At Oak Haven Acres, horses enjoy a full range of luxurious grooming services while they are boarding. From a monthly spa day to regular brushing, here is a look at the grooming services available for your horse.
Regular grooming is an essential part of caring for a horse. At our horse retirement facility, horses are groomed two to three times each week. All grooming supplies are provided by Oak Haven Acres Horse Retirement. Our thorough grooming regimen includes:
Currying: A rubber curry can be used to loosen stray hair, dirt and dander from the body of a horse. Using a circular motion, this tool can create a therapeutic massage-like feeling that your horse may enjoy.
Brushing: While brushing each horse, caretakers have an opportunity to identify minor injuries and assess the overall well-being of your horse. This allows our staff to closely monitor the condition of your horse and minimizes the chances of thrush and other skin conditions. After a currying comb has loosened stray hair and dirt, a stiff-bristled mud brush can be used to remove heavier patches of caked on dirt and mud. Following the mud brush, a metal curry comb might be used on the horse’s fleshy areas such as the shoulder and hindquarter areas.
Manes: A wide-bristled mane comb can be used to free the mane of tangles. Prior to starting, a caretaker might start by using their fingers to separate hairs that have gotten caught in large tangles. To avoid tugging, they may start by holding a large section of the mane in one hand while using the other hand to begin brushing. Working in small pieces, the caretaker may work their way up the mane until it is completely brushed and tangle free.
Tails Brushed: Our caretakers may take a similar approach to grooming a horse’s tail. The groomer may start by finger-combing any tangles to loosen or free them. Next, they may take a wide bristled mane comb, hold the base of the tail and begin brushing.
Hooves Picked: Next, our staff will pick the horse’s hooves. Before picking up a foot, they may run a hand down the horse’s leg and gently squeeze the tendon. If the horse does not lift its foot, the caretaker may lean against its shoulder and squeeze the leg again. This time using a free hand to quickly take hold of the horse’s hoof. Next, using a hoof pick, the caretaker may start at the heel of the foot and slowly pick their way forward towards the toes. This allows them to carefully remove dirt, rocks and other debris from the hoof. Finally, the caretaker may begin picking the grooves on either side of the frog, taking special care to never dig too deeply into the groves.
Picking out a horse’s foot allows us to prevent lameness by removing foreign objects and small stones from the hoof. These items could pierce the frog or cause bruising which can lead to lameness. If the horse is wearing shoes, picking the hooves is especially important.
An impacted foot is not able to clean itself as the horse moves. For this reason, picking the horse’s feet can make walking a much more comfortable experience for the horse. It can also help prevent and remove thrush, fungus and other issues that occur in this area.
Oak Haven Acres provides Salon Day
Once a month, each horse is treated to a special spa day of pampering. This event kicks off with a soap and conditioning bath. Showsheen is applied to the mane and tails of each horse to provide a healthy shine and help ease the detangling process. Next hoof conditioner is applied to each hoof and whiskers are trimmed according to the owner’s preference.
Pictures from Spa day are posted on Facebook or texted to the owner so they can enjoy these special moments.
Horse and Deer Flies have been known to carry viruses like equine infectious anemia, anthrax and certain trypanosomes. Fly spray is provided by Oak Haven Acres Horse Retirement and is administered two to three times daily. All horses are supervised 24 hours per day seven days per week as the owner resides on the property.