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Brushes for a "yak"

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  • Brushes for a "yak"

    Okay, I've never had this problem before..

    I have a 30 yr old guy who definitely has Cushings and, given that it's Oct in New England, has a very thick coat (hence the "yak").

    None of my hard brushes work!

    Any recommendations for hard, stiff brushes that will work for a thick-coated horse who thinks mud is a required daily beauty treatment? It's too cold to continue hosing.

    Curry-combing, same issue.


  • #2
    Try an Epona Shed Flower instead of a regular curry. They are the most amazing thing I have found so far for removing mud (even caked on) and loose hair.


    • #3


      • #4
        I second the shed flower -- any thing with long rubber knobs will get through the thicker hair.

        A large dog Furminator might also help to thin out the coat to make it easier to manage.


        • #5


          • #6
            Originally posted by furlong47 View Post
            Try an Epona Shed Flower instead of a regular curry. They are the most amazing thing I have found so far for removing mud (even caked on) and loose hair.
            That's a good suggestion - I've heard good things about those.

            Personally, I have one of the Oster coarse curries like this one: http://www.osterpro.com/Product.aspx...=982&pid=12650 and I really like it. The nubs are really big and long, so they would probably also work.
            "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
            -Edward Hoagland


            • #7
              2nd Epona Shed flower, although at 30yrs old with Cushings he may not appreciate it if he is bony.
              Also recommend human hair brushes, both the plastic bristle kind with the little round ball on the ends, and the very stiff synthetic "boar bristle" types.

              They will not hold up as long, but you can usually find cheap variations at Dollar General, Family Dollar or other low-price outlets. I think the key with these types of coats is to have the bristles farther apart to let them part the hair and get down to the skin, whereas normal horse brushes and curries will simply lay the top layer of hair down over all the other hair and gunk.

              You can also clip, and that does't necessarily mean a standard clip. I would clip my mini with the yak coat using a blade guard just to take it down to a more manageable length so she didn't get the super-caked tendrils. Also took off the long leg hairs and clipped her shorter behind elbows, under belly, etc. where she tended to sweat and get matted, but left enough hair that I wouldn't need to blanket. It took some practice and I did accidentally gouge a few spots. Use a longer clipper guard than you think, and you can always take more off if needed. But taking her coat from 3-4" long to 1-1.5" made a big difference in her groomability. I had thought about trying to find one of those old "Flowbees" - the vacuum attachmet that cuts hair - www.flowbee.com - but she probably would have clogged that thing up, unless you could hook it up to an industrial shopvac!


              • #8
                I would personally put the horse on Prascend tabs to see if he could at least partially shed out the abnormal coat. It might also help with other Cushings symptoms such as sweating, excessive drinking and urinating, laminitis and more. I have been pleasantly surprised at our 23-year-old pony's summer and now fall coat this year - which has come in MUCH lighter so far this year. It is his first year on the Prascend. Our pony has had a VERY thick and curly coat in the past, which is difficult to keep clean and dry - a requirement for Cushings horses due to lowered immunity and skin problems. If this is not an option, I second the clipping regimen.


                • #9
                  Tractor Supply has this really stiff, oval brush, that really gets in there, gets all that deep dander out, and cuts through the mud really well, even on long coats. I really like it.
                  Just like this one....

                  Definitely too harsh for really hard brushing, but I use it on the legs sometimes if the mud is really caked on there.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for the suggestions!

                    smay, he is on Pergolide. His main symptom is heavy coat but he has always grown a nice coat in the winter. It's soft and silky, he just loves his daily mudbath and with the coat being longer now, it's harder to get through.

                    meaty ogre, I haven't clipped in years but maybe I'll get brave.

                    Thanks for the ideas!

                    I do know he sure does LOVE all the extra work I haev to do to make him clean. I think he carefully plans his rolling to maximize the clean-up effort needed later.


                    • #11
                      Yes, I had that exact same thing with our pony on Pergolide - his Cushings symptoms were somewhat kept at bay, but his coat was still that REALLY thick, and often curly haircoat that he seemed to sweat under a lot, even in winter!!! So we kept him clipped and blanketed when necessary. Our vet switched him to Prascend this spring, and his coat quality really changed on the new meds! He now has a nearly normal summer coat, and his "winter" coat is coming in normally as well - not curly, not long or rough, just nice and plush. I really see a difference and I'm hoping we won't have to clip him or blanket him this winter. His coat is the least of our worries however, since he has developed a chronic case of laminitis over the years. Cushings horses are a toughie.


                      • #12
                        I use slicker brushes like these:


                        to get through the long shaggy winter coat on my pony when it's caked with mud. The brush does seem to "tickle" though on more sensitive areas


                        • #13
                          don't flame me

                          I find a metal curry comb does wonders (not below the knees and hocks). For some reason even the delicate flowers I have groomed don't seem to mind.
                          A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lizathenag View Post
                            I find a metal curry comb does wonders (not below the knees and hocks). For some reason even the delicate flowers I have groomed don't seem to mind.
                            Yup, knock the mud off gently with one of these or a shedding blade. Follow with a long, sturdy natural fiber stiff brush.
                            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lizathenag View Post
                              I find a metal curry comb does wonders (not below the knees and hocks). For some reason even the delicate flowers I have groomed don't seem to mind.
                              You shouldn't get flamed. I think it was Anky's American groom who said she used one on Anky's horses.

                              eta: I wouldn't do a whole body clip now unless you blanket. But a bib or trace clip would probably help.
                              Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


                              • #16
                                Shedding blade!

                                I don't know how I survived 30+ years with horses and never thought of this (or noticed anyone else using one this way), but a shedding blade does wonders for pulling the chunky dried concrete-hard mud off the horsie. If he's had a good roll in a mud-pond, I use the shedding blade to get the dried muck-sheets off, then curry to get him "basically" clean.
                                *friend of bar.ka

                                "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                                • #17
                                  For the really hairy ones in the winter I use a flexible plastic mane brush.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by lizathenag View Post
                                    I find a metal curry comb does wonders (not below the knees and hocks). For some reason even the delicate flowers I have groomed don't seem to mind.
                                    I'd never get the mud off my yak if it wasn't for a metal curry comb! It's my most essential winter grooming tool.
                                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                                    • #19
                                      Human hair brush. I used one on my wooly senior for the last couple years when he was too shaggy to brush with a horse brush.
                                      R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
                                      36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever


                                      • #20
                                        I use an dog undercoat rake on my very hairy mini:


                                        You can get them with double sets of teeth as well. They are great for longer-coated horses.