OK, I’m going to start off by discussing the absolute essentials. What are the things that any basic horse grooming kit simply cannot do without?
A curry comb is not really a comb – more of a flattened, rubber disc with teeth. This item is used to loosen mud from fleshy parts of the body. Take it from me, this item really is essential. Find out more about the different types of curry comb here.
The dandy brush is a true brush, with fairly long, stiff bristles. It’s a bit like a smaller version of a broom. Brush your horse’s body with a dandy brush to remove loose hair and smaller bits of mud and dirt. It’s also used to remove mud from the bonier parts of the body, such as the hocks, knees and lower limbs, where a curry comb would be too harsh.
The dandy brush can also be used on occasion to lightly brush the mane and tail, but don’t overdo it as it tends to pull the hair out.
Some people also use a body brush but I don’t include this in my list of essentials. Have you ever seen anyone polishing floors on their hands and knees? A body brush is similar to the brushes used to do this – an oval type brush with short, soft bristles. The body brush is generally used for a final polish after the dandy brush, but I find a rubber far more effective.
“Rubber” is the term sometimes used to refer to a cloth used to rub your horse. Something along the lines of a dishcloth works well.
Once you’ve removed the mud, loose hair and most of the dust with your brushes, a quick rub with a cloth will drastically improve the look of your horse’s coat. It may not remove all the dirt, but by removing surface dust, he’ll LOOK clean and shiny – and that’s the important thing!
A stable rubber is also important to clean your horse’s face. You can’t easily brush a horse’s face, particularly around the eyes, but most of them love having their face rubbed with a soft cloth.
Another absolutely essential item. As the name suggests, the hoof pick is used to “pick out” your horse’s hooves, removed stones, mud and all other foreign matter. If you horse is not sound due to a stone trapped in his hoof it doesn’t matter how lovely he looks!
And there you have it – the absolute basic horse grooming kit!
You can purchase these items individually, or you can invest in a simple grooming kit which contains all of them. This is often the cheaper route, but you need to ensure that the quality is good enough.
By using these simple grooming tools you can groom your horse from top to toe, achieving a good looking horse with clean hooves.
Another advantage is that regularly removing foreign matter from hooves and coat will contribute to your horse’s health, and will ensure that any issues such as wounds are detected early.
If you have any other items you think are an essential part of a basic grooming kit please leave me a comment below. I’m always looking for new ideas!