July 29, 2017

Curry On!

 

CURRY?

CURRY?

           

CURRY?

CURRY?

CURRY!

CURRY!

Curry? It’s a spice. Or a tasty, exotic dish served with rice. While that might be true, but it’s also a very important equine grooming tool. Often refered to as a Curry Comb although it is not a comb at all. Curries are often overlooked, misused or deleted altogether. Currying is a very important step in keeping your horses clean and healthy. What do you need to know about curries? Here are some tips to help you on your way to not only a cleaner horse, but a healthier one as well.

Metal or Spring Curry

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From top to bottom- Curry w/ handle, Jelly curry, Rubber curry

Which curry works best? Here at CRK Stable only rubber curries are used on horses. Metal or spring curries are never used on horses. Metal curries are simply too sharp, stiff and harsh for most horses. They will cut the hair coat and may even cut the horse too. They do work well to clean saddle pads though. Use them to remove the horse hair and dried sweat that accumulates on the bottom before you wash them. Other than that, keep them far away from the horses.

            Rubber curries come in many shapes and sizes so pick one that fits your hand well and will do the job. I like the ones with a handle strap that I can put my hand through. I find it easier to hold and do a good job with this type.  Sometimes we will use a soft Jelly Curry on sensitive areas. These types of curries are soft and conform to the hand and area being groomed. They work well and aren’t too harsh on faces, lower legs, flanks and bellies. They are also very useful when bathing your horse. Make sure that any curry you choose has some teeth to it but that they are soft and give easily. This will keep the horse relaxed and not make them cranky about being groomed.    

         Why do we curry a horse? Currying is the first step in the grooming process and the most important. Even clean, short coated horses will benefit from the use of a curry, but you may need to use it more gently than on a horse with a long coat. Plus, some horses just simply love to be curried! They will lean into the curry, raise their heads and maybe even stick out their upper lip when it is used on particularly itchy spots. This gives the horse a very good feeling about being groomed and they will come to look forward to it.

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Fungus infection on the hind cannon

         Currying will loosen the dirt, mud, dead hair and skin that builds up on the coat and skin. It will also give your horse a nice massage. This massaging action increases blood flow to the skin, distributes natural oils and exposes any sensitive areas. Fungus infections that cause hair loss can be reduced or eliminated by currying. It will remove the dead hair and scabs, allowing air to get to the damaged skin. Many fungus infections need an anaerobic (without air) environment to grow, so exposing the skin to the air will greatly reduce the infection if not kill it off altogether.

Loosen the hair and dirt

Loosen the hair and dirt

            How do you use a curry? A standard rubber curry should only be used on the heavily muscled parts of the horses body, never on bony or sensitive areas like the lower legs and face. Begin by placing your hand through the handle and gripping the curry gently in your hand. Start just behind the left ear on the neck. When working near the horses head, it is often a good idea to keep your free hand on the halter so you don’t get nipped.  Working in circles, groom the horse from top to bottom, front to back, making sure to stop just above the knees and hocks. Then repeat on the second side. Take extra care over the withers, hips bones, flanks and under the belly as these are sensitive areas. Vigorous currying may cause some discomfort to your horse, so pay attention to their behavior. Watch for pinned ears, dirty looks or threats in the form of lifted hooves, stomping or mini kicks. These may be signs that your are being too enthusiastic or the horse may have a sore spot. If your horse shows signs of sensitivity, go over that area again with your bare hands, checking carefully for any cuts or sores.

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She looks dirtier than before we started!

            You are finished currying your horse. Congratulations on a job well done. Both you and your horse will appreciate it! Now, on to the Dandy Brush…

 

About The Author- Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. Cheryl graduated from Rawhide Vocational College and Fullerton College. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years, training students from beginner up to world level competition. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted. For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to www.crktrainingstable.com

 curry on

           

 

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