With all the money spent on horses, buying high quality grooming tools may seen like a luxury you can’t afford. After all, they’re used to clean mud, dirt and sweat, so they’re not exactly glamorous. While lower quality brushes can get the job done, you might find that upgrading your grooming kit can save you a lot of time, energy and money in the long run.
I’ve used brushes in all shapes, sizes, materials and I’m thoroughly convinced that you get what you pay for. A high quality, well made brush can be so much more efficient for grooming, get better results and will last many years before they need to be replaced. My horses seem to prefer them too!
Ready to make the switch? Here’s 10 Dos and Don’t to investing in high quality horse brushes:
- Do Go Natural – Natural brushes (made from horsehair, goat hair or pig bristle) are the way to go versus nylon or plastic. The natural fibers help to hold and spread the oil for a super shiny coat with less effort.
- Do Shop Around – Check out all your favorite tack shops, both in store and online, to see what’s available. Watch for sales to get the best deals! Most online stores have sales or coupon codes available during major holidays, and Black Friday/Cyber Monday is always a great time to shop. Shopping Tip: The Horse Care on a Budget Facebook Group shares online deals and coupons. Join here.
- Do Read the Reviews – Feedback from other horse owners can be helpful when choosing a set of brushes. Even if you’re buying locally, you can still check Amazon or other online shops to see what people are saying about the brand.
- Do Test it Out – Hold it in you hand, move it up and down, hold it upside down, jump up and down (just kidding) to really see how it will feel, and make sure it fits well in your hand. If you’ve ordered online, do this BEFORE you take it to the barn, so you can still return it if you’re not happy (and check the return policy first).
- Do Look Beyond Brushes – There’s a few other grooming tools that I never want to be without! This includes a good quality hoof pick (like this one), HandsOn Grooming Gloves (read my review here) and a SleekEZ deshedding tool. They’re all inexpensive, and make my grooming kit complete.
- Don’t Buy More than you Need – Most shops have full grooming kits for sale, but they often include a lot of extras you don’t need. Instead, start with one or two good brushes and work your way up from there as your budget permits.
- Don’t Forget to Read the Fine Print – I once purchased a set of brushes online that were a high quality brand and really well priced. In my excitement I failed to read that they were MINI sized. Oops! My kids now use them 🙂
Don’t Leave them Unlabeled – If you board at a busy barn, or travel to shows, I highly recommend labeling your brushes with at the least your name, and maybe even your phone number or barn’s name. It just takes a moment, and could save you a lot of stress. Not the mention the drama with other boarders because of “missing” brushes!
- Don’t Neglect Them – Just like with any investment, you need to do your part in maintaining your brushes. Unlike synthetic materials like plastic, natural brushes can’t just be hosed off and thrown back in the grooming kit. It’s important to use a gentle cleaner while protecting the wood from excess moisture. In the eBook, Starter’s Guide to DIY Horse Care, I share my recipe for homemade brush cleaner and an easy cleaning process that works well for me.
- Don’t Blow the Budget – Did you know Hermes has a line of horse brushes? Well they do, and they’re amazing, but they’re well over $100 each. If you have that kind of money, then I’m sure it would be well worth it. For the rest of us, stick with a price range you’re comfortable in and stay there! You can always upgrade later.
What’s your favorite horse brush?