1 Three of my five Friesians - Meindert, Rinze, and Rutger enjoying their time in the paddock eating plenty of fresh grass.
2 Horses enjoy a good roll in the grass, which scratches their backs and realigns their spines. When the grass is wet and muddy, it provides a cooling effect and helps to keep pesky flies from biting.
3 Betsy leading my muddy Friesians to the stables for their grooming
4 About once a week, the horses are showered thoroughly.
5 Rutger looking very relaxed and quite happy
6 We use a gentle shampoo made by Healing Tree. It contains Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil and Aloe Vera, which suds nicely and rinses out easily and incorporates Tea Tree Oil’s anti-microbial activity. It also smells great.
7 Dolma spends a good deal of time shampooing the horse's tails, which are quite long and thick.
8 As she passes her hands through, Dolma is on the lookout for ticks and other alien objects.
9 This is an equine vacuum, which gets used on each horse every day. We've had this model for several years and after much heavy use, one of the two motors stopped working, so Betsy ordered a new one.
10 This is the grooming area of the stable with all tools and products within easy reach.
11 The new vacuum from Electric Cleaner Company arrived in two separate boxes.
12 Dominick, who handles all things mechanical at the farm, opened the boxes to see how much needed to be assembled.
13 The new body
14 And the parts that fit into it
15 And here is the newly assembled Electro-Groom. I love the design of this vacuum. It's so retro! However, Dominick will have to make one change.
16 This is the front leg of the old Electro-Groom, which Dominick added a small caster to. Betsy says that the wheel makes it much easier to move the vacuum around the horse while grooming.
17 Betsy showing the removable filter bag that catches all the hair, dust, and debris.
18 There are two separate and powerful motors. With both running, vacuuming is very efficient, but they can be run separately for cleaning the more tender areas of the animal.
19 By attaching the hose to the outtake vent, the unit can also be used as a powerful blower for drying purposes.
20 Before vacuuming the horses, Betsy likes to use a soft rubber curry comb, which helps remove mud and loosens matted dirt for quick grooming. It also stimulates the skin to produce natural oils.
21 Combing also helps to brings out the horse's coat's natural shine. Plus, it really feels good and they love being combed!
22 After combing, Gelbu got busy and started to vacuum Rutger.
23 Both vacuum motors are turned on for the large areas of the horse. Vacuuming is important because it removes dirt, loose hair, and parasites, leaving the natural oils in the coat for a beautiful, shiny look.
24 One motor is running for areas like this.
25 After vacuuming each horse, if the horse hasn't been showered, an all-natural waterless equine shampoo is applied to the coat.
26 The shampoo is sprayed onto a cloth. This formula contains tea tree oil, henna, hyacinth, clove, and Vitamin E, which helps to remove dirt, manure, grass stains, and more.
27 It also helps to moisturize the coat for an even more beautiful sheen.
28 Another part of daily horse grooming is to clean the bottom of each hoof using a hoof pick. This is very important for hoof health because it removes mud, bedding, stones, and other debris compacted in the underside of the hoof. This helps to prevent thrush, a common hoof ailment which in very severe cases may cause lameness.