As an owner of an off-the-track-thouroughbred (ottb), retired from being a full-time horse groom for 13 years (learn more about that here), and living in Montana, I am very specific about my horse grooming essentials. I have a lot of opinions about grooming products, vet care, and horses in general. For me to love a product it has to:
Here are five horse grooming essentials that I couldn’t live without. Let’s be exciting and start at the bottom and work our way to the top.
Yeah I didn’t even know the name of it honestly. Apparently it’s called the “Ultimate Hoof Pick”. All I know is that when there is snow, ice, or mud packed into my horses feet, this is the only thing getting it out. Not this guy:
Far too many times I’ve been out trying desperately to get crap out of my horses feet and this classic hoof pick fails me and bends into a useless stabbing device. I know what the nay-sayers will say about my hoof pick – it is lacking a brush. And I would agree, a brush is definitely helpful. But when it comes to getting everything out of the feet really well, down in the clefts where nobody actually picks out, the Ultimate Hoof Pick wins hands down.
Now I will also say, this violates my third reason for loving a product which is that it is not cheap. It’s about twice as much as a normal hoof pick. However it will last forever, it will make your life easier, and it’s way cheaper than treating your horse’s hoof that has rotted off or has a rock/stick/whatever stuck in it. So it does make my life easier, and does make the list. I am not sure if the dedicated english tack stores carry them, but I know you can find one of these bad boys at Murdoch’s.
I honestly could not live without having this in the barn. I use it for EVERYTHING. It is great for bathing, washing boots, cleaning legs, cleaning around wounds, cleaning buckets, cleaning anything really. I know critics will say it isn’t good for bathing, but it is the only thing that cuts the grease. If you are bathing so much that you are worried about the horse losing some of their natural body oils, then I have another discussion about that. (Over bathing is something I also have opinions about.) As for cleaning other things around the barn it really can’t be beat. Not only does it cut through the grease caked on boots or grain pans with leftover molasses or oil from horse feed, it kills bacteria as well. A win win in my book. Also it is readily available, you can get it pretty much anywhere, and again… cheap.
This may not be a horse grooming tool, but if you have ever had a wounded horse that you had to wrap for any length of time I’m about to change your life. My vet who is amazing and very realistic showed this to me while I had to wrap my horse who tried to rip his own leg off. (Another story for another day.) This is used to keep something in place under a bandage, for example a telfa pad on a wound. We all know that it can be extremely harmful to use something like elasticon or vetwrap under another bandage in case the appendage swells. (You will cut off circulation.) If you don’t know that then there you go. This stuff is wonderful because it’s strong enough to hold a pad, but also breaks when stretched. I wish I had a video.
It is also available at any drugstore, like CVS. Or anyplace that sells bandaging supplies or sports things for humans. At $24 for 8 rolls on Amazon, so $3 a roll, you can’t beat the price either. Compared to Elasticon which is $9.99 a roll! Another item which will always remain in my tack trunk…. especially since I still own that horse.
This one has to be #2 on my list because I literally use it every other time I go see my horse. Again, I own an OTTB that I like to keep out in a pasture. I have started keeping a “car” AluSpray and a “brushbox” AluSpray. This product is great for minor wounds, it provides a barrier to the outside world and the healing properties of aluminum. It’s cheap, you can buy it pretty much at any pet store, and it obviously comes as a spray :). Easy to spray on the leg of a horse that’s running away from you and trying to kick your head off at the same time. I say that from experience, definitely has made my life easier before.
Yes this is a picture from their website. I think I was actually influenced somewhere on social media to buy this girth but damn I’m sure glad I did! Not only is it CUTE, it is super functional and amazing quality as well. They come in neoprene or fuzzy, and have different patterns. A big thing for me is that the liner, fuzzy or neoprene, comes off so you can wash the dang thing! I hate nothing more than grungy gross girths, or anything really. I can also solidly say I have washed mine one million times and the quality remains the same.
This is the one I have, the fuzzy one for the sensitive thoroughbred and he loves it. And I love it because the fuzz is washable. Have I said it’s washable yet? Ain’t nothing cute about a fuzzy girth that is caked in months worth of horse grime from god knows who. It doesn’t necessarily fall under the cheap category, but to me it’s worth it to not get girth itch. I also believe they use eco-friendly and sustainable materials or something? So let’s say that makes up for the initial upfront cost. Can’t put a price on saving the planet right?
There you go. There are the five horse grooming items I could not live without. I hope you enjoyed, maybe learned something, or discovered a product that you are really going to like!
I would love to connect!