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Grooming Sensitive Horses

Some horses are just plain bothered by grooming, to the point of pinning ears, swishing tails, and striking out or trying to bite.  It’s up to you as your horse’s caretaker to figure out why, and then you can modify your grooming routine.

  • Some common reasons for hypersensitivity include:
    A thinner skin!  Literally!  Some breeds, like Thoroughbreds and Arabians are known for a thinner skin.
  • An underlying injury.  Muscle soreness, a spine that is out of alignment, and even an estrus cycle can create very uncomfortable feelings in your horse.  Your Veterinarian can help you out if you suspect any of these issues.
  • That’s just your horse’s personality!
  • An obedience issue.  If you observe similar cranky behaviors when you are leading your horse or cleaning his stall or any other time you are not grooming him, it’s likely the result of a horse that needs a refresher course on manners.

So you have an idea of why, now we can tackle how to groom your cranky equine more comfortably.

  • Identify the “yes” spots and the “no” spots that your horse will tolerate.
    Work lightly on a “no” spot, then reward good behavior and work on a “yes” spot.  Work slowly and gently, reward often, and take breaks on those “no” spots.  This will help if there is an underlying behavior that needs modification.  Remember that if you make everything a non-issue, your horse can eventually learn to do the same. This is basically desensitization.
  • Use HandsOn Grooming Gloves so that both hands can be on your horse at the same time. This allows you to feel shifts in his body, alerting you to sensitive areas that might need more attention. You can also vary the pressure here, some horses need less, some need more. The HandsOn Gloves allow tactical feedback so you understand what your horse prefers.
  • Consider some new grooming tools.
    Loosely translated, go shopping!!  Or, use what you have around the house to modify what you already own.  Can you use a washcloth for part of your grooming routine? Consider making a switch from plastic bristles to natural bristles, or to a softer natural brush.
  • Alter how you use your tools.
    If your horse is acutely sensitive, move slower and with a softer touch.  For your brushes, lay them parallel to your horse before you sweep so that the pointy ends of the bristles don’t come into too much contact with your horse.

OR… consider using more pressure when you groom.  You might figure out that his protests are him trying to tell you to scratch and rub and curry harder.

  • Check again and again for proper tack fit.
    A horse with tender skin will likely also be sensitive to his tack.  Routine and regular saddle fittings are a must, as are soft and smooth saddle pads.  Try and avoid pads with too much piping, it can lead to rubs and irritations.

HandsOn Gloves Make A BIG Hit With Tai

A Bit About Tai’s Career

Tai’s first film appearance was a minor role in The Jungle Book (1994), where she scares off some poachers. Tai followed this up playing the major role of Bo Tat in Operation Dumbo Drop in 1995. The American Humane Association rated the treatment of animals in the film as acceptable. The scene in which Tai is sedated she is actually just obeying her trainers instructions to lie down. The sounds of her snoring in the film is not actually coming from Tai, but was dubbed in during post-production. All scenes that show Tai in danger were carefully staged, and the boat in which she travels in the film was pre-tested to make sure it would support her 8,000 pound weight. To ensure she remained healthy, all of Tai’s food, drinking water, and even her bathing water, was shipped from the U.S. to Thailand, where filming was taking place.

Tai played the major role of Vera in the 1996 comedy Larger than Life alongside Bill Murray, and had a minor role in George of the Jungle in 1997, where she can be seen being ridden by Brendan Fraser and Leslie Mann, and again with Brendan Fraser in Tweety Bird’s jungle in Looney Tunes: Back in Action in 2002.

Tai’s performance in Water for Elephants in 2011 was praised. It was the second time Tai, Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson had all worked on the same film, as all three had been filmed in Vanity Fair in 2004, though Pattinson’s part was edited out of the final cut.

One of Tai’s paintings as well as an autographed poster for Water for Elephants was auctioned off on eBay to raise awareness of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus. The money Tai raised from the auction was given to the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) which distributed it to the appropriate labs and research facilities actively working to find a cure for EEHV.

HandsOn Grooming Gloves – Redefining The Way You Groom!

HandsOn Grooming Gloves
Redefining The Way You Groom!

All-In-One Revolutionary Bathing / Grooming Gloves

Created by Animal People for Animal People

HandsOn Gloves are a revolutionary concept that reaches far beyond the traditional curry combs, mitts and scrubbers on the market today. Wet or dry, they won’t slip or fall off while providing you and your animals with a more thorough and enjoyable bathing and grooming experience. One glance and the value we built into our expertly designed gloves are immediately apparent.

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