Horses that like each other, groom each other. It is one of the ways they care for each other and maintain their relationships.
You can do something similar by finding a brush that your horse really likes and having regular grooming sessions. They only need to be short – just a few minutes every day.
To find out if your horse actually likes the brush, let him loose in a small yard and see if he will stand still while you brush him. If he moves away it is a sure sign that he just isn’t that into it.
Signs that your horse LOVES that brush are:
- Staying with you to be groomed
- Lip quivering
- Leaning toward the brush
- Pulling strange faces 🙂
Try brushes made from different materials eg natural fibers (like pig bristles) or plastic. Try brushes with different feels eg soft or hard.
Also try using the brush on different parts of your horse’s body with different movements eg long strokes or circular motion.
Bella and Trigger’s favorite brush is one with fine plastic bristles. Bella loves a good scratch on her belly with this brush and Trigger loves it when I move it around in circles on his rump.
Your horse may also try to groom you.
It is possible to teach a horse to be gentle and groom you while you groom him. (Bella and I have really nice mutual grooming sessions). But if your horse can’t be trusted not to use his teeth and he really wants to groom you, then put one of your old sweaters nearby, on a fence or over a stable door and let him groom that.
He will then associate the smell of you with the nice experience 🙂
Grooming your horse with a brush he REALLY likes will do wonders for your relationship!