Every horse rider, owner, breeder, and trainer knows that horses need to be groomed and cleaned regularly to enable them to perform at their best. There’s a wide range of horse grooming equipment available to equestrians. The innovation of traditional curries and brushes used by horsemen in the past helps to improve the horse grooming process.
For a new horse owner or equestrian looking to build a grooming kit, the many grooming supply choices can be overwhelming. Here’s a list of essential tools you’ll need in your grooming kit. We also explained the use of each tool while breaking down the horse grooming process.
Rubber Curry Comb
A rubber curry comb is a long-lasting and economical tool to be included in every grooming kit. They’re available in small and large sizes to accommodate small and large hands. It has short rubber teeth that gently stimulate circulation in your horse’s skin and muscles while shedding hair and loosening debris as the first equipment used in a grooming session. This curry comb is a must-have in your grooming box.
Sarvis Curry Comb
A versatile and budget-friendly tool for most grooming kits, this durable plastic horse curry comb features long teeth that are effective on manure stains and dried mud and can withstand long winter coats. Some groomers enjoy its dual-purpose use, combing tails and manes, and at bath time since it can lather soapy water on a horse’s coat.
Hard or Stiff (Dandy) Brush
This kind of brush is useful for whisking away heavier layers of hair and loosened dirt after currying. It’s also useful for getting rid of dried mud from your horse’s legs and brushing mud off its hoof walls. The back of the brush can be made with either wood or plastic and the bristles with either coarse animal hair or synthetic fibers.
A thick-skinned and susceptible horse may not withstand the coarseness of stiff brushes, so ensure to check for the level of coarseness from medium-stiff to very stiff, for your horse’s comfort. Stiff or hard brushes have a rectangular shape and contours or grooves on the handle for a comfortable grip.
Medium Soft/Medium Stiff Brush
Every groomer ought to have a medium soft brush, especially those with very sensitive horses that can’t withstand stiff brushes’ coarseness. Some manufacturers refer to them as medium-soft, while others call them medium-stiff. When a horse doesn’t need a stiff brush’s heavy-duty action, a medium horse brush may be helpful. Medium brushes come in both natural and synthetic styles.
Soft Body Brush/Soft Brush/Finishing Brush
The soft brush is another vital tool a groomer must have. It’s the last tool used during the grooming process. You’ll position its fine, soft bristles closely together to eliminate fine dust particles from your horse’s coat and smoothen its hair, thereby enhancing natural sheen.
There are soft brushes with natural, synthetic bristles, or a blend of both, and wooden and plastic handles. While dandy brushes have a rectangular shape, soft body brushes have an oval shape with a leather strap over the handle.
A hoof pick is an essential tool you must have in your grooming kit. They come in a variety of styles, some with fun colors and shapes, some ergonomically designed to offer comfort while in use, and some with brushes to flick away bedding and dried dirt. Some magnetic hoof picks can stick to any metal surface to avoid misplacement, and you can fold away others in your pocket. To complete your grooming kit, you need a hoof pick to eliminate debris, mud, stones, and manure from your horse’s hooves.
While some horse breed guidelines accept long, flowing manes, some sports disciplines like dressage and jumper require shorter and thinner manes. A well-shortened horse mane enables easy braiding for formal events. Pulling the mane is the traditional way to achieve this look, and a pulling comb is the best tool.
The shedding blade features small metal teeth used to target caked-on mud and loose hair. Most groomers use it mainly during shedding season, a period when they remove lots of hair from a horse.
Due to the teeth’s abrasive nature, ensure to use the shedding blade with care. Also, use it only on the horse’s fleshiest parts to prevent abrading its boney spots, such as the horse’s legs, the face, and prominent hips. At bath time, you can utilize the smooth side of the shedding blade to remove water and sweat from your horse’s body if you don’t have a sweat scraper.
Sudocrem (Water Repellent)
Sudocrem is a cream (water repellent) mostly used on babies to prevent nappy rash. Due to the anti-fungal and antibacterial agents in it, Sudocrem is very effective for treating cuts and scrapes. It also includes a mild anesthetic for soothing pain.
Many equestrians use Sudocrem even though it’s not specifically manufactured for horses. It’s effective in treating tender or damaged skin, bites, and minor cuts and functions as a barrier cream, like Vaseline.
There are different ways of storing your horse grooming equipment conveniently and safely, from boxes with lids to fabric tote bags, totes, and buckets. Two of the most traditional and common methods are the fabric grooming tote and the plastic grooming box.
Your grooming kit isn’t complete without adding some household items. You’d need a rag or soft towel that you can clean and wash after use. You can use it to wipe the horse’s nostrils or eyes and wipe its lips if they become foamy after a ride. You can also include a separate tag for wiping debris or sweat from the horse’s sensitive parts, including the teats, rectum, or sheath. A pair of scissors can also be useful for several purposes, including trimming a sport horse’s bridle path or tail.
You can contact your farrier to know if your horse needs some hoof ointment or dressing. If they do, add them to your grooming kit. During summer, ensure to include an insect spray.