Regular grooming is an important part of owning a horse. It not only keeps your equine best friend looking their best, it also keeps them healthy and happy. From their flowing mane all the way to their hooves, it’s your responsibility to comb through the tangles, brush off the mud, and clear away debris. You’ll need a well-stocked horse grooming kit to get the job done.
There are so many different horse grooming tools out there. Whether you’re assembling your first kit or need to reevaluate the supplies you’ve been using for years, it’s important to do your research.
Must-Have Items For Your Grooming Kit
It doesn’t matter what kind of horse you have or how often you groom. The following tools are the basic components for every horse grooming kit.
Rubber Curry Comb
The rubber curry comb is the most basic—and also most necessary—grooming tool. It’s the first thing you should reach for when you go to groom your horse, and no grooming kit is complete without one.
The short rubber teeth of a curry comb are used to loosen caked-on mud, debris, and shedding hair. These combs are typically long-lasting and are a comfortable fit for any sized hand.
Sometimes called a stiff brush, hard brush, or a dandy brush, this horse grooming tool is used after the curry comb to remove most of the loosened dirt and hair. It can also be used to get at the dried mud on a horse’s legs.
Dandy brushes can be made from either plastic or wood, and the bristles can be either synthetic or natural. Before you use this brush on your horse for the first time, it’s a good idea to start slow. Some horses are extra sensitive and don’t appreciate the coarseness of the hard bristles.
Medium Bristle Brush
If your horse shows signs of disliking the hard-bristled brush, you can use a medium brush. When shopping, these brushes can be described as “medium stiff” or “medium soft.”
Many horse owners use their medium brushes after going over their horses with their hard brushes. It helps remove even more dirt, dander, and debris.
Soft Bristle Brush
Also called a finishing brush, the soft brush has fine bristles packed closely together. It’s used to remove the tiny particles within a horse’s hair and smooth out their coat. Using this brush last will help improve your horse’s natural shine and leave them looking their best.
When buying a finishing brush, you can choose one with synthetic or natural fibers. Most have a leather strap over the handle, and you can distinguish them from other types of brushes because they are oval shaped instead of rectangular.
Mane and Tail Comb
When you’re finished brushing your horse’s body, move on to their mane and tail. Every horse owner needs some kind of thick toothed comb in their grooming kit. It might take some trial and error to find the type of comb that works best for your horse.
A metal pulling comb is a popular choice for some equestrians that compete in hunter, jumper, and dressage. This type of comb is used to pull out individual hairs to shorten or thin a mane.
If you just want to get rid of tangles, a plastic comb with thick, wide-set teeth or a stiff mane-and-tail brush should do the trick.
You should leave trimming your horse’s hooves to a professional farrier, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore your horse’s feet during grooming sessions. Every horse grooming kit needs a good hoof pick to remove debris that gets stuck in the bottom of a horse’s hooves.
Some hoof picks have attached brushes that can be helpful, and they also come in all different sizes, colors, and styles. If you’re prone to losing things, consider a magnetized hoof pick you can quickly stick on any magnetic surface. There are also hoof picks that can easily fit in your pocket.
Now that we’ve covered the basic components of a horse grooming kit, you might want to expand your collection of supplies. The following items are useful to have on hand depending on factors including the weather, your competition schedule, or your horse’s personal preference and unique needs.
- Fly spray
- Sweat Scraper
- Hoof Oil
- Braid bands
- De-tangle spray
- Shedding blade
- Shine spray