A well put-together grooming kit is a very important piece of horse equipment. Regular grooming serves many purposes, not just keeping our horses clean. The grooming process allows you to assess your horse's overall health and find any potential issues before they become a real problem.
Every horse owner's grooming kit will be different depending on the horse and the tools the person prefers using. A very basic grooming kit can be put together for fairly inexpensive depending on the brand of brushes you use. Here is a basic guideline for putting together a grooming kit that is functional and simple.
- Grooming Tote
You'll want to keep your grooming tools organized in a plastic tote that is easy to clean. There are horse-specific grooming totes but you can also use a tool box. An advantage of a tool box is that the tray allows you to keep small things, such as elastic bands, organized and the lid helps keep dirt out of the box.
- Stiff Brush
A stiff brush is a staple item to have in your grooming kit. It is perfect for getting hair and dirt off your horse. Ideally you should use the stiff brush with the curry comb. Curry in a circular motion a few times you then sweep your stuff brush to flick the dirt off. Stiff brushes are also called body brushes or dandy brushes.
- Soft Brush
The soft brush is also known as a finishing brush. This brush has soft, shorter bristles and perfect for bringing a nice shine to your horse's coat after the initial grooming to remove dirt. A soft brush is also great for use on the face and other sensitive areas where a stiff brush may be uncomfortable.
- Curry Comb
A plastic curry comb is one of the most important tools to have in your grooming kit. When a curry comb is used in the right motion it lifts dirt and grime to the surface of your horse's coat, where you then use your stiff brush (see above) to brush it off. There are metal curry combs but be wary of them as they can be very harsh on the horse's skin. They are great for cleaning your soft and stiff brushes however.
- Shedding Blade
Generally you don't want to use anything metal on your horse but a shedding blade is an exception. For those of us who get cold winter weather and don't shave our horses, a shedding blade is an invaluable tool for helping horses shed as spring approaches. Most shedding blades are metal. You can also use the back of your shedding blade as a sweat scraper if it is gentle enough.
- Hoof Pick
Hoof care is extremely important and regularly picking out your horse's hooves is an absolute must, especially if your horse has shoes. Having two hoof picks is a good idea so you can a spare if you lose one. You can also take the other with you on trail rides and hacks in case your horse picks up a rock.
- Hair Brush
If you've ever tried to detangle a knot in a horse's tail with a comb, you already understand how difficult it can be. Rather than using a comb, instead buy a human hair brush. A regular old hair brush is much gentler on the hair and easier to use.
Having clippers can make trimming bridle paths and long ear hair easier but scissors can do just fine. Aside from keeping your horse looking neat, scissors are great to have on hand for bad tangles, cutting bandages, removing elastic bands or string from braiding, etc.
A couple old rags are perfect to keep in your grooming kit as they are so versatile. You can use it to wash your horse's face, wipe off dirt, apply fly spray or just to wipe your hands with if you got them dirty.
- Fly Spray
Depending on where you live, a fly spray is a great thing to have on hand during warm months. Fly bites can cause serious problems, not to mention they distract our horses while working with them.
There are many other grooming items you may to include in your kit such a sweat scraper (great for getting water off your horse after a bath), face brush, vaseline, elastic bands, clippers, etc.
What's in your grooming kit or your favorite grooming tool? Vote up and share below!