Ask the Vet – Is it possible to over-groom your horse?
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Ask the Vet – Is it possible to over-groom your horse?

October 29, 2019

SARAH: “Should
there be a concern of stripping the natural oils of
the fur or coat while grooming? I know bathing too often can
dry out the coat and skin, but can you over groom in a way
that strips the coat, as well?” Oh, interesting. She’s thinking about grooming
stripping the coat, not just bathing. “I’m a bit of a
religious groomer and I don’t want to be
negatively affecting my horse.” Well that’s a
really good concern. You always want to– you think
you’re doing the right thing, make sure it’s actually
the right thing. DR LYDIA GRAY:
Because there’s so many old wives’ tales and
traditions in horse management. What’s interesting is, I don’t
think I’ve ever been asked, “Is it possible to
groom too much?” What I’ve been
asked is, “Hey, doc. How little can I groom and still
not have horrible problems?” So I’m used to answering that
one, this one not so much. But it is funny, because I found
a bunch of my favorite grooming tools. This one I love, this is
the Posture Prep Cross Fiber Groomer. Well, I say I
love, but, I mean– SARAH: Newmy-poo. DR LYDIA GRAY: And
then these things are like the best inventions
since sliced bread. SARAH: Cody also loves these. DR LYDIA GRAY: These Hands-on
Gloves and– there’s the name. These are fantastic. They get all the little
nooks and crannies. SARAH: Yeah. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah, that’s
a very scientific term. Anatomical phrasing. SARAH: And they look
intense, but I’ve never had any sensitivity
issues with them. He loves them. DR LYDIA GRAY: Newman does
not like the full glove with too much
pressure on his face. SARAH: OK. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. SARAH: Oh, yeah, that’s fair. DR LYDIA GRAY: If
it’s on his face, I use one of these
grooming mitts, because the nubbins are
really, really small. So that one’s tolerated. And then I just
want to say this– I’ve never used this on a horse,
I use it to clean my brushes. SARAH: Shedding blade. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah, yeah. So we like grooming, and
she’s exactly right on, because it increases
circulation and that is what releases the oils. It does help with shedding,
you know grooming. That in the spring
you groom a lot. More than once a day,
even in longer periods each time to help
the hairs come out. I find it’s a good time to bond. I use it to assess
the mood for the day, so I know what kind
of ride I’m in for. But from a veterinary
standpoint, it’s a great time if you groom
all over to inspect your horse. So if you see a lump or a
bump or a wound or swelling, you can stop grooming
and feel it and say, is there heat there? Is there sensitivity? You know. So I can’t think of a
single con for grooming. I mean, you wouldn’t
groom over a wound. SARAH: Right. DR LYDIA GRAY: And you
pay special attention to those bony sensitive
areas and use the brush that they don’t give you, you
know, nasty faces about, but– SARAH: I think one of
the important things is you’re talking about
the standard brushing acts of grooming. A lot of people in
their grooming kits have sprays and
topicals and things that they dress and
finish the coat with, so I think that could be one. An area where you can overdo it. I think your advice is often– as long as you’re doing
what’s normal and natural for the horse, it’s a good
thing to keep doing it. And that’s what this feels
like, because a lot of what these curry combs do is
they stimulate the grooming activity– DR LYDIA GRAY: These are
elbows– this is elbow grease. Like, I like the
elbow grease and not– SARAH: Actual grease. DR LYDIA GRAY: [LAUGHS]
Yeah, there you go. There we go, right. SARAH: So I think, you know,
with those coat conditioners and things like that, you
can definitely overdo it. Anything that’s artificial. DR LYDIA GRAY: Because they
have silicone and that’s very drying to the skin,
which is the opposite of what she wants to use. SARAH: It makes it shiny for
the short-term in the show ring, which is a lot of sh-
words, but it’s a good idea and it’s a great thing
to use when you need it, but it’s not the kind
of thing I would say you’d want to use every day. DR LYDIA GRAY: On
a regular basis. SARAH: Yeah, definitely
dries things up. DR LYDIA GRAY: All right. SARAH: OK. DR LYDIA GRAY: We
thought of a con. Good job. SARAH: Yay!

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  1. OMG OMG OMG!!! I LOVE YOU SARA! 😍 your my idol and I wanna be just like you when I grow up! I'm 9 and my parents can't afford lessons for me to ride, so I'm gonna wait till I'm older 😍😘

  2. This is a really good informative video. As some constructive criticism, maybe you could try adding some soft background music. I think it would really add to the video and fill any silent gaps.

  3. Thunder loves his posture prep curry comb. It is the first item the Vet picked up(the green one) it really helps during shedding season too.

  4. If you can brush burn a dog than you can do the same with a horse! Using the wrong tool on a sensitive horse can cause discomfort or even possibly slight injury to the skin due to the friction.

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