A Guide to Horse Grooming Equipment
Anyone who breeds, keeps or rears horses knows just how comprehensive caring for them can be. These magnificent creatures have intensive dietary and exercise needs and like all domesticated animals they also need a whole lot of love, care, patience and attention. And as any friend to horses knows, their grooming regimen is an important part of their care. Not only is comprehensive grooming essential for show horses and ponies, grooming is essential in maintaining healthy skin and hair for their health as well as their appearance.
What’s more, the grooming process is an important way of strengthening the bond of trust and affection between you and your horse. And the stronger this relationship is, the more rewarding it is for both of you.
We understand that the grooming of your horse is extremely important on a number of levels. That’s why we stock a comprehensive range of high quality grooming products from reliable brands for all kinds of customers and their equine friends...
Essential horse grooming products
Grooming should be carried out as part of your routine horse care. It not only has important benefits for your horse (especially their skin), but it can help to keep you fit too! Basic grooming involves brushing your horse's body in the direction of the hair growth (in order to get rid of mud and dust); tidying his mane and tail and picking out his feet. There are many pieces of horse grooming equipment available to buy, some of which are vital for your horse's wellbeing. The most important grooming supplies include a curry comb, dandy brush and hoof pick
Horses need regular grooming and there are a wide range ofgrooming products you can get to help keep your horse looking at its best. Their tail and mane should be brushed regularly to get rid of tangles and keep them in top condition.
A lot of hard work goes into grooming horses, especially show jumping or showing horses. In order to groom your horse properly there are a few essential products you will need to get such as a comb, brush, furminator and horse wash. You can also get other products that can help make your life easier such as grooming boxes and holdalls. Take a look at some of our essential horse grooming products below.
A curry comb is used to loosen dirt and debris from a horse's skin, bringing it to the surface. It can also stimulate your horse's natural body oils in order to achieve a shinier, healthier looking coat. Curry combs are made from either plastic, rubber or metal and have teeth on one side and a handle on the other. Your hand slides into the handle, ensuring a firm grip. The metal curry combs are usually too harsh to use on your horse and are better for scrapping hair and dirt out of other brushes. The rubber curry combs are good for the main body but not on bony areas.
A dandy brush has stiff bristles that remove the debris that the curry comb brings up to the surface. Grooming should begin at the top of your horse's neck and special care should be taken to groom underneath the halter. Unlike the curry comb, this brush can be used gently on the outside of your horse's legs. I have a Bridleways dandy brush and it's served Henry and I well for a good couple of years. I particularly like that the handle features rubberised inserts, giving it a comfortable, secure hold.
Soft Body Brush
Yes, another brush. But I can assure you that they're all essential for proper horse grooming! This brush is generally used to remove dust and other small particles from parts of the horse's body that are more sensitive, including the face and inner legs. Its bristles are usually made from horse or goat hair or soft synthetic fibres.
This important piece of horse grooming equipment is used to pick the muck out of your horse's hooves. Hooves should be cleaned each day to prevent thrush or other problems which could lead to a horse becoming lame. Using a hoof pick also lets you look for any injuries on the hoof so that they can be treated as soon as possible. It is best to pick out the hooves before you ride to remove any stones and check them after the ride for any debris picked up while out and about.
This grooming item is used when a horse starts to shed his coat. It is a metal blade which is either straight or curved and has teeth. It is mostly used in spring once a horse begins to lose his winter coat and is very effective for the main body areas. It should be used gently as rough handling can easily irritate a horse’s skin and avoid the face, legs and sensitive parts.
A sweat scraper removes sweat from your horse after riding or excess water when he's been washed down or bathed. It is often combined with a shedding blade as one tool. They are generally made from either metal or plastic and have a smooth edge.
These are just a few pieces of horse grooming equipment that you will need to invest in. There are many other pieces which you might find come in useful from time to time.
Mane Pulling Comb
A pulling comb is used for combing through, thinning and shortening the mane. This makes your horse’s mane much easier to handle and manipulate should you want to braid your horse’s hair or take them to shows.
Horse Wash & Conditioners
Choose from a wide range of different horse wash and conditioners to keep your horses coat looking fantastic. If your horse has sensitive skin then try using one of our tea tree shampoos.
Furminator Deshedding Tool
The furminator deshedding tool is specially designed to reduce shedding by up to 90%. It works by pulling out the hair in your horse’s undercoat; the deshedding tool can get beneath the top coat to get rid of excess hair.
Get some stainless steel trimming scissors with a curved blade to trim your horse’s hair.
This grooming holdall has handy compartments to keep your grooming brushes and other products tucked away safely. You can easily carry it around with you and hang it up while you are grooming your horse.
Grooming boxes are another helpful product for storing your grooming products and transporting everything around with you to shows. These smart bags are tough and have side pockets which provide extra storage.
Horse brushes, towels, gloves & more!
Take a look at our range and you’ll find a huge array of horse brushes, towels, cleaning gloves and other grooming tools to help your horse look their best while also helping them to maintain healthy skin and hair. From cleaning gloves to cleaning towels, microfibre drying gloves and (of course) every kind of body and flick brush you can be sure that however you like to groom your horse, you’ll find the right solutions at the right price in our range.
Horse Brushes & Benefits of Grooming
I, like most other riders, find that the most obvious benefit of owning a horse is the ability to hop on for a jaunt through the woods or or down the road. It's a real pleasure that I wish everyone could experience. However, it's important to realise that horses are like cars in that if you don't carry out regular maintenance, their performance suffers. It can be easy to forget about maintenance, particularly if you've enjoyed years of good performance with minimal effort. Horses should receive daily care in the form of grooming with a variety of horse brushes. Here's why:
Extend The Lifespan of Your Grooming Kit
Most horse owners groom their horses regularly, but it's amazing how many neglect to clean their brushes and other grooming tools. It seems odd when you consider you are trying to clean a horse with dirty brushes. Besides, whether you use bright coloured synthetic horse brushes or brushes with natural bristles and wooden backs, they represent an investment. By caring for them as you should, and storing them safely in a horse grooming box, you'll extend their lifespan significantly.
The importance of clean grooming brushes
Really dirty brushes can't help you to achieve a clean horse. Whilst you're brushing him, you'll ideally be scraping a metal curry comb or shedding blade against the tips of the bristles every few strokes in order to flick away dust and hair. However, eventually, the bristles will collect a build-up of grime and sebum. Each time you brush your horse, you'll return this muck to his coat, leaving him looking unsightly and feeling uncomfortable. If dirty brush bristles are neglected long enough, they'll start to clump together, making them even less effective tools for grooming your horse.
Occasional cleaning is all it takes
Occasional cleaning of your grooming brushes with soap and water is all it takes to make your horse brushes perform better and last longer. It reduces the build-up of bacteria in the brush, lessening the likelihood of your horse developing a skin disease. If this does occur, be sure to isolate the brush used on the infected area so that the condition is not spread to other parts of your horse. It's a good idea not to share horse brushes between horses as this may spread contagions. Instead, keep a separate set of grooming tools on hand for each horse.
Soak the brushes for several minutes in hot soapy water, agitating them occasionally in order to loosen dirt. Rinse the brushes, and then repeat the process until the water is clear. Rinsing fully is important as this will prevent a build-up of soap residue in the bristles. Lay your nice, clean grooming brushes on a towel in a warm space where they can dry thoroughly before you return them to their storage container.
Invest in a horse grooming box
If you haven't already, it's a good idea to invest in a horse grooming box. This will enable you to keep your brushes and other horse grooming equipment in excellent condition. Without such a box, they can become dirty, rusty or blunt, and will reach the end of their lives earlier than they should do. Horse grooming boxes come in various different sizes to meet your needs. However, it’s often worth getting one that's larger than you currently require so that it can accommodate future purchases. Boxes that have trays built in are useful for storing smaller pieces of Kit such as hoof care tools and mane combs.
A horse grooming box is not only great for organising your kit but can also double as a handy step. This helps if you have a larger horse and need some extra height to reach the top of his hindquarters (croup) or he holds his head high. Being higher up is easier on the arms when you are plaiting a mane too.
Horses love being clean and well-groomed, so make sure you have everything you need at hand to help them look and feel at their very best.
Grooming allows you to assess your horse's health
Grooming provides you with the ideal opportunity to get your hands on your horse and assess their health. Touching your horse tells you so much more than just looking at him over the stable door. It'll let you know if he's sensitive in particular area, or if he has any strange lumps or rashes or scratches. A good grooming session – which won't take long if you do it every day – can let you pick up on these things before they become big issues.
There are different types of horse brushes for different purposes. Dandy brushes have stiffer bristles and are good for getting caked mud and dirt off a horse's coat but go gently on more bony or sensitive areas and avoid using on the face. Rubber curry combs are good at lifting dirt and loose hair out of the coat and shedding blades are very effective when they are moulting. Body brushes have softer bristles and help to bring your horse's coat up into a shine and you'll even find sheepskin grooming mitts that do the same job too. There are also many other types of horse brushes and combs available so you can create the perfect horse grooming kit.
Grooming increases the bond you share with your horse
Whilst it's true that there are some horses that don't enjoy being groomed, the vast majority do (my Henry certainly does!). This provides the perfect opportunity to bond with your horse in a situation where you're not requiring him to perform any work. This is a release from the demands that you place on him each time you ride him. Grooming is a chance for your horse to relax and for you to give back something to him. Quiet time with you, your horse and a stable brush can go some way to building that special bond that will continue to grow throughout the years.
Grooming is excellent exercise!
If like me you regularly work up a sweat brushing your horse, you'll know that grooming can be great exercise. Working those horse brushes over your horse's top line will definitely work your shoulders and triceps (if you're doing it right!). So if you don't want to splash out on a gym membership, simply increase the amount of time you spend grooming your horse! It'll do wonders for your physique, as well as your horse's wellbeing!
Grooming is more than horse brushes in hand
I often find that if I don't have the time to ride Henry, a grooming session is a good substitute. As well as brushing him, I'll practice some ground exercises with him, such as lateral neck flexion or will pick his hooves up and do some leg extensions. Equine stretches are great for helping with his flexibility and balance. Grooming time in the evening after work is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with my boy.
I'm lucky enough to have a horse to call my own, and some of my favourite times have been spent grooming my beloved Henry until his beautiful coat gleams.
Saving you money on your grooming essentials
Just take a look through our incredible range of equine grooming tools and you’ll see that many of them are available at significantly lower than the RRP. That’s because we’ve spent years developing great relationships with our suppliers so that we can pass the savings on to you, our loyal customers.
We ensure that we maintain a great range of products at affordable prices so that everyone (and every horse) can benefit from them
And that will never change!
Brands you know and trust at prices you’ll love
At Equi Supermarket we are extremely discerning in the brands we choose in our ongoing quest to provide quality and value to our customers. That’s why you’ll only see us represent well known, trusted and innovative brands who consistently deliver quality products made from the very best materials. We carry product lines from prestigious brands like Henry Wag, Haas, Bitz, Trilanco and Furminator.
We regularly review the brands and products that we offer to ensure that we’re never delivering less than the best.
Top Tips for Dealing with Shedding
The weather is improving, spring flowers are in bloom and all is right with the world! Except at the yard where you are lost in a sea of horsehair! Equine shedding is a sure sign of spring and is a necessary and natural process. But it can be very messy!
Shedding isn’t triggered by the temperature but rather by an increase in the hours of daylight. A horses’ coat will begin to loosen and shed early in the year but it is in spring that you will really notice the results. The rate at which horses shed does vary but the shedding pattern of each individual horse tends to remain consistent from year to year.
When Should You Be Concerned?
Shedding (moulting) is completely normal but it is important to recognise your horse’s usual shedding pattern. If your horse is not shedding in the same way as he usually does, this could be a cause for concern. Horses which hold on to their coats longer than usual may be exhibiting the signs of , particularly if they are elderly. Animals with Cushings tend to lose the long hairs under their bellies and chins last. If this pattern develops in your horse, get them checked by your vet.
You can help your horse to shed its coat more quickly by employing some old-fashioned elbow grease! Horses can overheat when exercising if their winter coat lingers for too long. Horses which sweat excessively lose fluids and vital electrolytes. The right grooming routine enables you to control the mess, the timing of the mess and the duration of the shedding. But you will need to engage in lengthy grooming sessions in order to manage the situation.
To groom your horse, use a rubber curry comb to loosen any dead hair. Then use a body brush to remove the hair. A shedding blade can help to address the longer hair along your horse’s back and flanks. Repeated vigorous grooming sessions will completely remove the winter coat. But take care when brushing sensitive areas. Keep monitoring your horse’s electrolyte levels until the winter coat has been completely shed and provide a supplement if required.
You can speed up the process further by oiling your horse. Cover their coat in baby oil and leave the oil to soak in overnight. Then give your horse a warm-water shampoo. The oil will have encouraged the dead hair to slide from the hair follicles.
The fastest way to remove your horse’s winter coat is with full-body clippers and precision trimmers. Most of the winter coat can be removed in just a few hours. Follow the procedure with regular baths, brushing and combing and your horse will benefit from a beautiful coat and will be ready for intensive activity. In the spring, when temperatures drop at night, rug your clipped horse as they will lack the insulation that they need to keep warm.
The spring shedding process can be long and messy but you are able to speed things up a bit so that life is more comfortable for your horse and tidier for you!
Should You Trim Your Horse’s Whiskers?
If you are attending a show, you will want your horse to look at his very best. There is no doubt that whiskers, also known as vibrissae, don’t do much for your horse’s look, but they are a sensory tool for your horse.
Whisker trimming / shaving is legal in the UK but the outlawed in Germany where a trimmed / shaved horse may be disqualified from a competition. The question is, which country has got it right?
Sensory Aids for Horses
The whiskers around a horse’s muzzle provide sensory feedback. They help to create a picture of the environment and so enable the horse to keep a safe distance from unfamiliar objects and substances. The whiskers assist horses to detect small inedible objects in their food. Whiskers around the eyes have a good nerve supply and so pick up vibrations. When something touches the whiskers around the eyes, this elicits a blink response which protects horses’ eyes.
Whiskers appear to make everyday life for a horse easier and safer. So, it does seem a little ludicrous that a horse could be marked down in competition for their appearance if their whiskers haven’t been trimmed. Is the case of humans transferring their vanity to horses?
Potential for Injury
Many riders now refuse to trim their horses’ whiskers even at the risk of losing marks in competition. Horses have been known to bang their heads after having their whiskers removed because it takes time for them to realise that they no longer have them. It is much harder for horses to feel their way around in the dark without whiskers.
While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests horses with trimmed vibrissae are more prone to facial injuries, there is no actual scientific proof. Research is required into exactly how crucial whiskers really are.
There had been studies that looked at the role of whiskers in several species. However, no research conducted into the importance of whiskers to horses. That is until Dutch veterinarian Machteld Van Dierendonck ran a pilot study examining the function of equine whiskers and the effect of shaving them. She failed to produce definitive results and does not know whether this was because she only looked at a small number of horses or whether whiskers aren’t so important after all.
Many equestrians who do shave their horses have reported that there have witnessed no ill effects. Horses which live in controlled environments may do well without whiskers because they simply don’t need them. Whereas horses living wild may not fare so well.
This is a debate which will no doubt continue until scientists can provide more definitive proof one way or the other. The issue does rather expose the human obsession with aesthetics. Horses probably don’t much care what they look like especially when it comes to facial hair!
Bringing you and your horse the best
When it comes to your horse’s grooming, feeding, exercise, supplementation and general care, make Equi Supermarket your one stop shop for all your equine needs. We work tirelessly with a carefully selected range of suppliers to make sure that we bring you and your horse the best across our whole range of products.
Because we bring you the best range at the best prices, you’ll never need to shop anywhere else to give your horse everything they need.
Check out is a superb grooming guide