The most important part of owning a horse, especially one for riding, is the well-being of the horse itself and that is where a guide to horse grooming supplies will come in handy.
When deciding on equestrian equipment, it is daunting to decide what kind of brush is used where or why you need shredding and massaging tools. Grooming your horse before and after a ride, on a regular basis, not only promotes better health and hygiene but also contributes towards a healthy relationship and bond between you and your horse. After all, when you take care of things, they last.
The list of horse grooming tools and supplies that we have prepared for your convenience will ensure a fretless and wholesome experience.
List of Horse Grooming Tools and Supplies
We’ve broken down the list into two main categories:
The “Essentials” category includes all the tools you will always need for horse grooming. Without them, you won’t be able to groom a horse (properly). A good horse grooming kit would usually have all of these included. We discuss our favorite grooming kits in this article.
Next comes the “Optionals” category that includes all those tools that might come in handy every now and then. Having them will make the horse grooming experience less of a chore. But one can groom a horse without them.
Essential Horse Grooming Tools
These are the items that you will need in every grooming session. They should be the core of your best horse grooming kit because they determine the appearance and feelings of your horse.
Grooming should be an exciting task rather than a chore and there are only a handful of essentials that will help you achieve that.
A curry comb is where you start the grooming process. It has soft rubber teeth to loosen dirt, debris, and shredded hair from the horse’s body. The gentle massaging quality stimulates blood circulation and the production of natural oils in your horse’s skin.
This sturdy brush has hard bristles to support deep cleaning. It knocks off the most stubborn and dried dirt from areas that can tolerate its intensity. When shopping, the degree of coarseness of this brush must be taken into account.
Also known as the finishing brush, a soft brush comes in handy after the curry comb and stiff brush to remove the finer leftover dirt particles with its soft bristles. It also adds a shine and neatness to the coat.
These often come with brushes at the end. Hoof picks remove manure, mud, and rocks from the hooves of your horse and the brush flicks away any dried dirt. Your horse grooming equipment is incomplete without them.
A shedding blade has multiple uses. It not only helps get rid of loose hair with its tiny metal teeth but also the caked-on mud. Its smoother side may also be used as a sweat and water scraper during and after baths.
Mane & Tail Brush
The mane and tail hair of your horse get tangled very often and need care just like human hair. This brush ensures that they stay long and tangle-free especially after a good run.
At last, you essentially need storage of a decent size to organize all your tools. We recommend a grooming tote with pockets and handles so you can easily carry all your items in one hand. Here are 3 that we love the most.
Optional Supplies for Horse Grooming
Optional items are ones you can do without. Their absence won’t (significantly) affect your horse grooming experience but it is recommended that you acquire these for efficient maintenance or if you’re a bit of a perfectionist.
Like any other interest, when horse grooming engulfs you, you may want to go overboard and these are the items that will help you expend extra love and care.
Mane and Tail Detangler
This is a spray-on liquid that gives the coat a shiny and glossy texture. Another name for it is ‘silicon spray’. It helps with stubborn knots and tangles that don’t get resolved with a regular brush.
A sponge doesn’t have a specific purpose but it’s helpful to have one in your kit. When wet, you can use it on the horse’s body to cool it down. It is especially convenient during baths, and it can also be used to clean fragile areas of the horse’s body, like the face.
Hands-on Grooming Gloves
The best part about these grooming gloves is that you can use them wet or dry. They have tiny grooves and ridges that can be brushed through your horse’s long hair, simultaneously massaging its skin.
Sweat scrapers have metal or rubber blades that wipe away sweat from the horse’s skin. These are useful during baths to clean its body of shampoo and afterwards, excess water. Sometimes they also help remove excess hair.
A pulling comb is efficient because of its small size. Its usage depends entirely on your preferences and how short you want the mane to be. They are easy to hold and store. And help make the mane think and manageable.
Rub Rag (Barn Towel)
A soft towel that you can clean and soak is a great addition to your horse grooming kit. You can use it to wipe your horse’s face or dirt and water from its body.
These easy-to-use products clean and give a shine to horse hooves. They also help moisturize them, especially in winters.
Horse tack bags are very functional and enable you to store and manage all your horse tack in one place. They have multiple pockets and compartments for your personal, and horse-related equipment.
A tack is especially useful during travels.
Shedding tools remove loose winter hair and help keep the skin clean as well. They keep the coat healthy.
In colder months, the winter coats of horses restrict their comfort and movement. That’s where clippers and scissors are used to trim down the long hair. Traditionally, you should use the scissors prior to the clipping.
Here’s Why You Should Clean Your Horse Grooming Tools
Cleaning your horse with a tool that is not clean itself is very counterproductive and pointless. It kills the purpose of the grooming process and equipment that took so much effort to acquire and leaves your research void. We never wipe our faces with dirty towels and the same principles apply to horse grooming tools and brushes.
Horses spend all of their time outdoors where there is dust, mud, and manure. Their coats, hooves, and faces can trap a lot of dirt that you need to tend to with clean brushes and other grooming tools or more dirt will be transferred to them.
Brushes, especially, need extra care because their bristles can trap a lot of hair and dirt at the bottom that is stubborn to clean out. The brushes require to be thoroughly cleaned especially if your horse has an unideal skin condition. Since these conditions can be contagious, never use a horse’s tools on another horse.
Using unclean tools means you’re adding more than you’re taking away and ultimately making the task more difficult for your own self. Additionally, dried brushes may seem okay to use even if they are dirty, but the buildup won’t leave any room for further absorption.
The crux of the matter is that you should always use clean and disinfected tools, brushes, and blades on any part of the horse’s body, as they avoid infections, spread of germs, and generally maintain better hygiene.
Which leads us to the question:
How to Clean Horse Grooming Tools?
This may seem like a tedious task but it’s no different than laundry or doing the dishes. Cleaning your horse grooming tools requires a very simple apparatus and a few easy steps to achieve the level of sanitation you want. All you need is a water bucket and antibacterial dish soap.
First, carefully clean the bristles of your soft and stiff brushes with a curry comb and toss everything in the bucket. The horsehair should also be pulled out of all the tools. Soaking everything in the soap water will help loosen the dirt and grime and make it easy for you to rub it off.
The best part is that all brushes and tools, including your gloves and scrapers, can be cleaned together.
Once everything is free of dirt or buildup, rinse it with water until it’s not soapy anymore. It is important to clean all your equipment with a towel before you let it air-dry. Remember to keep the bristled side of your brushes facing the ground so the gravity pulls any remaining water out.
This will ensure that they last for a good while before a replacement.
Make sure that your storage units like tack bags and totes are also clean and dry before putting all your supplies back. Buying machine-washable bags is a great idea if you’re trying to be time-efficient with the cleaning.
FAQs Related to Horse Grooming Tools and Supplies
We hope we didn’t miss out on anything. And if we did, we’re sure you’ll find your answers in our FAQs section.
What are the best grooming brushes for horses?
The best grooming brushes for horses are: the HySHINE Pro Groom body brush that comes with a strap to give you more control over the strokes. You can also try the Roma Soft Touch body brush that has a soft touch handle and the Leistner Schimmel grooming brush that is made with pure coco fiber.
When purchasing a brush for a horse, the most important factors to consider are the strength of the bristles, their stiffness, the durability of the material, and ergonomics of the shape and build.
What happens if you don’t groom your horse?
If you don’t groom your horse, the dirt would keep building up on its body. This leads to harmful skin conditions, or worse, diseases and infections that can spread.
Furthermore, in shedding seasons or winters, the coats are thick and need grooming so the horses don’t face any discomfort in mobility. If you don’t groom your horses, you may not notice any lumps or injuries on their bodies that require attention and this may cause problems.
Grooming should be a definite part of your horse care routine. It really benefits your horse’s skin and keeps it looking shiny and firm.
Should you groom your horse every day?
Yes. Regardless of whether or not they’re going outdoors, horses should be groomed at least once a day. It helps you examine their bodies and health. They need daily skin and coat care just like we do because of the dust in the air.
Technicalities like hoof picking and baths can be overlooked about thrice a week but a daily evaluation is encouraged.
Visiting your animal every day can give them a deep sense of comfort and joy. You should brush their hair and lightly clean their coats every day. This way, the next time you do it, it won’t be a lot of trouble.
Why is grooming your horse important?
Grooming your horse every day will allow you to spend time with it as a chance to bond and develop a better relationship. You should treat it as an emotional connection rather than a chore.
This is better for your mental and physical activity as well, giving you an escape from the monotony of daily life.
Horses, like other animals, are fully capable of experiencing emotions like contentment and happiness. When you take care of them, they feel better in their skins and generally with their surroundings. This promotes better pet behavior and performance.
How long does it take to groom a horse?
On average, a grooming session takes about 20-30 minutes.
However, the time it takes to groom a horse depends on how often you do it and how dirty the horse is. It also depends on the speed of hair growth as it varies from animal to animal. Another factor that comes into account is the color of the horse and how visibly unclean it seems.
Taking the responsibility of another living being comes with a lot of challenges and requires dedication and ambition, but mostly, love. Pets are a great emotional support and they deserve the same care and respect. Grooming your horse with the right tools can achieve this.
The maintenance of those tools is highly important so they stay in an ideal working condition for a long time. With the correct information, knowledge of requirements, and management, horse grooming can be a very fun and productive activity.