Are you still scrubbing, or are you already doing wellness? I've always wanted to write this sentence 😉 In fact, there is a serious core behind this funny question. Because how we groom has an influence on our bond with our horse.
You can think of grooming as a simple activity that serves to clean your horse before training. Then you grab one brush after another and scrub over your horse's coat, polishing away every speck of dust, and maybe even sweeping the fetlocks or brushing the mane until it blows fluffily in the wind.
But you can also consider grooming as part of your relationship and make it a super nice wellness ritual for both of you.
Then you're at the point that your horse will love and that strengthens the bond with your horse every time you groom:
- You communicate with your horse during grooming
- You check how your horse is doing, if he has any injuries or tensions and how he feels on that day and at that moment.
The most importantly: you see your horse's body for what it is: YOUR HORSE'S body. Not the dusty coat that needs cleaning or the mount that needs finishing - but your horse's body and sensitive skin.
This is not only nice for your horse, but also for you. You can really calm down, free yourself from the hectic pace of the day, brush stroke by brush stroke, concentrate on your horse and breathe with your horse.
Sounds esoteric, but it's super cool, because afterwards you can start training together with your horse in a really relaxed way. In addition, you can get to know your horse better and your horse will love you for being attentive to his sensitive body parts and his grooming wishes.
Horses also scratch and groom each other in the herd and consider this a big part of their relationship and bond with each other. They also look out for each other and allow each other nice scratching moments. This is exactly what you can do when you take your horse out of the herd and clean it.
Wellness grooming for the beautiful bond with the horse - this is how it works
You can get to know your horse when you groom it. Because every horse wants to be brushed differently. One horse prefers to be scrubbed with a firm brush, another prefers to be gently brushed. The next one has parts of its body where it doesn't want to be brushed at all, and yet another one wants to be scratched everywhere at the same time.
So you can find out how your horse likes to be groomed by varying the strokes of the brush:
- how your horse likes to be groomed
- Where he likes to be groomed and
- What kind of brush he would like to be groomed with and then:
respond to his wishes
You can also check for any injuries or tensions while grooming and treat or massage your horse. You can check for itching and scratch - horses LOVE this and will love you even more for it.
There are points where horses should always be groomed: These are the saddle position and the girth position, as well as the head area on which the snaffle comes to rest. But here too, if your horse has points in these areas where he doesn't like to be groomed, you can take this into consideration and groom him more gently and finely or for a shorter period of time. This also strengthens the bond because it shows your horse that you listen to him and respect his wishes.
At the same time, you can calm down because you can concentrate on your horse, observe his facial expressions and reactions when he is being groomed and slip into a contented Zen mode. It feels good to groom in harmony with your horse.