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Best Grooming Kit?

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  • Best Grooming Kit?

    I want something high quality, preferably no synthetics and more natural things. Anyone have any good ideas of where to start looking?
    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

  • #2
    Do you mean grooming tools (brushes, rub rags, etc)?


    • #3
      I'm extremely particular about my grooming tools, and after using many different things (including very expensive brushes) I now have the following for each of my horses:

      - Metal Curry (I know, some people despise these, but my horses love them): http://www.smartpakequine.com/spiral...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Rubber Curry: http://www.smartpakequine.com/rubber...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Hard Brush: http://www.smartpakequine.com/stiff-...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Medium Brush: http://www.smartpakequine.com/bleach...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Soft Brush: http://www.smartpakequine.com/winner...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Easy Clean Brush (for when I'm really lazy): http://www.smartpakequine.com/easycl...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Cactus Cloth: http://www.victorycanter.com/Equi-Es...Fe4-MgoduVUAsg

      - Hoofpick: http://www.smartpakequine.com/hoof-p...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Hair Brush: human variety, smooth, widely-spaced nylon bristles

      - Comb: human variety, wide teeth on one end, narrow on the other

      - Hair Cutting Shears: human variety, I get the kind with patterned handles

      - Rub Cloth: old washcloth or piece of fleece

      Each horse's grooming tools are stored in a 2 gallon paint bucket (sold at Home Depot/Lowes/etc) with:

      - Flexible Bucket Cover: http://www.smartpakequine.com/ez-on-...x?cm_vc=Search

      - Hanging Hook: http://www.smartpakequine.com/tack-h...x?cm_vc=Search

      Everything is nicely contained in the bucket without much extra room for things I don't need.

      On "quick" days where I'm just knocking off mud I will do the metal curry and then pick hooves. I also keep another hoofpick clipped to the outside of their stalls for *really* quick days. The hair brush doesn't get much use, but I like having it.

      If there is one thing I could live without it's the Easy Clean brush - great idea, but I would just as soon use two brushes.


      • #4
        I particularly like the brushes made by Salmon, but they are hard to find in the US: http://www.hillbrushinc.com/horse-brushes.htm

        I also like the Herm Sprenger brushes: http://www.doversaddlery.com/hs-body...4oi53h1b53a345
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


        • #5
          Originally posted by TrakHack View Post
          I'm extremely particular about my grooming tools, and after using many different things (including very expensive brushes) I now have the following for each of my horses:
          Your kit and my kit are nearly identical, TrakHack. The only added thing I have is one of those jelly curry mitts that you can slip your hand into and flex -- they work really nice to get the dried mud off of the bony places or places you couldn't put a thicker curry (between the legs or butt cheeks).

          I do like a natural bristle as my final slicker soft brush. The one I have is horse hair and it must generate just enough static cling to attract the particles.


          • #6
            I like the small, round, soft rubber curries that fit right in your hand from various makers. I don't like the harder ones or the cutesy ones shaped like animals, just the little round ones.

            I like a pumice "brick" for shedding.

            And I still like a plain old shedding blade, flip it over and use the flat side as a scraper after a bath and use the serrated side on the unclipped pasture denizens.

            I don't like having too much stuff when a few well chosen pieces, 2 brushes, a towel and a sponge used properly and regularly get the job done.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              Hey trakhack, how big (length and width) are those Champion brushes? I have a small hand and find that gripping some of the nicer brushes is difficult. I usually go with those marketed more towards children, the ones that are ~ six inches long...but because they are what they are, they aren't the best for GROOMING.

              For what I use, I stole DH's Oster curry, it has a nice shape to the handle that I can grip. My only complaint is that when you are really getting 'er done, the body of the curry rubs on the last knuckle of my ring finger. Great for getting through winter coats or thicker coats. On thinner skinned critters or freshly body clipped ones, I use a rubber curry that is softer/bendier, has three divots in the sides for your fingers. No strap for the back of the hand, I hate those things. The rubber grooming mitt works great also, I use it in the summer on my gelding instead of a curry. I also use this for baths.

              I got an Oster medium brush last summer and like it. Not as stiff as I'd maybe like, but I enjoy using the small end for getting in some smaller spaces and the "waist" of the brush makes it easy for me to hold.

              Beyond that, my kit contains a regular rubber coated hoof pick, a mane pulling comb, Thrushbuster, a human hair brush, generic neosporin for hock rubs and donkey bites, Orvis shampoo, fly spray and a silicone spray .
              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


              • #8
                TrakHack pretty much covered it! I also have a Herm Sprenger and a Stubben brush. Human hair brushes work better than the horsey kind - less ripping. Winner's Circle makes really nice finishing brushes and the price is reasonable.

                Anything I bought early on in a "kit" I pretty much donated. My favorites I collected over the years after seeing someone with a brush, etc., that I really liked, or by going to tack shops and feeling the brushes, and holding them in my hands to make sure they fit me well.
                Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                • #9
                  My grooming kit is pretty mix and match, as I like to feel the brushes before I buy them, especially with body brushes as I'm quite particular what I want the bristles to be like. Same with rubber curries, I want the right kind of rubber and the right kind of handle. Fussy much?

                  There might not be all the brands I mention available in the US but there is some crossover I know...

                  Jeffries do nice Body Brushes, as do Stubben.
                  Borstiq do a nice range of brushes if you like things to match.
                  Oster is very popular here, but I personally don't like some (most) of the brushes in the range.


                  • #10
                    IMO, this hoof pick cannot be beat. It is worth the $$ for it.

                    For a curry, I use this: http://www.doversaddlery.com/epona-s...er/p/X1-10517/ Again, it's another essential for me..and is the only "curry" I use ever. I also use it to bathe

                    For brushes, I prefer wood back, natural bristles. My essential daily grooming "kit" includes:

                    Stiff Brush
                    Medium Brush (used the most)
                    Soft Brush (only used on occassion)
                    Epona Shed Flower
                    Mane Brush
                    Ultimate Hoofpick
                    Rub Rag (Mine are the Franconia International - they were purchased as baby pads but shrunk and are now excellent rub rags)

                    for occasional use:

                    Pulling comb
                    Old Clipper blade (for blading a thinner mane).
                    Tail comb - I only touch tails if it's been washed, so not much need for this daily
                    Mane Brush
                    metal curry, but I only need it if it has been wet and horse decided to roll in the mud.
                    Last edited by RugBug; Mar. 6, 2013, 02:00 AM.
                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                    • #11
                      Epona Shed Flower - I've not seen these before, looks interesting.


                      • #12
                        I love the shed flower. So much easier to hold than my shedding blade.


                        • #13
                          Is it squishy or rigid?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Loopy View Post
                            Is it squishy or rigid?
                            It's rigid. With itty bitty "teeth."

                            Bonus: all the dirt that it collects can be used as a "stamp" on your horse's butt. I like to give him little flower tattoos.
                            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                            • #15
                              Like many other posters, I'm also a big fan of the Stubben brushes. I also love the Leistner brushes from Germany -- very high end. Pink Equine has a Leistner croc / Swarovski gift set that's to die for.
                              Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                Hey trakhack, how big (length and width) are those Champion brushes? I have a small hand and find that gripping some of the nicer brushes is difficult. I usually go with those marketed more towards children, the ones that are ~ six inches long...but because they are what they are, they aren't the best for GROOMING.
                                The brushes are the 3/4 size, which is 7.5" in length and probably a little less than 3" across in width. I have small hands and slender fingers (size 5 ring finger) and I love this brush size; the full size is just too big. I have a set of 1/2 size brushes, which I think are the 6" variety, but they are in a separate grooming bucket and only used when my nieces are playing My Pretty Pony.

                                I have a set of the Salmon brushes and really wanted to like them, but except for one with copper wires they were all too soft for my horses. My Trakehner is relatively thin-skinned, but he likes harder brushes. My Fjord is so thick-skinned/coated I don't even need to use fly spray - she loves the metal curry, especially on her face.

                                I used to have a Sprenger metal curry that my old mare loved - not sure what happened to it but I would buy it again.

                                One other thing I did with my brushes is heat stamp my initials on them. I love the laser engraving Smartpak does, but to do it on every brush gets pricey. I bought a heat stamping tool and alphabet tiles at a craft store, sanded off the factory finish on the brushes, stamped/burned my initials in, then finished with tung oil. Tung oil is a great choice if you're not too hard on your brushes, otherwise a polyurethane lacquer would probably be better. I also used the heat stamps to mark my tack, too.

                                Last edited by TrakHack; Mar. 6, 2013, 08:41 AM. Reason: Added pic


                                • #17
                                  I'm getting DH a miniature of his registered brand for his birthday (shhh ). Yes it's "for him" but I know I'll be using it a LOT. Hello French saddle, girths, brushes....
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                                  • #18
                                    Very cool! If I had anything better to brand than my initials I would definitely get something custom made.

                                    I did make the mistake of dropping a hot letter on my ankle, so I now have a scar in the shape of an "A". That was a deep burn that took a *long* time to heal. Won't make that mistake again!


                                    • #19
                                      Lots of good stuff here. I do love a good metal curry. That being said, when you deal with a very sensitive soul like I do, you learn to be very, very good with very few tools. On a good day, I can use a jelly scrubber/curry, a medium-soft natural bristle brush and a rub rag (nothing with too much fluff to it. I prefer either an honest to god English rub rags, or the "bar towels" that you can get in in the kitchen department at Target). On a bad day, I'm lucky if I can knock the big chunks off with a very soft round curry and then rub with the rag!

                                      I think the biggest thing to remember is to KEEP YOUR BRUSHES CLEAN!! You can have the best brushes in the world, but if they are filthy, they do very little good. I run my brushes over stall bars or a curry comb every few strokes, every time I use them. They stay VERY clean that way (never get a chance to get dirty!). If they are dirty, I will clean them and dry them in the sun. Curries, combs, and tail brushes get washed in Dawn as needed. Rub rags get washed ALL the time. Clean, clean, clean.
                                      Last edited by yellowbritches; Mar. 6, 2013, 12:03 AM. Reason: spelling


                                      • #20
                                        I've used Winner's Circle (Champion) brushes always. They are my go-to brand when I'm brush shopping. Love them! Smartpak sells a great brush kit from this brand. They have wooden handles which is always a nice touch, and have a nice weight to them.


                                        Beastie Brushes are synthetic, but have a really nice medium stiff bristle on them that works well whether you're just knocking the dust off or loosening up mud.

                                        I prefer a curry mitt over a curry comb. My hands are kid size and type of brush/curry with a handle just doesn't fit me. I also love those Slick 'n Easy grooming blocks for shedding.

                                        Agree that keeping your grooming tools clean makes a huge difference in their effectiveness, and it helps keep from spreading skin diseases. I soak mine in a water/(mostly)vinegar mix to help rid of any fungus or bacteria that might be living in them.
                                        Last edited by Satin Filly; Mar. 6, 2013, 12:45 AM.