One of the staples of horse ownership is regular grooming. There are many different types of horse grooming supplies that can help make the process easier while ensuring a thorough job. Some of the most common kinds of horse grooming supplies include curry brushes, mane combs, hoof picks, and finishing cloths. Other grooming products include mane and tail conditioners, hoof oil, and wide variety of horse “beauty products.”
A curry comb and coat brushes are essential horse grooming supplies for a thorough cleaning. A curry comb is typically used at the beginning of grooming; some people may use a curry mitt, which can be worn like a glove, for easier use. These brushes are typically used in a circular motion over the coat, to help loosen any dirt, dust, or debris. Currying tools are followed by use of a dandy brush, which whisks the loosened dirt out of the coat. For finicky horses, gentle versions of the curry and dandy brushes may be helpful for sensitive areas of the skin.
Mane and tail horse grooming supplies often include a wide-toothed comb for detangling. Some owners may choose to start with a heavy bristle brush in order to work out the larger tangles, then switch to a mane comb for finer details. Using mane and tail combs on a regular basis helps prevent knots or mats from forming, and can be good preparation for braiding.
One of the most important horse grooming supplies is the hoof pick. This is a hand-held tool with a flat hook on one end, used to clean accumulated matter out of the crevices in the hoof. It is important to get professional instruction on how to properly use a hoof pick, as the hook edge can harm the horse if used incorrectly. Hoof cleaning may be done before or after mane and coat grooming, but it is an essential part of the grooming process.
To give a horse's coat a gleaming finish, grooming is often completed with a finishing polish. A finishing brush or polishing cloth can be rubbed over the coat with large, sweeping motions. This helps smooth down the hair raised through brushing and increases the oil on the skin, so that the horse appears shiny and squeaky clean.
In addition to basic horse grooming supplies, some owners or riders may want to invest in additional products after checking with a veterinarian for suitability. Mane and tail conditioners help reduce tangles, and can give longer manes and tails a more glossy, manageable texture. Hoof oil or ointment is often recommended for horses with a history of hoof problems; the oil helps moisturize the hoof and can help protect against chipping or cracks. Horse beauty products, such as color-enhancing shampoos and coat polish are sometimes used on show horses to make them more aesthetically pleasing in the judging ring.