The Best Inexpensive Horse Grooming Tools
Boy howdy horses are expensive, but there are a few things we can buy for them that are inexpensive and helpful for their health. We can help our horses thrive by learning their normals and thoroughly monitoring their vitals.
Another affordable part of horses is using your grooming time to do the basics – skin, coat, and hoof care. Sometimes, the best inexpensive horse grooming tools can tell you the most about your horse!
A horse’s weight can directly impact their health. Hard keepers need nutritional and caloric support. Easy keepers must avoid insulin resistance, among other things, that comes with obesity.
Unless you have a livestock scale at the barn, an exact measure of your horse’s weight is not likely. However, weighing your horse using the exact measurement placings and math gives you an estimate. That’s fine – you are looking for weight loss and gain trends.
There is no better satisfaction than grooming your horse and not having dirty fingernails. I use grooming gloves for bathing, daily curry combing, and shedding. And the colors!
Many horses love them, some are neutral, and others dislike them. It’s up to you to read your horse’s body language. Varying the pressure may also help your horse lean into grooming with gloves. Sometimes, a firmer hand is best – other times, not so much.
Horses are master illusionists (except when spooking) and can have a fever long before they show you any signs. Knowing your horse’s baseline temperature and other vital signs alerts you to dangers and helps your vet evaluate and create a treatment plan for your horse.
A thermometer is inexpensive and easy to use. Battery-operated thermometers are quick, but the batteries eventually run out of juice. A non-mercury shakedown thermometer is an excellent back-up.
Your horse’s hoof health may be the most important thing to pay attention to. You can never really pick a hoof too much – before and after turnout, riding, and any other times you want to throw in a hoof picking here and there.
Proper hoof picking and close inspection of the hooves can keep your horse ahead of any hoof problems. And here’s the kicker about hoof things – abscesses, bruises, laminitis, and even a tweaked shoe can look the same.
I like the more ergonomic hoof picks, with a longer pick for stones and tight grooves.
Hot water kettle
Insta-hot kettles are my favorite tool for grooming horses in winter. Hot water is scarce at some barns, and using a kettle gives you enough hot water to make mushy meals, hot towel your horse’s stains, warm bits up, and more.
Most kettles make enough for a few servings of coffee and tea, but you can find some larger ones if you need. You do need an outlet for most models; some are cordless.
And it’s lovely to wipe your dirty hands with a warm cloth instead of cold hose water.
I have long been a fan of the washcloth for grooming. Cloths are super for lifting the last bits of dust, stain removal, cleaning noses and butts (with different cloths, of course), and keeping your own hands clean.
Then I discovered double-sided cloths – with some textured netting on one side. Use them when you need more “oomph” and scrubbing power.
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