Horse grooming basics – curry comb options


There are a few types of horse grooming tools of the curry variety, and they are super during grooming sessions, but not always. But first of all – what are these grooming tools good at? Use grooming gloves and curry combs to massage your horse, bring up loose hair, spread oils on your horse’s coat, and get all of the dirt and dander away from your horse’s skin before you use a hard or soft brush to flick it all away. Some styles of curry are better than others, but it really boils down to what your horse likes and how you use the tool.


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The good, old-fashioned rubber curry comb for horses


  • These rubber “brushes” are the general workhorse for excellent horse care. You can find them in all different colors, sizes, and depths.


  • They also vary in flexibility; let your horse tell you if they prefers a softer or stiffer one.


  • Deeper styles of curry are great for longer hair, and stiffer varieties are great for itchy horses. The deeper type is also more satisfying to smack on the ground and release the dirt.


  • Use a softer variety for faces, ears, and legs, and you might be able to use them in the wash rack for bath time.



This hard rubber curry is a blast to tap on the ground. 


Using a metal curry comb to groom


  • The metal grooming tools are beasts. The metal curry comb is not forgiving at all, has no flexibility to it, and can be painful for a sensitive horse. Even if your horse does like it, It’s best to avoid using a metal curry comb over any bony areas, like the shoulder, hips, or below the elbow and stifle joints. Also, avoid your horse’s legs with this inflexible tool.


  • Metal curries are great for scraping hair and dried sweat from English and Western saddle pads.


  • Use them to swipe your horse brushes against to keep them clean. You can hold the metal comb in one hand and rake your dandy brushes against the metal to flick off newly collected hair and dirt.


  • You can find metal curry combs in two styles: the traditional curry style where it’s oval shaped (below), and the shedding tool style where they are long and perhaps slightly curved, too. I find them fairly interchangeable.


  • Metal curry combs don’t fare too well in the wash rack, so find another type to use during bath time. I have no idea if a stainless steel curry would be better than any other type of metal – it’s all a big experiment.




Curry mitts and jelly mitts


  • These pimpled gloves are great for sensitive horses, faces, bellies, lower legs, and all places in between. They are awesome because you can fold them like a taco to really get into nooks and crannies. Is it weird that your horse has nooks and crannies? NO.


  • These mitts are super in the wash rack. And good for sensitive horses and ponies that are ticklish in delicate areas. And they’re easy to clean and store.


  • The downside? You get what you pay for. I can’t keep these on my hands, and the nubs wear off so easily, but some horses love them.



The pimple mitt is a close relative of the jelly two-sided variety of curry comb. I can’t figure out how to get my hand to stay inside this thing!



Using grooming gloves to massage and bathe


  • Grooming gloves for the win. Very rarely does a horse not love these. Gloves are suitable for use all over a horse’s body since you control the surface area. Do you only need a fingerprint-sized curry comb? You got it. Do you need to cover all of your horse’s land mass? Also got it.


  • You can also control the pressure, which is true for all curry-style horse do-dads. But with gloves, it just feels easier and more responsive.


  • Grooming gloves are best for daily grooming and bathing and are especially helpful in shedding season. They are fantastic for the lower legs to brush and remove crusty, dried poultices.



The HandsOn grooming glove – my fave!



Blocks, weird sponges, and other scrubber grooming tools


  • And then you have the vast assortment of various other curry comb styles. Some are seasonal and are best for shedding, some are best for bot egg removal, some are just best for wildly sensitive horses.


  • The Tiger Tongue is a sponge of sorts; it’s very airy and light, but the material is durable and keeps its shape. Use Tiger Tongues for grooming and bathing. Many sensitive horses dig these.


  • Grooming blocks are hard sponges, almost like coral reef material, but not razor-sharp. A block is really a type of pumice stone, and it is wonderful for shedding season. Bot eggs can also be removed with these stones.


  • I’m not sure how to describe the Strip Hair groomers and similar products except to say they are like hard rubber door stops that are great at deshedding horses.


  • The cactus cloth is a flexible tea-towel-sized cloth that buffs, shines, cleans, and massages your horse. They have so many uses and are really fun to use.


Read more about the cactus cloth here.



The cactus cloth is better at buffing out sweat marks than these brushes combined. 



How often should you use a curry comb?


Curry your horse daily for the best results! A clean horse is less likely to be irritated by their saddle and bridle, and curry combing allows you to monitor their skin and coat health. If your horse has dried sweat or mud, currying helps smooth out the coat. 


What are some uses for curry combs?


Use a curry tool to de-shed your horse, stimulate and massage their skin, help their natural oils distribute on the hair, loosen dirt and dander from the skin, help with bathing, removing poultice from legs, and sometimes removing hair from blankets and saddle pads. 


Does currying help your horse’s coat?


Grooming and currying your horse helps with skin health. The circular action will loosen hair and dirt, bringing them up to be swept away by a dandy brush. The curry also helps spread sebum, which is a horse’s anti-microbial oil in their skin. Currying also boosts shine.


Do you need to curry your horse after a ride?


Grooming your horse after a ride is a great idea. You will massage them, remove dried sweat, smooth out their hair, and remove any dirt and dust they might have picked up on their ride. Currying after riding also reinforces the bond you have with your horse. 


How do you clean your curry comb?


Clean your horse grooming brushes to reduce skin infections and to stop smearing dirt around. Clean at least weekly with mild anti-bacterial soap, then air dry. It’s easy to use your grooming kit or tote as a bucket, and then everything is clean. 


Can you use a curry on a horse’s mane or tail?


You should avoid using a curry comb on your horse’s mane and tail. Instead, use a special mane and tail comb or brush with wide bristles. If there are tangles, use some grooming oil in the mane and tail and work the knots out from the bottom up. 





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Shires Cactus Cloth
$16.79 ($16.79 / Count)
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HandsOn Finishing Gloves - Double Sided
$19.99 ($19.99 / Count)

The jute side buffs to add shine, the other side is fuzzy for lifting dust and applying fly sprays and grooming products.

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Handson Ergonomic Hoof Pick
$19.99 ($19.99 / Count)

This is the strongest hoof pick available!

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Farnam Slick 'N Easy Horse Grooming Block
$5.49 $4.24

Good for grooming, shedding, and bot egg removal

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Haas Lipizzaner Brush
$42.00 ($42.00 / Count)

This brush is luxury and will help your horse shine!

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Electric Cleaner Co Rapid Groom Horse Vacuum
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It's always satisfying to vacuum your horse!

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HANDSON Pet Grooming Gloves - Grooming, Bathing, Shedding
$24.99 $16.99

These are HandsOn Gloves with special pricing! Only in the color gray.

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