We caught up with professional groom Max Corcoran, who was an important part of the famed O’Connor Event Team for more than a decade before establishing her own business, Max Corcoran Horse Care, in 2012. She also teaches horse management as a clinician for US Equestrian’s Emerging Athlete Eventing Program, the United States Eventing Association, and the Equine Management Training Center in Axton, Va.
- When your horse is in work, thoroughly groom him or her at least once a day: curry, brush, towel, pick feet, etc. You can get a good once-over of your horse and spot any potential issues.
- I try not to brush horses’ tails daily. Keep the tail clean with some sort of detangler in it to keep it from getting caught on buckets, fence lines, etc., and pick through it to get the shavings, straw, and paddock funk out of it. Save the brushing for when it’s show time—you’ll have a fuller tail!
- Witch hazel is an amazing antifungal, antibacterial, and astringent. Keep it in a spray bottle. I like to curry, spray with witch hazel, and then brush. It collects the dust off the coat, helps keep skin healthy, and it’s great to wash your face with in the middle of the summer when you’re hot, dirty, and sweaty!
- Dry your horse’s legs with a towel or rag after bathing and before putting them back in a stall. That will keep dirt and shavings from sticking to a leg and potentially causing scratches or fungus.
- Never spray horses in the face! Some horses are okay with it, but most are not. It makes them angry and head shy. Get a sponge or damp rag and wash their face by hand.
Want more from Max? Join US Equestrian now to get our upcoming feature about her favorite Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event memories in the spring issue of US Equestrian magazine. And check out our Learning Center videos hosted by Max: “Basic Horse Grooming” and “Eventing: Intro to the Vet Box,” co-hosted by Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team veterinarian Dr. Susan Johns. Follow Max on Facebook (@sporthorseconsulting) and on Twitter (@Mmc338).
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