Equine Grooming Essentials

Posted by wormers-direct on 16th Apr 2024

Equine Grooming Essentials

There is no better way to bond with your horse than by having a quiet grooming session together, just you and your horse together sharing a moment. Not only can this help to build trust, but it can help you form a meaningful relationship with your horse. Grooming is a great way to reduce anxiety in a young horse and connect with an older horse who is having a quieter life. If you are struggling for time to ride, a good grooming session can be just as important. In this guide, we are going to look at the tools and equipment you need to have in your grooming kit.

Grooming Kit Tools

A grooming kit should contain the essentials to care for your horse:

  • Hoof pick with brush
  • Body brush
  • Face brush
  • Curry comb (plastic/rubber/metal)
  • Mane & tail brush
  • Scissors
  • Detangler & shampoo
  • Sponges
  • Sweat scraper
  • Grooming bag / box

This is just a general list, remember horses have individual needs and may require extra items in order to keep them looking shiny and well-groomed.

Hoof Pick With Brush

It is really important to pick out your horse’s hooves several times a day, ideally before they are turned out in the morning, when they come in from the field, and before/after exercise. Hooves are the perfect shape for stones to get wedged in, and if left unattended for too long this can cause bruising and lameness.

Any hoof pick is fine, but if you have a brush on the end this allows you to be more thorough and remove every last bit of mud, sand and dirt. Thorough hoof care can prevent hoof abscesses from occurring, and means you can spot injuries early & call the farrier out before things get too bad.

Red Gorilla Hoof Pick

Curry Comb or Mitt

A good curry comb can be multipurpose - not only can it be used on the horse’s coat to remove any tough clumps of mud, but it can also be used to remove grease and scurf from your body brush. Rubber curry combs have short rubber teeth on them that loosen debris, help with shedding hair, and can also stimulate circulation. For removing dried mud or manure you may want to invest in a rigid plastic curry comb, or even a metal one depending on how sensitive your horse is.

The curry comb will probably be the first thing you use when grooming your horse. It can help loosen the coat after being stuck under sweaty saddle pads, and can also loosen mud and dirt for the body brush to sweep away.

Lincoln Rubber Curry Comb

Body Brush

You might just think a bog-standard body brush is fine for your grooming kit but there are actually 3 different types of softness you will need:

  1. Stiff body brush: this is also known as a dandy brush, and is perfect for flicking away loose hair and dirt after running over the coat with a curry comb. Be careful not to use this on sensitive areas such as your horse’s head, inner legs and stomach.
  2. Medium-soft body brush: this is a perfect substitute for the dandy brush if your horse is really sensitive all over. It is also great when you don’t need the full cleaning action of a dandy brush but want to brush the loose hair and dirt away.
  3. Soft body brush: this is perfect for removing dust towards the end of the grooming session. It smoothes out the horse’s hair and gives that sparkling shine, and is soft enough to use on sensitive areas of the horse.

Supreme Products Perfection Body Brush

Mane & Tail Brush

Lots of horse owners tend to use a stiff body brush on their horse’s manes and tails, but this can rip out the hair. If your horse has lots of tangles in their mane or tail, you will want a brush that removes the knots without damaging the hair. A padded-style human hair brush often works really well as this doesn’t pull on the hair follicles too much but still gets the knots out easily.

Oster Mane & Tail Brush

Shampoo & Detangler

To really work through those knots in the mane and tail, you may require some assistance from a mane & tail detangler. This works in a similar way to conditioner on humans, preventing tangles and breakage of the mane and tail during brushing. Detangler can be applied to either wet or dry hair, and you often don’t need too much of it. Be careful when spraying detangler onto the coat as you don’t want to end up slip-sliding around on your saddle!

Horse shampoo helps remove dirt and oil from the horse’s coat and should be used sparingly, mainly for when you are taking your horse out competing. Horses have lots of natural oils in their coats to protect them from the weather so bathing them too regularly will strip them out.

If you have a light-coloured horse, you may also want to invest in a stain remover to get those white patches super white!

Groom's Choice Shampoo Range

Grooming Bag or Box

Finally, you are going to want somewhere to store all of your brushes and grooming products. Some people prefer a grooming box so you can shut the lid and prevent any hair or dirt from mixing with the brushes, others like a grooming bag that is easy to carry around the yard. Whatever you choose, make sure it is big enough to hold all of your grooming products as well as any other extra things you may want to keep on hand (such as first aid equipment).

Oster 7 Piece Grooming Kit

Once you have put your grooming kit together you are ready to get started on grooming your horse. Remember everyone’s grooming kit is personal to the needs of their horse, so don’t be afraid of adding other items as you go. Head over to our grooming section on the website to see the full range of products we stock.