How to Groom a Horse

Horses April 01, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

Jennifer Whittle, eXtension HorseQuest Intern

We all spend countless hours getting our horses ready for the show ring. But how much effort do we really spend grooming our horse each day? Grooming is an important task that should be performed along with other daily tasks. Grooming keeps the horse’s skin healthy and provides a way for you to bond with your horse.

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Safety First

But before you even begin to groom your horse, you must understand how to safely handle your horse. When grooming, you have several options. You may tie your horse or you can have another handler hold the horse. To review other safe handling practices, check out the learning lessons and the instructional videos Ground Handling Horses Safely and Horse Owner Survival.

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Safely Working Around Horses

Grooming Tools

Basic grooming of horses requires a few, standard tools. These can usually be found at a local feed or tack store, and most grooming tools are relatively inexpensive. Here is a list of the basic grooming tools needed. To learn more about using each type of tool, click on the link.

  • Curry Comb – A curry comb used to remove dirt, mud, old hair and debris from your horse.
  • Dandy Brush– A dandy brush is used to remove dirt and hair that was loosened by the curry comb.
Grooming Box
  • Body Brush – Body brushes are used to remove dust and finer particles. It also brings out the natural oils in the horse’s hair coat. A body brush can also be used on the horse’s face.
  • Mane and Tail Comb – A mane and tail comb is used to detangle the horse’s mane and tail.
  • Hoof Pick - Hoof picks are used to remove dirt, rocks and debris from the horse’s hooves.


Learn more about grooming a horse - check out these instructional videos!

Take a Learning Lesson

For more information about grooming and handling your horse, check out the learning lesson, Horse Owner Survival.

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.