A couple of months ago, Terise of Breeches & Boat Shoes asked, “What are some of your grooming bag essentials?” I meant to write a post about it, but promptly forgot until Emma at ‘Fraidy Cat Eventing wrote about the topic a week ago. I was glad of the reminder, not only because I don’t have much exciting stuff to write about (the horses and I are diligently doing boring, low-level dressage things) but because I really needed to clean out my tote.
My grooming tote is an ancient plastic one; it is at least 15 years old, but is probably closer to 20. I have never seen a reason to get rid of it, as I like its size and its portability. A thick layer of dust and horsehair coat the bottom. I think I’ve washed it out once.
On the brush side, I’ve jammed everything I could possibly need for a clean, well-groomed horse. The yellow brush is a very stiff dandy brush, and the brown bristled brush is a soft body brush. I’ve had both for at least 20 years- they were my first brushes for my horse Sadie. I don’t have a clue what brand they are, and I’ve never found brushes I like as well. The gray brush is an ultra-soft HAAS Diva sheepskin brush; I bought it to use on Princess Gina’s face. It adds a great shine to a coat that’s clean. I have two curries, both rubber. The blue is stiff and fairly rigid- perfect for mud removal! The pink is a jelly curry that’s ultra-flexible and ideal for gently rubbing away mud from sensitive areas like the heels and pasterns. I’ve also got two hoof picks, an Oster dog brush I use for mane and tail combing, two pairs of thinning shears, a stout pair of scissors, a metal shedding comb, a tiny stiff face brush, a sliver of a grooming block, and a two year old package of baby wipes that are somehow still moist.
Day-to-day, I generally use the curries, the dandy and body brushes, a hoof pick, and the mane and tail brush on both horses each time I ride. The baby wipes and small stiff face brush are excellent for removing sweat marks from the bridle. I have no idea where the two pairs of thinning shears came from.
On the lotions and potions side, I have a lot of stuff. Much of it came from when I subscribed to A Horse Box (which is a great Christmas gift)! Favorites in here are:
- Lucky Braids Whitener Spray: I can’t recommend this enough for a horse with white socks. Ridiculously easy to use and you don’t have to rinse it off.
- Absorbine Ultra Shield Green Gel: Both horses have fly masks for summer bugs, but I like this gel for ears and noses.
- Herbal Horse Healthy Hair: Smells great and has done a nice job of helping Moe’s sad tail be a little less sad.
- Hay Where’s That Blue Stuff: This is my go-to for weird skin stuff. It’s a lotion, so it’s very easy to apply, and it’s cleared up a mild case of crud on Gina’s hind cannon bones, the very beginnings of scratches on Gina’s pastern, and is now clearing up what appears to be a spot of rainrot on Gina’s belly. (Seriously Gina, WTF!)
I also have a pulling comb because I’m a terrible and cruel horse owner who pulls her horses’ manes instead of trimming them with scissors or clippers. Other oddities on this side include a bot knife, weight tape, jumping bat, and spare sunglasses. (Although now that I have a helmet with built-in sunglasses, I don’t really need the spares!)
It’s been fun to read what sort of things everyone else uses, and to have an excuse to clean out all the used baby wipes and peppermint wrappers lurking in the bottom of my tote!