Grooming Tips

Woman brushing a horse.
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Over the years, readers have contributed their best tips for grooming their horses. Here is their advice for putting the polish and some finishing touches on your horse's coat, mane and tail and hooves.

Manes and Tails

  • Mix the Calgon™ with water (one part Calgon™ to three parts water). Store in a spray bottle. It will help recondition your horse’s mane and tail. It also works well on knots. Apply liberally and work the knot out with a comb or stiff brush. Jumper_22
  • Spray some Static Guard ™ on a brush and brush out the tail - presto - no flyaway tails! ponyluver10
  • To untangle a matted tail, wash it with soap and water. Ivory liquid will work well. Rinse and apply a hair conditioner following the instructions on the bottle. Allow the tail to dry and then carefully untangle the mat. A plastic comb with large teeth will work well. You will lose some tail hair as the tangle comes out. For a really bad tangle, repeat the process a couple of times. sweedpd2
  • Whatever you do, do NOT put Show Sheen™ or any slippery conditioners on the mane or tail of a hunter that will be braided! Gypsy Pony
  • Remove snarls, tangles and other items from the mane and tail with your fingers. Only use a “people” hairbrush before your class. Brushes and combs break the hair no matter how careful the grooming job. ponyluver10


  • Don’t shampoo your horse too often. If you do you start to cut out his natural oil from his coat - and this again dulls his coat - reversing the effect you wanted to get. RLMarler

Hooves and Legs

  • Instead of using artificial hoof polish, which often leaves cream or runny lines on white hooves, take baby oil and rub the hoof well with it. Wipe off any left over baby oil so nothing stick and voila! a beautiful shiny white hoof. Karrie (Shortie2x4)
  • Cornstarch (French chalk can be expensive) to whiten socks. Jumper_22
  • Get white socks and face markings clean with Pearl Drops™ toothpaste. Use a toothbrush to scrub the socks white. Caution: be gentle when cleaning your horse's face. The toothpaste rinses clean and leaves a fantastic white. When the socks are dry wrap your horse's legs until show time. Use a hood or slinky to keep his face clean. ponyluver10

Finishing Touches

  • This is pretty basic, but I love baby wipes for show touch ups, nose boogies, and tack wipe downs. They are cheap and work great. Shortie2x4
  • A little baby oil will remove most dirt spots when showing. Rub off with a dry cloth and baby oil. sweedpd2
  • Microfibre clothes like the ones you use for dusting are great for putting the final shine on a clean coat. They remove any remaining dust and help pull the oil out of the coat and that helps ​to leave a gleaming finish. 2writenride