The kit you need for grooming can be massive. Grooming plays a very important role in the overall care of the horse so it is useful to have the right equipment especially the basics. There are many different brushes available to buy and plenty of other accessories too. In competitions, grooming is especially important, so if you plan to enter shows, you will need a lot more than just the basics.
BrushesBrushes are, however, the backbone of the grooming kit. The body brush and dandy brush are the big two. The latter will get rid of loose dirt and has hard bristles, while the former has soft bristles and is for smoothing down the horse’s hair. There are also combs called curry combs which can be found in metal or plastic and can be used for cleaning your other brushes – so you are not putting old dirt back onto the horse – and for loosening the dirt before you brush. They can be abrasive though so shouldn’t be used on bony parts such as the leg and head. A mane comb is usually plastic and will be used to brush the hair and tail.
Other AccessoriesThere are plenty of other items as well as brushes. Some are vital, others are more optional. The hoof pick is probably the most important grooming accessory you will buy. It is used every day to pick out the dirt from the hollow areas around the frog of the foot.
A special towel is always useful, especially in shows. You can wipe it over the horse to bring out the shine of his coat. A sweat scraper will also make the coat shinier, but, as the name suggests, also wipes off the sweat from the body. A shedding blade can be used during the spring to help remove the loose hair that the horse sheds due to the season change. The edges of a shedding blade are very sharp and it should not be used on sensitive parts of the body.
And a cactus mitt or cloth is useful for the beginning of your regime to get rid of grass and stable debris from the horse’s body.Lastly, if you are showing your horse, you will need bands and threads designed for a horse to plait his hair.
Oils and ConditionersThere will be numerous potions and lotions on the market that can help groom the horse. Some of them are more useful than others but all have a part to play. Body shine conditioner will reflect the light onto the coat and make it look very shiny. Dust control sprays stop lots of dust from sticking to the coat and shampoo is great for deep cleaning the horse periodically.The hooves again get special treatment with both hoof oil and hoof polish useful products to keep the hooves healthy and bring a lovely shine out in them.
You will not need to buy everything in the shop – especially when you first own a horse. But you will find what suits you and your horse as you choose different products and will soon have a must buy shopping list. The main need the horse has is to be groomed daily. He can be washed and conditioned less often. It is always worth buying higher quality brushes and accessories as they will last longer and do a much better job, making the horse look nicer and your job easier.