Once you have a basic horse grooming kit established you might want to consider a few other horse grooming items to add to your kit. You probably won’t need these on a daily basis, but they can make life easier at certain times.
Horse Sweat Scraper
This may be called a sweat scraper, but I have seldom used it for that purpose. Maybe that’s just because I’m too lazy to work
my horse hard enough to need it 🙂 However, this tool is very useful when washing your horse to get the excess water off. Even more importantly though, it is brilliant at removing loose hair.
If your horse gets a winter coat anything like mine, spring results in piles of loose hair needing to be removed, and this is the tool to do it.
To remove water or sweat from your horse’s body you use the smooth side of the scraper. To remove loose hair use the side with teeth. Always scrape gently and in the direction of the hair.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I don’t often use a body brush a I find a rubber more effective. But there are always two sides to each story, and many people swear by the body brush to remove dry dust from your horse’s coat.
To use a body brush effectively, have the body brush in one hand and your curry comb in the other. After a few swipes with the body brush, scrape it against the curry comb to remove the accumulated dust and dirt. This will free up the bristles for their next load of dust!
After using a body brush you would generally still use a rubber to give your horse that extra level of shine.
Mane and Tail Brush
Again this is something I rarely use, but it does have its place, particularly if you compete and need your horse looking really great. As the name implies, this is a brush used to brush out the mane and tail, removing knots and tangles in the process.
Some people prefer to use a comb rather than a brush, as a brush can pull out too much hair. In my opinion however, unless you comb every day, there will be too many knots to start with a comb. Use the brush to get most of them out, then comb if you want to.
Don’t use just any hair brush on your horse’s locks. Look for one with longish, stiff, widely spaced bristles which are capped to prevent scratching. Ordinary brushes are either too soft to be effective, or pull out too much hair.
When brushing the mane or tail, start with the end bits first. By that I mean brush out the last inch or few to rid it of the knots. Then do the inch or two closer to the body. Having already done the lower piece will make this process easier, as you won’t be brushing knots down onto more knots. Try it – it works!
For your horse’s tail, and for a thick or long mane, it can be helpful to first wash the hair and then apply conditioner and work through thoroughly. Then, before you rinse the conditioner off, brush the hair as described above, starting with the lower bits first. Brushing before rinsing the conditioner off helps to untangle the knots. When done, rinse off the conditioner, let dry and there you have it – a beautiful, flowing, shiny mane and tail 🙂
These would be the next 3 items in my grooming kit, and I’ll be looking at some of them in more detail in later posts.
If you have any other items you would add to your kit, or any other tips related to this post, please let me know with a comment. I’m always keen to update my ideas and love suggestions!
Happy grooming 🙂