Horse Grooming Brushes

By Terry Golson

Can you go into a tack store and come out empty-handed? What is it you can’t resist buying? For some people it’s saddle pads. For me, it’s brushes.

Grooming is not only a means to an end – love that shine on a horse – but it’s a process that enables me to ask my horse how he’s feeling, and also a hands-on way to make sure that all is well. It’s a relaxing ritual for both of us.

(In the winter, it’s only relaxing because I spritz him and my brushes with my anti-static spray.

Read this blog for the recipe. It works!)

My grooming box is full.

I have 3 types of curry combs (depending on the level of dirt, shedding, and how sensitive Tonka is feeling determines which one I use.) I have one brush that knock off mud. I have several body brushes that get out dandruff and cleans to the skin. There’s a finish brush with soft bristles that brings out the shine and removes dust. I have two smaller brushes for the face. There’s a wide-toothed comb for the tail. A hoof pick, a tick remover, and scissors.

I went saddle shopping last week. I love independent tack stores that have used gear departments. Log Cabin Tack has a knowledgeable sales staff and a good selection of used saddles. They also have an aisle of brushes. I didn’t get a saddle, but I did get a brush. You can buy things on-line, but grooming tools, for me, require trying out. When brush shopping I take my time. I test how it fits in my hand and feel how the bristles work.

I found this brush. Perfection! It will replace my finish brush which has bristles that are too long and loose to do the job properly.


I have my favorite brushes, but so does Tonka. I’ve stopped using a few that he objected to. That two-tone blue brush in my kit is supposed to be a body brush, but Tonka only allows it on his legs. When I introduced this new brush I didn’t anticipate a problem. It’s as soft as can be, but when my horse felt it on his shoulder and realized that it was a new brush, he gave it a hard look. Tonka had to think about it some before he gave it the okay.

This is how Tonka’s coat looks in winter. That healthy shine is all I need to be motivated to buy yet more brushes.

Do you have something in your grooming box that I don’t? I have enough brushes! What else am I missing?

16 thoughts on “Horse Grooming Brushes

  • Gin

    I bought a little brush that is for pig ears for show pigs. It’s soft, but not too soft. It works really good for around horse ears and on their face because it’s only about 5 inches long and not very wide. My horses like it better than the bigger brushes, easy to get around their eyes and ears without bumping anywhere else.
    I like the looks of that new finish brush.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      That’s one of those nice finishing touches. Tonka would not be happy about water on his ears, (he hates raindrops, too) though. For that, we use the small brush.

  • Shaste

    I don’t see a rubber ‘grooma’ curry in your kit. It’s a round rubber thing that fits in your hand with soft massaging spikes on it. Hands down my favorite tool and even the most sensitive horses love the deep massage!

  • Suzette

    Have you tried the Hands On grooming gloves? Wearing them is a more intimate grooming experience – you really feel your horse’s body, my horses like them, and they’re easy to wash. Thanks for this post and all the other’s. Really enjoy your writing and of course seeing gorgeous Tonka!

  • sara russell

    It was very interesting to read about your brushes. I just bought a small black round curry that is very soft and made for the face. My horses love it!! I bought it at online Schneiders , but it can be found other places, I am sure. I have never seen it at a tack store, but we don’t have any large tack stores around me.

  • sara russell

    I saw in another post about the grooming gloves. I have those too and they are great for taking off winter coats. I don’t usually use them in the summer because they aren’t very soft. However, there are probably some soft ones around.

  • Alison

    I’ve always had an old silk scarf in my grooming box – it’s the finishing touch after body brush or finishing brush and for some reason puts a lovely sheen on a coat. I’ve no idea why – someone told me about silk scarves and animal coats when I was a child with rabbits. Works on any animal coat. I also use one on my dogs 🙂 Worth a go on the gorgeous Tonka x

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