Check out this quick post from the Professional Grooms blog. It’s a good reminder of things we should do on a regular basis, but I’m afraid we don’t. At least I know I don’t.
No, I’m not going to start taking my horse’s temperature every time I groom or ride. It is however a really good idea to know the “normal” temperature of your horse, and certainly a good idea to be able to calmly and competently take your horse’s temperature. If you or your horse are not comfortable with this, it’s a good thing to work on in the slow riding season.
No, I’m not going to do any of them EVERY DAY. I don’t even touch my horse, or sometimes even SEE my horse, every day. BUT, as I call it “grooming with your hands” is a really good way to know your horse. You get a baseline for what is normal for your horse. You develop a little mental map of your horse, where the bumps, scars, etc., are located. That way when something new pops up or something old gets aggravated, you know it. It does also help with de-sensitizing some iffy areas. Just a little attention every time you groom, and don’t make it a big deal. The horse never knows you’re de-sensitizing him.