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.