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Basic Grooming Tools

If you're getting your first horse one of the first things, you'll want to put together is a groomingkit.
Basic grooming tools
Grooming time is usually a relaxing time for both horse and owner. I get a great deal of satisfaction from removing dust or mud, de-tangling manes and tails and making hooves look neat and tidy. My horse loves it too. She'll stand for hours to be brushed and combed. She's the only horse I've ever met that doesn't mind having her mane pulled for a short time. There're a few spots that she likes me to scratch and spend extra time working on. Her lips twitch, and her whole body relaxes.
Groom kit
There are few horses out there that hate being groomed. Usually, there is a reason for this, and sometimes the solution is as simple as using softer brushes and a lighter touch. The article My Horse Doesn't Like Being Groomed may help if your horse objects to grooming.
Here are some suggestions for brushes and tools that will help you put a gloss on your horse's coat while aiding good health from ears to tail to hooves.
• Hoof Pick
One of the most important things you'll have in your grooming kit is a hoof pick. This item won't make your horse prettier, but it will help keep its hooves healthier. Daily cleaning with a hoof pick means you'll be keeping an eye on what's happening on the underside of the hoof. While you're clearing out the dirt and manure that may be packed into the hoof, you'll also be able to check for things like thrush, stone bruises, punctures, white line disease or other problems.
There are a variety of hoof picks available. I prefer a pick with a stiff bristle brush attached and a comfortable handle. The old-fashioned metal hoof picks are certainly utilitarian and get the job done, but there are some other options. I find a hoof pick with a wide handle most comfortable to work with. Recently, I reviewed a hoof pick that featured an LED light, a stiff bristle brush and sturdy hook. Despite the variety of picks I own, I find I use this one the most. The light lets you get a really good look at the bottom of the hoof, and the brush is useful for whisking away bits of dirt.
A hoof pick is important enough to carry with you when you're out trail riding too. There area variety of lightweight and foldable picks available. So you might want to pick out one to carry in a saddle pack and your grooming tool tote. More »
• Curry Comb
A stiff curry comb is made of rubber, metal or plastic. Despite it being called a curry comb it looks more like a brush and is used for removing that first layer of dirt, loose hair and grime when you begin to groom. Currying is the first step when you're grooming. A curry comb is round or oval with several rows of solid teeth to really grab at dirt. There's often a strap that goes over your hand allowing you to keep a secure hold on the brush as you vigorously stroke your horse in big circles to knock out dirt. I dislike the metal curry combs that have a handle for anything but pulling out a shedding coat. I feel it's too easy to scratch the skin with these tools. Some horses might find currying too vigorous in some areas of their bodies such as the stomach orflank. Use a light touch in these areas until you find out what your horse enjoys.
To clean dirt and hair tap that the curry comb picks up, tap it repeatedly, teeth downwards on a hard surface such as a stall wall or rail. All the hair and dirt will come out easily. More »
• Body Brush or Dandy Brush
A body brush has a plastic or wooden back with sturdy plastic bristles about 2 1/2 inches long. This brush is used to help finish removing dirt from your horse's coat. I use it in a vigorous whisking motion after I've finished currying. The body brush can be used all over your horse's coat, and I even use it to smooth out the mane and tail when I'm in a hurry. Use your curry comb or mane comb to pull dirt and hair from the bristles of your body brush. More »
• Mane and Tail Comb
Mane and tail combs come in several varieties. There are long and short ones, plastic and metal ones. I prefer plastic as I feel the metal variety breaks the hair more easily. To use the mane and tail comb, start combing the mane and tail from the bottom of the strands and work your way up. Be gentle removing any tangles. A grooming spray helps comb through the strands without breaking too many. Some mane and tail hairs will come out, and this isn't necessarily because you're breaking or pulling them out. Some hair loss is normal, just as it is when you comb your own hair. To clean out the comb, you can pull out any hair caught in the teeth with your fingers.
Some people forgo using a mane and tail comb altogether and substitute a cheap hair brush. I usually comb first and then brush to get the tail and mane really shiny and full looking. More »