Looking for some new horse grooming tools to add to your tack box? Check out this A–Z list of must-haves!
There are hundreds of horse grooming tools available to equestrians. But what are they called, and what do they do? Read on to learn more about the wide selection of brushes, combs and other gizmos that line the shelves of your tack supply store.
Aluminum sweat scraper
Perfect for post-exercise and after bathtime, sweat scrapers remove excess moisture from your horse to help her dry and cool off quicker. Plastic and rubber variations also work, but aluminum typically offers a higher level of sturdiness and durability.
A favorite during shedding season, shedding blades help remove horses’ thick winter coats by dragging out the thick undercoat.
One of the most popular grooming tools for horses, a curry comb is a flat brush (often made of rubber or plastic) with short teeth that help loosen loose hair and dirt from the coat. It’s a gentle tool that most horses enjoy!
Also called hard brushes, these have long, stiff bristles that are great for “flicking” dust and loose dirt off the surface of a horse’s coat. Dandy brushes are helpful to use following the curry comb, once any stuck-on debris has been loosened.
Ever heard of botflies? These pests lay their eggs on horse’s legs, underbellies, and throats, typically in the late summer. An egg knife is a handy way to remove these eggs, thereby killing the unhatched flies.
Similar to a dandy brush, face brushes are smaller with softer bristles, making them ideal for grooming the sensitive parts of a horse such as the face and around the jawline.
Made of a soft, woven fiberglass, or pumice stone, these stones or “blocks” are a great way to remove dried mud, dirt or shedding hair from a horse’s neck and torso. They create a natural shine, and can even be used to remove botfly eggs as an alternative to an egg knife.
Every tack box needs a hoof pick! Used to remove debris from the sole and around the sensitive frog of the hoof, these tools typically have a curved pick on one side and rough bristles on the other.
Long-tooth paddle brush
These tools look just like human hairbrushes, and are used to tame and detangle horse’s manes and tails. Though not ideal for tough knots, the long teeth of these tools are great for smoothing out thick, dense hair.
Grooming gloves or “mitts” have become quite popular in recent years. Easy-to-use and effective (as long as you invest in a quality brand), these rubber or soft plastic tools slide directly onto your hand, making grooming an even more connected experience between you and your horse.
Neoprene tail wrap
Ideal for the days leading up to a competition, tail wraps and bags serve to protect groomed and braided tails from dirt and tangles. Neoprene seems to be the most popular fabric choice among horse caretakers, but Lycra is another go-to. These handy tools are available in bright colors, and sometimes with reflective strips for safety purposes.
Add the perfect finishing touch to your well-groomed horse with a polishing spray. These spritzes give a horse’s coat a brilliant gleam, and help prevent staining. Be sure to look for a brand made with natural ingredients.
These woven cotton cloths are specifically designed to remove dust from a horse’s coat, and leave it looking smooth and polished.
Otherwise known as a body brush, this tool is often a go-to for equestrians who want to do one last “primp” of their equine partner before heading into the show ring. It has shorter bristles than a dandy brush, and works to bring out the natural shine of horse’s coat.
Tail and mane comb
These wide-tooth combs are necessary for removing the tangles from your horse’s mane and tail. It’s important to use them carefully, however, to avoid pulling the roots and ripping the strands. These metal or plastic combs are available with or without handles, so you can buy one that suits your preference.
A simple and inexpensive tool to add to your grooming kit, basic washcloths come in handy for wiping around your horse’s eyes and ears (turn to page xx for more tips on caring for your horse’s eyes and ears). Simply dampen them with warm water and use them to loosen up any dirt or debris around these sensitive areas.
Not every horse caretaker needs all the grooming tools on this list. But if you decide to give some of them a try, you might just discover a new favorite!