Plastic curry combs: should you use one on your horse?

Plastic curry combs. Some people love them, others hate them. Unsure if you should use one and if so, how? Liz Daniels, communications director at the British Grooms Association, is here  to help. 

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Your Horse reader asks: I’ve heard that cheap plastic curry combs can create micro-abrasions on the hair, strip the hair of its natural oil coating? Is this true? What should I use instead?

Liz answers...

Recent reports online have suggested that this is the case, and that sharp ends of plastic curry combs can even damage the skin.

When grooming your horse, it’s important to use good quality products and if you’re using a plastic curry comb then make sure the ends are rounded.

While I have never experienced a plastic curry comb causing any harm, I have seen a similar thing with a cheaper ‘flicker’ brush because the plastic bristles were too coarse.

Watch your horse’s body language as you’re brushing him and he’ll usually tell you if he’s enjoying being brushed with a plastic curry comb or not. If you think he's not happy having a specific brush used on him, try the following:

  • Try a rubber curry comb

A great substitute for a plastic curry comb is a rubber curry comb. These are really good for removing mud and loose hair.

  • Switch to a magic brush 

Magic brushes are also very useful for doing the same job and have lots of finer plastic bristles, which are also much softer.

  • Watch the pressure 

If you’re still unsure, try brushing your own arm with the same pressure you use on your horse. That way, you'll have a better understanding of what your chosen brush feels like to him. 

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WE ♡

At Your Horse HQ we're smitten with these brushes from MagicBrush.

A great alternative to the plastic curry comb, they're ideal for horses who love a massage or the occasional scratch — especially when the seasons change and they shed their coats. 

RRP: £13.99

Available in all good tack stores.

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