Many kids want to learn how to groom horses – but we need to balance the fun of grooming with some simple safety tips so no toes get squashed in the process. Start with a happy and quiet horse, add in a safe space with safe tools, and do a little hands on supervision to help your child be safe around horses.
Make sure the horse is happy!
- His belly should be full.
- The horse should be able to see his buddies and not feel isolated.
- Grooming after your horse exercises is also a good idea, just in case he has some energy to burn off.
Add in a safe space.
- Use cross ties so that his movement is limited, but he can still see what’s happening around him.
- Make sure there’s plenty of space between the horse and the walls or edges of the grooming space.
- Use mounting block to help your child reach the high spots, but only if there’s ample room for the block.
- Use kid friendly tools that are smaller for a child’s hand. Tools that stay put, like gloves, are also less likely to end up under your horse.
Hands on supervision.
- Stand on the same side of the horse as your child. If you are on one side, and your child is on the other, a spook will knock one of you down. If you are on the same side, you can keep a hand on your horse to push away if need be.
- Demonstrate safe techniques. Walk around the front, keep a hand on your horse, brush with the direction of the hair.
- Use frequent praise for your horse, this sets a good example for your child to respect horses.
Have fun grooming with kids!