Oh no! You got a new horse but you can’t find any grooming supplies in your tack trunk to clean him up! Having the proper grooming equipment for your horse is really important. Why? Because this equipment helps to keep the coat healthy, the skin healthy, and helps to grow your bond with your horse. Trying to think of all the things you need to add to your grooming supplies collection can be a little difficult because you might leave something important out. But, have no fear. This list will help you to not just learn about the grooming supplies, but also show you why these items are important and useful to have on hand at all times.
1. Curry Comb
A curry comb is a type of horse brush mainly used on the horse’s body. There are softer more flexible curry combs for use on the horse’s face, but mainly the curry comb is used on the horse’s body.
Most curry combs are circular or oval in shape and are made of rubber. They don’t usually have bristles like other brushes, and if they do they are short and made of a flexible rubber material. Around the outside of the brush itself will be a ring of rubber bumps. There will be at least one more ring of these bumps on the inside of the outer ring.
The curry comb can be used on the head (if used gently), neck, shoulders, chest, barrel, and hindquarters. Don’t use a curry comb on the horse’s legs though as it might be a little too harsh for them. You will rub the curry comb in a circular motion across the whole body.
The purpose of using a curry comb is to loosen up dirt, mud, dander, sweat, and shedding hair from the coat. They work great when horses begin to shed as they help to loosen up a lot of the shedding hair.
You should always use a curry comb on the horse’s body before any other brushes. This way, the curry comb can loosen all the things in the coat and the brushes can brush it off.
Curry combs are made in nearly every color imaginable and come in a number of shapes and sizes.
The curry comb in the image above is one of the most common designs that curry combs come in.
A body brush is a brush made of a solid base handle and several bristles. They are only used on the horse’s body. They can be used on their legs if the bristles are soft enough.
Most body brushes are a rounded oval or rectangular shape and have a plastic or wooden base where they are held. Sometimes, there is a strap that goes over the top of the user’s hand to help them hold onto the brush better if it is an awkward size or shape. The bristles of body brushes can be made of animal hair, plastic, or plant fibers like Tampico.
The body brush can be used on the neck, chest, shoulders, barrel, and hindquarters. They can also be used on the legs if the bristles are soft enough and aren’t too harsh for this part of their body. Do not use this brush on their face as it is too rough.
When using a body brush, you will brush with the horse’s coat, meaning brushing with the hair in whatever direction it falls naturally. I recommend brushing front to back, top to bottom. With this in mind, you would start brushing the horse from the top of the neck and go down across the rest of the body until you’re at the bottom of the hindquarters, just above the gaskin.
The purpose of a body brush is to remove and brush away surface dirt, sweat, dander, and mud. It is a great tool to use after you go in with the curry comb because it removes all that resurfaced dirt and buildup brought up by the curry comb.
There are a lot of different shapes, sizes, and colors of body brushes.
This type of brush is used in short swift sweeping motions across the horse’s entire body.
A soft bristle brush can be a body brush or face brush. They are brushes that have soft flexible bristles and are great for relatively clean horses who need a sweat mark smoothed over or horses that just have a little dust here and there.
These brushes are usually called finishing brushes because they are usually used to finish off the coat cleaning part of grooming. This is because the fine soft bristles of these brushes are great for getting off any dust or leftover dirt that may be sitting on the surface of the coat.
Like the dandy brush, these soft finishing brushes will either have a wooden or plastic base and will sometimes include a strap that goes over the user’s hand to help them hold the brush better.
4: Face Brush
Face brushes look like little body brushes. Like body brushes, they have a solid base and handle and many bristles. They are intended only for brushing the horse’s face and are made soft enough for this sensitive part of their body.
Most face brushes are oval or rectangular in shape and only measure to be around three inches long and one inch wide. The bristles are extremely soft and fine so they are most commonly made of fine plastic material or animal hair.
The face brush can be used anywhere on the horse’s body but is most commonly seen used on the ears, over the eyes, on the forehead, on the nose, on the cheeks, and on the sides of the horse’s head.
Face brushes can be used at any stage of the grooming process, but I mainly use them after I’m done with the horse’s body. With face brushes, brush along with the horse’s hair and start at the top of their head and work your way down to their muzzle.
The purpose of the facial brush is to remove all dirt, hair, sweat, and any other buildup from the horse’s face.
There are several facial brushes seen in a ton of colors and shapes, but all of them will be small.
5: Hair Brush
Horses use hairbrushes just like people do! I love to use brushes on horse’s manes and tails over combs because it runs through them and detangles their manes and tails so much better than combs do.
They look almost identical to those that people would use and they can come in a lot of different colors. I actually use this exact brush at the barn I work at. I love the fun-colored bristles.
When brushing the horse’s mane and tail, brush from the bottom of the hair and work your way up to the roots. This works the tangles out much easier than if you work your way down from the top. If the mane or tail you are working on is super tangled, I would suggest sectioning the hair to make brushing it a little easier.
6: Hoof Pick
Hoof picks are of the most important tools used in the horse world. The reason for this is simply the saying, ‘No hoof, no horse.” This means that hoof health is essential to a horse’s survival.
Hoof picks are made usually of metal and consist of a handle and a hook. The hook is used to scrape out dirt, manure, and rocks from the hoof, and the handle is to offer a strong comfortable grip to its user.
Hoof picks should ONLY be used on the horse’s hooves. There is no need for them outside of hoof care.
There are mainly two hoof pick designs. One of them is the standard metal hoof pick consisting of a metal piece with a hook at the end. The other kind consists of a plastic handle, a metal hook on the end, and a hoof brush on the back of the hook. Both of these designs do great in cleaning the hoof.
Hoof picks can come in a number of colors. They are usually around four to six inches tall and have a one-inch hook piece.
When using a hoof pick, you will want to remove all dirt, manure, and rocks from the hoof. You should clean especially well along each side of the horse’s frog as that is a prime area for thrush to develop.
I personally think that braiding is one of the most fun parts of grooming a horse. This is because there are so many different braids that you can do in a horse’s mane and tail and creating all sorts of hairstyles is so fun!
I like to buy these braiding bands because they are very good quality, and this brand sells braiding bands in all different colors so you can have bands that match your horse’s mane and tail.
Having a coat conditioning or detangling spray is such a lifesaver. These sprays, like the laser sheen product that I use on my horses, will not just help to detangle the mane and the tail, but they also make the coat of your horse gleam and shine brightly once the product is applied.
These sprays help to brush through the mane and tail, as well as making the coat shine. Use these sprays as a finishing touch to your grooming for a gleaming gorgeous horse.
Shedding blades are tools that come in a variety of designs. This tool is intended to remove and scrape off shed horse hair from their coat. The blade has a serrated edge and can be straight across or curved.
There are three main designs of shedding blades seen. There are ones that consist of one or two straight blades attached to a handle. There are others that consist of two or three circular pieces of metal attached to a handle. Lastly, there are some that consist of one or two pieces of metal that are curved over and can attach together. These ones specifically can detach from each other and form two handles and make a new shedding tool.
Shedding blades, because of their harshness, should only be used on the neck, shoulders, chest, barrel, and hindquarters. They shouldn’t be used on the face or legs because they are too hard to use on these sensitive areas.
Shedding blades can be used before or after the body brush is used. They shouldn’t be used straight away as the blade can get gummed up and coated with horsey dandruff if the horse hasn’t been curried.
To use a shedding blade, go with the grain of the horse’s hair and follow it in whatever direction it goes. Start top to bottom and front to back like you would in any other grooming situation. You can go over sections several times. If horses are shedding, a lot of hair will be coming off of them.
The three types of shedding blades I mentioned are all made of metal, though some will have a wooden or plastic handle for the user to hold.
10: Sweat Scraper
Sweat scrapers are great tools made of rubber or plastic that are used to scrape water and sweat out of the horse’s coat. They are mainly used after a horse has an intense workout to help remove sweat or to remove excess water from a horse’s coat after it has been bathed or rinsed off.
There are two main designs of sweat scrapers. Straight ones and curved ones. Straight ones are mainly made of plastic and one of the sides of the scraper is used to scrape the sweat or water out of the horse’s coat. The curved ones have a plastic handle attached to a curved piece of rubber which is used for the same purpose. The curved ones remind me of mini squeegees for horses.
To use a sweat scraper, press the scraping edge into the horse’s coat horizontally and run it up to down and top to bottom.
These scrapers can come in nearly every color imaginable.