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5 Easy to Miss Grooming Spots by

5 Easy to Miss Grooming Spots

Call me vain and superficial if you want to, but I take pride in how my horse looks both at home and at horse shows. My preferences go beyond just a shiny coat… I want to see a well-turned out horse from head to toe. Sometimes it’s the little things that drive me crazy, and those tend to be what I notice the most. There are a lot of little places that can easily get neglected when you’re feeling a little bit lazy or you’ve been particularly busy, but here are my top five easy to miss grooming spots:

Easy to Miss Grooming Spots - Ears

Easy to Miss Grooming Spot #1: Inside the Ears

I’m a former Showmanship queen, and as such, I’m a fan of clean, clipped ears. I’ll also be the first to admit that if my horse isn’t a fan of getting his ears clipped, I don’t think it’s worth the fight (unless you show in Showmanship… then you must clip the ears). Regardless, I appreciate a clean ear. I trim up the outsides of my horse’s ears, but I never clip the inner ear.

But have you ever looked at those things? Especially in the summer, they get gross. I’ve seen dandruff and gooey brown gunk in horse’s ears before… which is just nasty. So please, if you can, trim those ears so tuffs of hair isn’t growing out of them, and take a small, soft curry to the insides every once in a while and brush them out. Be gentle, but please do it!

Easy to Miss Grooming Spots - Throatlatch

Easy to Miss Grooming Spot #2: Throatlatch

We all remember to brush our horse’s faces because we stare at them every day. But the underside of the face is just as important! Your horse sweats underneath his noseband and throatlatch, and those long hairs can get caught and pinch. Take 5 minutes to trim them up with some clippers and just like the inner ears, use a soft curry on the throatlatch now and then.

I had a horse that had fungus under there once because no one ever brushed it. Talk about uncomfortable!

Easy to Miss Grooming Spots - Elbow
Hair loss indicates poor skin and coat health… so bust out that curry comb!

Easy to Miss Grooming Spot #3: Elbows and Hocks

One thing that drives me crazy are dirty elbows and hocks. Especially elbows with dandruff. No really, I don’t want to see flakes of skin every time I brush my horse’s belly. So take a curry and don’t miss these spots ever again.

If your horse is particularly prone to elbow funk, put some MTG on it to speed up the healing process. Works like a charm!

Easy to Miss Grooming Spots - Pasterns

Easy to Miss Grooming Spot #4: Pasterns

First, unless you have a draft that is supposed to have feathers, please trim your horse’s fetlock hairs. Second, if your horse gets ergots, suck it up and scrape them off every once in a while. Third, you know that soft, curvy spot right under the fetlock, above your horse’s heel? It’s called the pastern, and you should brush it. And curry it — especially if there’s mud and your horse has white markings.

I see more fungus, scratches and rain rot in this spot than any other and it’s really tough to get rid of. So do yourself a favor and regularly brush your horse’s pasterns.

Easy to Miss Grooming Spots - Inner Gaskin
PSA: There is no way to take a photo of this spot that isn’t awkward.

Easy to Miss Grooming Spot #5: Inner Gaskin

I notice this area the most in the fall and winter. In the summer, you can easily rinse this area off after a ride, but in the fall and winter, mud gets flung up during turnout and sticks there.

5 Easy to Miss Grooming Spots by


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

15 thoughts to “5 Easy to Miss Grooming Spots”

  1. Actually, if you leave the ears alone they tend to get way less dirty and require considerably less cleaning. The hair catches dirt (hence why you’ll see dirt clumps build up in long ear hair), stops bugs from getting to the skin inside the ear, and prevents sunburn. So if you don’t clip ears, you can just wipe them out on occasion and let nature do it’s job otherwise. But if you DO clip the ears, then yes you’re now required to do all the things that nature was doing when she put that ear hair there in the first place. 😉

    1. I concur! One, B won’t let me touch his ears AT ALL. Two, the hair keeps the dirt out!

      I’m a very lazy horse person though and I only deep clean on weekends. Normally I’ll scrub clean the tack areas and lower legs and thats it because I tend to have less than an hour for grooming and ride time total. Judge me haha

  2. Hahahaha… since my horses are currently having a contest to see Who Can Be The Dirtiest, I just dust off the parts where the tack goes and try to ignore the rest. Luckily I ride where nobody else sees me, so it’s totally fine.

    Just, uh, don’t tell anyone, OK?

  3. I miss you guys! We need an update on you and Miles!

    I am guilty of a number of grooming sins RE: hair. Boca has hairy, hairy ears, unless we are going to a show, and then I trim the bare minimum to look presentable. Also – ergots. Those things come off without a chainsaw? Whaaaat? Third – fuzzy fetlocks. He may be part draft. No apologies!

  4. I leave ears alone when shaving so I don’t have to clean them out. Ergots have to be cut off by my farrier. I also hate grooming so my horses and mule usually look pretty dirty unless I’m at a show. I will literally just scrape the saddle girth area off and go.

  5. Thanks for sharing! These are places I do not always check, but I will from now on! My trainer always tells me that having a well-turned out horses, even when not at shows, is important because it shows the horse is well cared for and gives a good impression. She says that ti is especially important when you go to places where you may encounter people who do not know you, your horse’s breed, or people who have never been around horses before. Always give a good first impression!

  6. i take a lot of pride in my horse’s grooming too and am a stickler for all these same places (tho i do very little clipping – just brush brush brushing). i’d add two additional spots tho – fronts of the hind cannons (they always manage to get suuuuuper cruddy!) and the outer tips of ears. admittedly tho, i apparently let the ear tips slip when they weren’t in front of my face while i was out of the saddle for 2 months.. then was horrified when i finally started riding again and, *gasp*, my own mare had icky funky ear tips… oops!

  7. I might be a tad OCD about Tuckers appearance. He gets a good buffing before and after every ride. This is a great reminder. I’d like to add that if your horse has rolls (not that’s I’d know anything about that… cough) make sure you stretch them out and clean between them.

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