When you become a horse-lover, you become a pack rat. Along with your trusty steed, comes an entourage of grooming supplies to keep them looking in tip top form. I’ve decided to put together a little list of my favorite grooming supplies that I simply “don’t leave the barn” without if I’m traveling with my horse. Here’s my “to go” list.
1. I don’t go anywhere without my rubber curry comb and I don’t use just one. I have two favorite types that I start my grooming ritual off with. One being a harder bristled rubber one that is great for getting tough jobs done and removing ground in mud and dirt along with stubborn hair. The next is a softer bristled one that I like to use as a “finisher” on more sensitive areas, like the face and the legs
2. After currying, I move onto any stiff bristled brush- of course I have a favorite that I’ve been using for over 20 something years. I then either follow with a medium bristled or soft bristled finishing brush. If it’s not a real “dirt-dobber” of a day, I might skip the medium brush.
3. Next item would be my hoof pick. I prefer the type with a brush. I like to be able to pick out the foot and then the brush to get rid of excess dirt on the sole and the front of the hoof.
4. I like to apply hoof polish to condition my horse’s hooves, although I don’t do this when rainy and muddy outside. I usually apply hoof dressings more frequently in dry conditions. Some of my favorite hoof polishes include: Hoof Heal, Rain Maker, and my favorite Tuff Stuff.
5. My little secret for adding a polished look to my horse’s coat is simply keeping a dry towel handy to wipe over my horse after finished brushing. This helps remove the layer of dust at the hair’s surface, and if I really want shine, I apply Show Sheen. It really makes my horses coat gleam and also acts as a great dirt repellant.
6. When flies are an issue, my favorite fly repellent is by far Pyrahna fly spray. An application of this really does work and does not irritate my sensitive skinned horse. I’ve tried many, many, fly sprays over the years, and this one really does the trick. Another close tie in is a home remedy consisting of Avon’s Skin so Soft and water. An extra bonus of this concoction is that it smells great while doing the job!
7. I like to keep dryer sheets around in the summertime as well. Believe it or not, these work great with gnats! I rub the sheet on my clothing, hat, and on my horse's face. You won't believe this until you try it. It supposedly helps repel misquitoes too.
8. My other staples are baby oil/mineral oil, and Vaseline. There is nothing that I’ve found as effective on skin rashes like rain rot as good ole Vaseline. I’ll apply and Voila! I like to apply oil to the base of my horses mane and base of tail as an extra conditioner and detangler from time to time as well as well as on my horses face around his eyes occasionally to condition dry skin.
9. Another favorite item of mine is Vetrolin liniment wash. I love the smell and my horse loves a refreshing liniment wash. It seems to last awhile as well.
10. As far as first aid goes, I’m a pack rat, and keep Corona lanolin ointment, Fura-Zone , Wonder dust, ichthammol dressing, DMSO, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, clear eyes, iodine, vetrap, baby diapers, duct tape, a thermometer, reusable ice gel packs, and scissors- my most elusive grooming supply!
11. I'm not picky about shampoos, I use about whatever I can find and just dilute it. But for grey horses, I do use Mrs. Stewart’s liquid bluing or whisk detergent works great for brightening whites on horses and removing stubborn stains.
Every horse owner is going to have their own personal favorite arsenol of favorite supplies. These are just a few of my trusted old faithfuls that I've had success with over the years. Do you know of a great product that you'd like to recommend to others? Please leave a comment and let us know. Happy Grooming!