Firstly I check Gracie over for any new nicks and kicks. She rarely does but when she does it's a big deal... Or we at least pretend it is. The checking stage includes washing or scraping and mud off of her hooves and legs as well as a good curry combing. This acts as a big of massage and allows me to check for any bumps.
This time of year is when the Equigroomer comes out to eliminate any loose hairs. Then I go to the dandy brush to get anything 'extra' off. Once that is done, I crack out the Ecolicious or Show Sheen for a full body spray. I let it sit in for a while which gives me time to pick out her feet as well as plug in the According to Gospel LED Pad. I cannot praise the ATG pad enough and have used it for injuries on Gracie as well as maintenance. It promotes circulation and muscle growth wherever it is placed and only needs a 15-minute cycle. My main area for Gracie is her hocks and I find it helps a lot.
With Gracie plugged in, I take the time to tackle her mane and tail. She has a thick tail but a thin mane and doesn't need a lot of maintenance for either. Some detangler in her tail to brush it out and a bit of Listerine at the dock does the trick. For her mane, I just brush it out with a pulling comb and give it a light layer of Ecolicious Destress to tame flyaways and eliminate and frizziness. At this point, I use a super soft body brush to dust her body off and smooth her mane over.
Then comes the feet! This time of year I keep a Thrush Buster and Zinc Cream nearby for any mud related ailments. Knock on wood, I have been very lucky with Gracie's feet and never had a major issue. A lot of this stage is prevention and minor issues. I pick her feet and often apply a layer of Hooflex to help prevent any cracking.
Then the Back on Track polos or her jumper boots from Running Fox go on and you start to get tacked up. The process may be long and tedious but Gracie still looks clean, healthy and always content with herself. As a riding instructor, I emphasized to my students how important proper grooming is for both the physical appearance and the emotional bond building. Hard work pays off, in and out of the saddle!
|Happy Early Bday GG!|