Grooming is therapeutic for both a horse and its handler. A well-stocked grooming bucket is a necessity and one of the most useful tools a rider can own. Grooming a horse on a regular basis promotes a healthy coat, allows an opportunity to check for problems and lets your horse know you care. There are a few essential tools that will make your grooming experience successful.
A soft bristled brush or face brush is a hand-held brush with soft bristles. Use this soft brush to remove loose dirt from sensitive spots of the horse including the leg, face, and flank area.
Hard bristle brush
This brush is remarkably similar to the soft bristle brush although the bristles are much harder. Use this brush to loosen dirt on the horse's mane, body, and neck. Do not use this brush on the face or other sensitive areas as it can cause pain or injury.
A curry comb is a round rubber brush with small teeth that grab up dirt. With a long hand strap, this brush can be easily secured during grooming. Rotate the curry comb in a circular motion to loosen caked-on mud. This soothing motion is like a massage for your horse because it loosens tight muscles and promotes good circulation.
Mane and Tail Comb
If your horse spends a lot of time on the trail or wooded pasture, it will come across burrs that get tangled in its hair. A mane and tail comb will eliminate annoying burrs and tangles without a struggle. A horse’s long hair needs to be combed regularly in order to promote growth and health. Use a mane and tail comb just as you would use your own brush.
Checking your horse’s feet on a daily basis prevents problems from developing. A hoof pick is a valuable tool for removing dirt and stones from a horse's hoof. With a hoof pick, you can safely and accurately scrape the area around the frog. Hoof picks come in various shapes and sizes and you will need to find the one that best fits your hand.
A shedding blade removes loose hair from the horse’s coat. Simply brush the blade along the horse hair. On many shedding blades, the opposite side of the blade can be used to scrape water or sweat from the horse's coat or you can obtain a separate sweat scraper.
Grooming supplies should be kept clean and in proper working order. Look over your tools often to find any broken parts, aging bristles or signs of excessive wear. Store your grooming supplies in a clean container with a handle for easy storage and transport.