with warm water and a few capfuls of Pine Sol and drop in your brushes and hoof pick. Wait about 5 minutes and then ‘scrub them with each other’ and then rinse them well and hang to dry. Next time you will have clean pine scented brushes….. ah!

FYI - Betadine is a registered trademark of it's producer!

Stay tuned for next week’s Two-minute Training Tip! If you need help building a training plan you can always email me questions at or check out our YouTube channel, for upcoming events. Like us on Facebook at!

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