Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grooming Essentials

What are your favorite grooming products and why? Simple enough question, right?

Pretty much every grooming tote, tray, bucket or kit, contains a rubber curry like this one.

They come in a variety of colors and are relatively inexspensive. These are available in pink, blue and purple for $1.35 through Hitching Post Tack. They are commonly available in two sizes to fit comfortably in your hand and you can find them also in black, red, blue or green.

Another favorite of mine is the rubber grooming mitt.

These are also relatively inexspensive at $2.65 through Hitching Post Tack, come in a variety of colors and one size does fit most.

Both the curry and mitt are rubber, so no sharp edges to deal with or avoid, they stimulate the skin and hair while removing dirt and debris. With regular use they will produce a nice shine on the horses coat, while giving your arms a healthy workout.

You may notice your horse making faces of delight as you use the curry or the mitt on them. Sure it feels good and they are letting you know it. The mitt is much easier to use in tight spots or sensitive areas. My mare likes to have her forehead rubbed vigorously with the mitt.

I also like a nice stiff bristled brush and a softer bristled brush to work with. The stiff bristles will also stimulate the skin and bring out the natural oils, while removing the dirt, mud and dead hair.

These come in a variety of styles, sizes and colors and range in price from $5-$15 depending on where you find them.

Where the mane and tail is concerned, some people prefer a comb-

plastic in a variety of colors or metal, which can be found for less than $1 and others are fine with a regular hairbrush. Some prefer bristled brushes others prefer the 'vented' brushes. If you go the hairbrush route, check the local dollar store. Nobody said this stuff has to be expensive.

This brush is available at for less than $5.

A few soft rags, a hoof pick, something to keep it all in and you're ready to go!


  1. Okay I found it. Oh and I posted pictures of a pony you have not seen yet CnJ.

    I love the finishing brushes.
    Wood handles pretty much indicate to my crew don't touch unless you put it back.
    Or, I might get loud.

    I also like Pepi. It does need to be sprayed on the brush and then wiped down on the body with a soft rag. Otherwise major dust collector.

  2. My favorite grooming tool is my Oster horse hair finishing brush. I use it ALL the time.

    Unfortunately, it's not so effective in winter, but it definately my favorite.

  3. My horses favor the rubber curry and the rubber grooming mitts. All over body rubs to raise the dirt and dead hair, then followed by the softer brush to whisk it all away...

    They lean into it and make those "Booyah!" faces.

    Back in the day when I was at BNF, we had a sale coming up and the BO had weekly 'white glove' inspections of the horses. Each one was brought out and evaluated for weight, condition, coat, hooves and their general overall appearance. Diet and hoofcare were addressed and changes made accordingly.

    Of the 15 horses I was in charge of, 3 were not sale horses. The other two grooms had 4-5 sale horses each in comparison. Theirs were all on oil to put a shine on their coats. None of mine needed it. Mine all came out perky and interested, theirs lagged behind and looked bored. The BO wanted to know just what it was that I was doing to my horses that the others were not?

    Well, I spend a little extra time grooming them and making each one feel like they were my favorite. I curried and brushed as long as they made faces.

    It showed in the entire horse.

  4. I have a round shedding blade and an very old metal curry comb ,it looks like a dangerous piece of hardware square with rake like teeth on one side , but boy do they love it in the spring ,I will take a photo and send it . Dog brushes work great instead of a hair brush .

  5. Here's what's ALWAYS in my tote:

    -3 curry combs: regular, “Zoomgroom” type with soft “fingers,” and a very fine & soft one for faces.
    -NO metal curries. Used with any pressure, they strip the shiny off the hair, and chop the ends, leading to dull coat.) The “zoomgroom” thing works better than a shedding blade, too.
    -3 regular brushes: Stiff, medium, and soft.
    -1 dandy brush – stiff. For dried mud on hooves.
    -2 human hairbrushes: one w/ regular bristles, one vented (My castoffs, usually)
    -Hoof pick

    And I always have these on hand, for when I need them:

    -Fly spray, in season
    -Smallish sponge(s) for sponging mud off feet, and/or applying fly spray around eyes and ears
    -Clippers (look for non-electric hand clippers in thrift shops, and/or the small Wahl ones w/batteries. No need to spend big bucks.)
    -Sweat Scraper
    -Good flashlight, for looking at teeth, and if it’s late and there’s no light.

    I'd love to use the nubby rubber mitten thing, but they'd have to line it with thick cotton flannel. My hand sweats, and it slips all around. But I have a soft and thinnish rubber curry made for dogs that works the same way.

    I'll try to take a pic of my stuff and post it somewhere I can link to.

    Past my bedtime, good night. CnJ, thanks again for starting this blog.

    (yawn) Ruthie

  6. I have very small hands, so the kid-size curry comb is a godsend. I also like the funky long-tooth soft Grooma thing. The rubber mitt is great for faces, and wrapping 'round legs!

    I have a variety of brushes of varying stiffness. I learned a technique long ago for when I was in a hurry: currycomb in one hand, medium brush following in the other, make quick short emphatic swipes with the brush after the circular currying. Always go front to back.

    I gor a very soft horsehair brush in the shoeshine section (say that really fast 3 times) at Target for like $3, works great on faces!

    Vandy had a very loooong (ground touching) and FULL tail that I actually had to pull because when you braided it to the end of her very long tailbone, it looked like a witch's broom. Arab people always asked my secret. Well, the tradeoff was that she never ever had that super fine satin coat, despite daily grooming and Indiana summers. It was always a little dense. But boy, she dappled out so pretty, which I always associated with good health and general "bloom."

    I used the cheap Freeman detangler conditioner on her very wiry tail a couple times each summer, and would throw her tail over my shoulder and brush it out section by section.

    Listerine rubbed in the dock when she got icky yellow chunky dander that itched.

    Pepi is great stuff! Hunter show people looked at it like it was Vegemite or other foreign matter.

    In fact, in the 80s, it was kind of Not Done to have a quarter horse OR a hunter with such a lavish tail.

    My cheap little rechargeable clippers STILL work. Never showed in winter beyond fun "fuzzy horse" shows, or hunted or anything, so never needed to body clip.

    Had a friend who decided to Nair the insides of her QH's big long Two-Eyed-Jack ears because he was freaky with the clippers.

    She ended up getting a big old tube of cortisone cream after... :P

    The icky gray mites that congregate in clipped-out ears are easily foiled by a layer of Vaseline or fly goo.

    Orvis shampoo: a big jar will last a LOOONG time, and is still the best when mixed in a bucket of warm water.

    I rode at a stable that collected a bunch of black 5-gallon buckets from some restaurant and filled them with water & liniment and left them in the sun to get warm all day so that you could sponge down your horse after a workout. Smelled so good!!

    Absorbine Vs. Bigeloil was always debated.

    Showsheen vs. laser Sheen Vs. Pepi.

    You can never have too many hoofpicks.

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  8. My favorite grooming tool is Isoplus oil sheen. It is found in the African-American hair products section of most grocery stores. Much cheaper than show sheen and won't dry out tails.

    I just wrote a grooming post as well.

  9. OK CNJ you missed the old metal curry. I'm telling you..used after your soft brush and before rag it will stimulate the oils and bring a beautiful shine.

    OF COURSE: Use gently!! But they love it once they get used to it