For hundreds of years grooms have used a curry comb and brushes to clean a horse’s coat. In the old days – before we had rubber curry combs or synthetic curry combs – a curry was always made of metal, like the one pictured here from the 1800’s.
Today, we have more options and that means we have to make decisions. This guide is meant to help you find the best curry comb for your horse.
Which is the right option for your horse?
The Rubber Grooming Mitten – limited use
For sensitive areas with little hair
This handy and inexpensive tool can be helpful for sensitive areas with little hair, such as the insides if the hind legs or the hamstrings. The rubber grooming mitten is also a tool great to remove caked-on manure under the tail area or can help clean this areas when giving the horse a bath.
Limitation: Do not use this mitten for everyday grooming on your horse’s coat. The sticky friction damages the individual hairs – meaning NO SHINE!
The Metal Horse Curry with Spiked, Sharp Teeth – limited use
For thicker coats or winter coats with caution!
This can be a useful shedding aid in the spring or find limited use in grooming horses with thicker coats, for instance horses with Cushing’s disease.
If you use this metal curry on your horse, be sure to
- never use on bony protrusions such as hip joints, elbows, hocks
- only gently stroke in the direction of hair growth, otherwise the hair will get damaged
- never use on areas with sparse hair growth such as the horse’s belly or inside of the hind legs
- be careful not to scratch the horse’s skin, which can lead to painful inflammation and skin disorders
The Metal Curry with Wavy, Rounded Teeth – limited use
For muscled areas to loosen dried mud and loose hair
A metal curry with wavy, rounded teeth is great to remove caked-on dirt and dried mud. You can use this metal curry carefully on crusted mud on muscled areas, but never on bony parts such as the shoulder blade.
- use only on well-muscled areas, never on bony areas like the shoulder blade or on joints
- work gently in circular motion to remove loose hair and dried mud etc.
- use to clean your horse brush during the grooming process by stroking the grooming brush against the metal curry every few strokes, then knock out the dirt from the curry on the ground
The Prickly Plastic Curry – NEVER USE!
This cheap monstrosity should never touch a horse’s body. The cheap plastic develops microscopic cracks that have razor-sharp edges, which scratches your horse’s skin and damages the hair.
The result: NO SHINE, injuries to the skin that can lead to infections and skin rashes, horse will start disliking the grooming process.
Read more about this particular problem here: 5 Reasons to Use the Best Horse Brushes
THE BEST CURRY COMB TO USE ON YOUR HORSE
In the 21st century, there is an application for high-quality, durable, innovative synthetic material. This is what your curry comb should be made of. It will last for years and get great results.
High-quality synthetic material is not simply ‘plastic’ (see above). There is some ‘method to the madness’ and the material is resilient and does not crack. Ideally, it’s also not too sticky (Again, rubber is NOT recommended! Imagine YOU brushing your hair with a rubber brush…. what would your hair look like? What does it feel like when the rubber brush pulls on your hair?)
There are generally two types of good horse curry combs:
The FIRM High-Quality Synthetic Curry – Multiple Applications
The classic curry reinvented
Great for all muscled areas and to clean your brush while you are grooming (3 strokes on the horse, then stroke against curry and knock out the dirt).
- work in gentle circular motions, carefully navigating around bony parts to see what feels comfortable to your horse
- use to lift dirt, debris, loose hair to the surface of the coat
- clean your brushes during the grooming process by stroking the brush against the firm curry.
The FLEXIBLE High-Quality Synthetic Curry – Massage Curry
Massage your horse while you curry
This curry is ideal when you want to give your horse a great all over body massage, including boney points, joints, legs, sensitive areas. The flexible curry will lift dirt, debris, dust, loose hair to the surface of the horse’s coat, ready for brushing! You never have to worry about hurting your horse.
- vigorously work in circular motion all over the horse’s body, including the bony areas and face (slow down, get gentler depending on your horse’s responses)
- use a second firm curry to clean your brushes during grooming
We welcome your questions and love to hear from you! Contact us with your grooming questions.
Enjoy your horse!