Grooming equipment

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What is it ?

Consisting of all the "cleaning" activities of the horse, grooming provides:
* The opportunity to examine the horse from every angle and identify the slightest problem (localised pain, blemishes, wounds, skin or foot disorders, unusual behaviour).
* A massage of the skin and cutaneous muscles which is beneficial for healthy skin. It relaxes muscles, activates blood circulation, soothes the animal and makes them feel good.
* The guarantee of a regular examination of the condition of the feet and shoeing.
* Finally, an opportunity to spend some quality time with the horse.

The grooming kit/bag consists of several specific tools, each having a particular purpose to avoid hurting the often sensitive skin of the horse:
* A hoof pick.
* A curry comb to remove debris, mud, etc.
* A stiff-bristled brush or dandy brush for long hair, long manes, tails, etc.
* A body brush, a soft brush for short hair and to add shine.
* A sponge for the eyes and nose.
* A comb to brush the mane.
* You can then add other items such as a stable rubber, other brushes, etc.


Curry comb

With this we can loosen hair that is stuck down by the previous day's sweat or bedding, in a circular massaging motion.
Take care with horses with delicate skin, or those that have been clipped or are ticklish, as they will be particularly sensitive.
To maintain the effectiveness of the curry comb, it is essential to regularly remove dust and hairs during use by tapping it against a hard surface.
There are several types of curry combs:
- Metal curry comb: with an oval shape, it is made of fluted concentric strips, with a strap on the back for better grip. It is not recommended for use on bony areas. Inexpensive and efficient, it can however oxidise and become deformed if it is dropped or if the horse steps on it.
- American curry comb: composed of concentric toothed circles in soft metal. Avoid using on bony areas or on short hair, as there is a risk of cutting the horse. Ideal for turned out horses, great for removing hair at the spring moult.
- Rubber or plastic curry comb: it is exactly the same shape as the metal curry comb. As the material is less hard, it is a little less efficient. It does have the advantage, however, of not becoming deformed. It can be used on all parts of the horse.
- Finnish curry comb: this is a plastic brush featuring lots of little soft teeth. It is widely used as it is efficient, inexpensive, and with a sturdy shape. Its only disadvantage is that it does wear out over time. It can also be used to detangle the tail and the mane.


Dandy brush or stiff-bristled brush

For a long time this took the form of an old scrubbing brush and some riders prefer this. The bristles are increasingly being replaced with synthetic materials such as polypropylene. This is the first brush to use on a dirty coat. The bristles are long and spaced apart compared to soft brushes. Do not use this brush on sensitive or clipped skin.
It can also be used to detangle the tail.


Soft brush

As its name suggests, this body brush is not at all aggressive and is used on all parts of the horse.
It is used to remove dust from the horse and to smooth the hair to make it shine.
Ideally, the bristles are made from natural silk. They are often made of nylon at a lower cost.


Other accessories

- Stable rubber: soft and absorbent square of fabric used to remove any remaining surface dust and finish off to add shine. It needs to be washed on a regular basis.
- Comb: made of plastic or aluminium, with or without handles, it is mainly used for the mane during grooming.
- Hoof pick: a hooked tool, usually made of metal, with a handle. It is used for cleaning out the underneath of the hooves (sole, frog, collateral grooves, sulcus). Some hoof picks are combined with a small stiff brush that enables thorough cleaning of the collateral grooves, sulcus and frog.
- Sponge: preferably natural, it allows you to wash the eyes, mouth, nostrils, sheath and anus with clean water. Overlooked by many riders, washing the nostrils is essential in order to stop the openings getting blocked, which in turn affects the eyes (watery eyes).


OUR ADVICE

Your horse should be groomed every day, before and after work, to keep its coat and hooves in good condition.
Each horse should have its own grooming kit, and it should be washed and disinfected regularly.
For convenience, store the hygiene and grooming kit in a bag or box.

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