The Tools of Horse Grooming

Posted by Green Mountain Horse and Tack on 3rd Jun 2022

Grooming your horse is not only a necessary procedure for the health of your horse, but also a therapeutic, mindful and healthy activity for the horse owner. Any time spent with your horse is therapeutic, no doubt about it. Many horse owners with tell you that more than a few problems, emotional trials and mental challenges have been worked out to a positive end during the times when they groom their beloved horse. This article will run through the basic tools of horse grooming that should be in your grooming kit to keep your horse healthy.

Horses are groomed before being worked for two reasons: cosmetics and health. Of course, you want your horse to look great while you’re working him or her. But you also want to make sure that there is no dirt or foreign materials between your horse and your tack that can rub and irritate your horse and develop into more serious sores and rashes over time. Grooming stimulates your horse’s skin and keeps it healthy. A clean horse will also be good for the investment you’ve made in your horse tack, preventing unnecessary wear and tear from hidden dirt and material in your horse’s coat.

The extent and frequency of grooming will depend on how dirty your horse gets, whether it has a winter coat or a summer coat and whether you’re grooming on a basic maintenance schedule, or preparing for a big show. Having the right tools to properly groom your horse is vital to get the job done well, so let’s quickly review the tools that you should make sure you have in your grooming kit.

Dandy Brush

As your horse meets the environment, whether by pasturing or on a trail ride, if the ground is moist, mud will be present and will splash and collect on your horse’s legs and lower body. If standing water is present, it is truly astonishing how thickly caked the mud will collect onto the legs and body. The dandy brush is a stiff-bristled brush that is used to remove mud from the legs and the body. It’s similar to a stiff boot brush and will quickly chew through the dried mud and clean it off your horse’s feet, legs and body.

Body Brush

After you use the dandy brush to get the mud off, the soft-bristle body brush can be used to remove the remaining dust out of the horse’s coat and more sensitive areas of your horse.

Plastic Curry Comb

This comb is an alternative way to remove caked mud in addition to the dandy brush. It’s a good idea to start with the plastic curry comb to break out the heavy mud, as the bristles are not as likely to become clogged with mud as the dandy brush will when addressing heavy mud on your horse. It also works very nicely to clean the mud out of your dandy brush’s longer and more tightly condensed bristles.

Rubber Curry Comb

The rubber curry is wonderful to de-shed your horse’s winter coat and most horses love the massage the rubber curry will deliver. The nubs on the brush have a bit of a tacky texture and pulls out loose hairs from the coat very nicely.

Face Brush

The face brush can come with stiff bristles and soft bristle and are designed to be used on the sensitive areas on the face. The nerves under the skin of a horses face are extremely sensitive, so it’s important to use the face brush on these delicate areas. Use a stiff-bristle face brush for removing dirt and the soft-bristle for de-shedding and smoothing.

Soft Sponge

The moistened sponge is used to remove stains and dirt from the face and the dock (tail area). Use separate sponges that are dedicated for each area.

Metal Pulling Comb

The metal pulling comb is used to comb and “pull”, or remove, long hairs from the main and tail for pre-show finishing.

Shedding Blade/Shedding Curry

When winter coats are thick, the metal shedding curry is unmatched in its effectiveness in loosing and removing shed hairs. Use the shedding curry and then brush off the loose hairs with the body brush.

Hoof Pick
The hoof pick is used to dig out the dirt from the pits and valleys of the hoof, vital for the health of your horse.

Sweat Scraper

The sweat scraper acts like a squeegee to remove sweat or remove excess water from your horse’s coat after bathing.


Clipping a horse can be a thorough job, such as clipping the winter coat of a horse in preparation for a show, or just a touch up around the muzzle and ears. How you plan to clip your horse will determine whether you need electric clippers or an easy and inexpensive disposable shaver. But if you’re showing your horse, you will want to purchase a shaver or electric clipper to tidy up your horse’s appearance.

This list is by no means an exhaustive list of the dozens of grooming tools on the market today, but it should give you the ability to set your sights on the grooming tools you’ll need for your desired activities with your horse and your horse’s health and well-being. A grooming tote of some kind is also a staple item for most horse owners so all these items can remain organized and in easy reach. Keeping your horse healthy is the most important aim for a horse owner. Enjoying the time you spend grooming your horse should also be one of your primary goals. You can accomplish much during this time, not only for your horse, but also for your own well-being.