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Safe Use of Grooming Products

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Human And Environmental Cautions

Grooming-related accidents usually involve a product. Any of these items can harm you–directly or indirectly. Whenever you groom the horse, position the animal in a restricted area. Tie him so he remains in one place.

The horse can hurt you as he evades a grooming treatment. Train him to accept the noise of clippers and pump spray bottles. Avoid startling him through the static shock of rubbing. If he spooks, he can step on you, or hit you with his head or body.

Watch for dangers in the barn while you’re grooming. Hoses and electrical cords involved in grooming can entangle you or the horse.

Many of these products aren’t “green” (good for the environment). Fly repellents are considered hazardous materials when shipped, and many labels note, “Do not recycle bottle.” Many also are labeled as “Flammable.”

Products can include chlorofluorocarbons, known to attack the ozone layer. However, most brand-name products have become less harmful. Look for biodegradable solutions, which means that microorganisms can break down the product into compounds found in nature. A green product contains no phosphates, chlorine bleach, or dyes.

By using products with care, you’ll enjoy admiring your well-groomed horse. His smooth skin, a gleaming coat, and a silky tail will reflect your concern.


Award-winning writer Charlene Strickland lives in Bosque Farms, N.M. She has published 8 Books and over 600 magazine articles, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. Author of The Basics of Western Riding, Western Practice Lessons, and Competing in Western Shows & Events, equestrian journalist Charlene Strickland has published more than 600 articles on horse care, saddlery, dressage, jumping, eventing, vaulting, and similar topics. Her articles have appeared in The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse Show, The Horse, andDressage. Strickland is a member of the U.S. Dressage Federation, the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists, the Authors Guild, and the Society for Technical Communication. She has ridden and shown Western, huntseat, and dressage.

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