Grooming is an essential part of horse ownership because it leads to a healthier horse. Currying promotes skin health by distributing the natural oils in your horse’s coat. If you use enough pressure while currying and watch your horse’s reactions, you can identify potential sore spots, says top eventing groom Emma Ford. In addition, as you groom, you can inspect your horse for cuts, skin problems, a stone caught in his shoe and myriad other issues.
A clean, well-turned out horse also is a source of pride and will help you make a positive first impression with a judge if you’re competing. A horse’s coat hairs are like tiny mirrors that reflect the most light when they’re flattened and aligned, says expert hunter/jumper groom Laurie Pitts. So maximizing shine is all about smoothing down the hairs as much as possible in the direction of natural growth.
With all of these benefits in mind, below are 10 products to help make this all-important task easier and maximize efficiency.
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1. HandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves
This pair of gloves helps you curry, shed and massage your horse. The five-finger design has non-abrasive, flexible rubber nodules—bristle tips on the fingers and round tips on the palm—to help you remove excess hair and debris. The gloves contour to make cleaning areas like between the legs, behind the elbows and around the head easier, and their hook-and-loop wrist fasteners ensure a secure fit. They can also be used to help bathe your horse and are easy to clean—rinse off with water and air dry or put them in the washing machine. Get a pair here.
2. Decker 65 Horse-Hair Blend Brush
Designed with a grip to fit your hand, this brush is a horse-hair blend that measures 2-3/8”x 8-1/2”. With this type of brush, you can use longer strokes to smooth your horse’s hairs down and together to increase the shine. Pay attention to areas where the natural hair growth changes direction, such as the pattern over the flank. You add even more shine to your horse’s overall appearance by smoothing down all of the hairs in the direction of growth. Get it here.
For tips to streamline your grooming session, click here.
3. Intrepid International Rubber Hoof Pick with Brush
The comfortable grip of this hoof pick helps you clean your horse’s feet before and after each ride to remove small objects, like rocks. Pry out packed debris and then clear the crevice of the frog with the tip of the pick. Use the brush to see the sole’s entire surface to check for punctures, bruises, abscesses or other issues. Get it here.
For additional hoof-care tips, click here.
4. Digital Thermometer
Routinely taking your horse’s temperature is one of the best ways to monitor your horse’s health and catch minor problems before they turn into serious ones. A great time to do this and make it a habit is as you groom him. This waterproof thermometer offers fast and accurate reading with a beep indicating when the temperature has been taken, and it comes with one year of service for quality-related issues. Get it here.
5. EQyss Premier Equine Spray
While elbow grease, currying and brushing is a foundation for enhancing the shine of your horse’s coat, this mane and tail moisturizer can help, too. The spray, which comes in a 32-ounce bottle, repels dust and dirt and reduces static electricity, leaves a non-slip finish and protects the coat from bleaching in the sun. If you need to tidy a tangled tail before a lesson or clinic, spray it on, allow it to dry before carefully combing with a plastic wide-toothed comb. Spread the tail hairs on your thigh and start at the ends of the hairs before working your way up. Get it here.
For tips on bathing your horse, click here.
6. Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Gel
After a strenuous workout or competition, your horse may benefit from an application of liniment to help stimulate blood flow. This 12-ounce topical spearmint-scented pain-relief gel contains natural menthol and herbal extracts to loosen stiff joints and reduce swelling. The label says it is safe for U.S. Equestrian Federation competition when used as directed. Get it here.
For more information on applying a standing wrap to further support and promote circulation in your horse’s leg, click here.
7. Wahl Professional Bravura Clipper Set
Trimming your horse’s fetlocks, ears, throatlatch and other areas can give him a polished appearance. This lightweight, low-vibration and quiet clipper includes a 5-in-1 blade that adjusts between sizes #9, #10, #15, #30 and #40 to allow a variety of cutting lengths. The rechargeable lithium ion battery has a 90-minute cordless run time. The clipper operates at full power until the battery is completely depleted. Recharge in 60 minutes or plug in the cord and continue to clip. Get it here.
For tips on clipping your horse, click here.
8. Exhibitor’s Quic Braid
If you plan to braid your horse for competition, Quic Braid, in a 16-ounce spray, can help you grip the hair more easily. Spray it on sections of the mane as you go. It combs out without the need for washing to allow for easier care after the show and can also be used to train an unruly main or tail. Get it here.
For advice on mastering a beautiful braid job, click here.
9. Oster Equine Care Series Grooming Kit
Having all of your grooming tools in one place helps keep you organized and is easy to carry from your tack box to the cross-ties. This seven-piece grooming kit includes a currycomb, a stiff grooming brush, a soft finishing brush, a mane and tail brush, a mane and tail comb, a hoof pick and a blue storage bag. The tools’ rubber handles allow for added comfort and better grip. Get it here.
10. Farnam Leather New
While leather care isn’t strictly about grooming your horse, clean tack goes a long way toward making a good impression with your trainer and judges if you’re competing. Plus, as you clean your tack, you can check straps for wear and tear and replace any before they become a safety issue as you ride. This glycerin saddle soap, in a 32-ounce spray, removes dirt and grime and cleans and conditions leather products in one step. Get it here.