Apart from the horses clothing you, as an equestrian must also take care of your horse. No matter what sports the horse is going to participate in he/she should be well prepared before the event. Riders are not the only ones who ought to look their finest, your horse should too!
The grooming kit is probably the most important tool for this.
This very necessary piece of kit is essential when grooming and preparing the horse. The grooming kit helps to maintain the horse’s coat in excellent condition (along with a good diet). This will also be a great time for you to check for any injuries, scratches lumps and bumps on the horse. Grooming is also good for giving the horse a massage promoting circulation.
The grooming kit is made up of various combs and brushes to keep the horse clean. Each of these combs and brushes has a different function when cleaning the horse.
These are some of the standard brushes and combs in a grooming kit:
These brushes are for removing dirt on the surface of your horse’s coat. They are mainly used on the less delicate parts of the horse. This brush has long bristles.
These brushes can either be soft or hard depending on your horse’s requirements. They generally have a leather back. It is used to eliminate grease and grime from your horse’s coat. They can be used in the delicate areas of your horse’s body, like around the face area.
Metal curry comb
This is not for using directly on the horse, but is used of to clean the body brush when grooming. It gets rid of dust and dirt from the brush so that you can use the body brush again to remove more dirt from the horse.
Rubber Curry Comb
They remove mud and loose hair from the mane and tail of your horse.
The water brush is for when you’re cleaning or dampening your horse’s coat. It’s as it’s name says, used for when you need to use water on your horse.
As the name suggests these are combs used on the mane and tail of your horse. They can be found in plastic and metal. There are variations of these combs for various functions. Short metal combs are made use of for pulling manes. Other kinds of combs, like the “Solo” comb can be used to thin the mane.
Everyone has their own preferences for the type of comb they like to use for pulling and thinning. Before investing in one of the more expensive ones, try and borrow a friends for a trial first.
They are used for “picking out” (hence the name) dirt and stones that are packed into your horse’s hooves. When you go riding or when he’s out there in the field, dirt and stones can get stuck in your horse’s hooves. The hoof pick can be easily lost under your grooming kit so it’s recommended to tie a bit of baling twine on it.
Used primarily for cleaning the eyes, nose and wounds of your horse. A different sponge should be used for each task so cross contamination doesn’t occur.
When cleaning, clean away sweat from the horse or water after bathing or being caught in heavy rain.
This is for doing the finishing touches on the horse. They used of for polishing the coat of the horse. A soft cloth fabric can be used, or chamois leather. You can also purchase specially made ones like a sheepskin mitt.
In certain weather conditions, particularly at the start of the warmer weather, a metal shedding blade is used to get rid of the loose winter hair. It has short, dull teeth and is also useful for removing caked-on mud. This kind of tool should be used with care as they can dull and split the horses coat.You should also make sure you use one specifically for horses and not one that’s for cattle or sheep, these are much harsher.
Another tool for use in the summer months fly spray is needed to stop flies irritating your horse. Fly spray is generally applied to the horse after grooming, but can also be applied in the field when the flies are particularly bad. Be careful to avoid the eyes and nose/mucous membranes.
There are many proprietary fly spray brands and lots of home made recipes for fly spray. Citronella is generally used in all these fly sprays as it’effectiveness is well known for keeping flies at bay.
Used for all manner of horse related tasks, from trimming the mane to cutting baling twine!
You can get both hand and electric clippers, however electric clippers are more efficient. There are different types of clips you can do on a horses coat, such as a saddle clip, full clip or blanket clip. Basically, you remove part of the winter coat to enable the horse to work more comfortably in the summer months.
For more information on horse clipping see this article.
Grooming kit box
Last however not the least, is the kit box. It can be any container or bag with ample storage for the brushes. You can also make use of a canvas bag with a drawstring. Most equestrians like to use a proprietary kit specially for horse grooming.
Of all the above, there are many different products available, from different manufacturers and a wide range of prices.
See what your horsey friends are using, look for personal recommendations and read reviews before you start to “splash the cash”!