The first thing any horse owner or even someone who wants to ride horses regularly should shop for is a hoof pick. A hoof pick is used to clean dirt and debris out of the bottom part of the horse’s hoof. While you need to use a hoof pick as part of your horse’s daily grooming routine, you also need to carry one with you when you are exercising your horse so that you can quickly remove pebbles or foreign objects that become lodged in the horse’s hoof.
The next item that you should acquire is a curry comb. The curry comb is used to remove mud and hair from the horse’s body before you use your other brushes. It also can be used to help remove knots and tangles in the horse’s mane and tail. Since your curry comb will endure a lot of abuse over the years, you should consider buying the best comb you can afford. Metal curry combs usually hold up longest, but some horse enthusiasts feel that they are too rough to actually be used on the horse’s body and use them to clean out the other brushes, instead. Rubber models also wear well and are much less abrasive than metal combs. Plastic combs can become brittle over time and break more frequently than combs made with other materials, but they are less expensive, so still tend to be quite popular.
Some people use a dandy brush after they go over their horses’ coats with a curry comb. The dandy brush removes dirt and loose hair, but is not up to the task of removing large patches of dried mud. You can do without a dandy brush if you are tight on money, but it is a handy grooming tool to have around.
The body brush is used to smooth out the horse’s coat after the curry comb and dandy brush have removed all of the excess dirt and loose hair. This brush is much softer than the other grooming tools and can also be used on the horse’s head.
Since a horse has a long, flowing mane and tail that can easily tangle, a mane comb is another important piece of grooming equipment. This comb can remove tangles and snarls from both the mane and tail. You may also eventually want to take a look at some of the other specialized mane combs, since they perform tasks like thinning and taming bushy manes and tails.
Since you will occasionally need to bathe your horse, you should also consider shopping for a sweat scraper. This piece of equipment was originally used to remove sweat from racehorses, but it is also useful for removing excess bath water from the coat quickly. After all, it can take a lot of towels to dry off a horse.
Finally, you should add a sponge to your grooming supplies. A damp sponge is essential for cleaning around the horse’s eyes and nostrils.
Now that you know which pieces of equipment you need, you can start shopping for them. While your local feed and livestock supply store is sure to have what you need, you can also shop for supplies online. Online stores often can offer steeper discounts on grooming equipment than traditional brick and mortar stores.
No matter where you shop for supplies, though, don’t forget to throw in some horse treats. After all, if your horse isn’t happy, all of the equipment in the world won’t make the grooming session easy!