Brushing is an important part of maintaining your horse. It helps remove sweat and debris that can build up while riding, and it can also help reduce the risk of saddle sores. However, dozens of brands are available, and picking the right one for your horse can be a challenge. We’ve chosen seven of the most popular and widely available brushes to review so you can see the difference between them. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each one and tell you about our experience using them. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we discuss what makes one brush better than another and what you should look for while you shop.
Join us while we discuss size, bristles, uses, durability, and more to help you make an informed purchase.
Quick Glance at the Winners of 2024
|Decker Manufacturing Company Face Horse Brush
|Tough-1 Great Grip Mane & Tail Horse Brush
|Furbliss Equine Multi-Use Grooming Horse Brush
|Oster Equine Care Grooming Horse Brush
|Wahl Professional Equine Horse Grooming Brushes
The 7 Best Horse Brushes
1. Decker Manufacturing Company Face Horse Brush – Best Overall
The Decker Manufacturing Company Face Horse Brush is our pick as the best overall horse brush. This brush features extra soft 1-inch polyester bristles that are perfect for light dusting and touch-ups. Its well suited for gently brushing the muzzle as well as around the eyes and ears. The synthetic bristles are extremely durable and will last for several years.
We enjoyed using the Decker horse brush, and our horses seemed to enjoy it as well. The only problem we had with it was that it’s a little small.
2. Tough-1 Great Grip Mane & Tail Horse Brush – Best Value
The Tough-1 Great Grip Mane & Tail Horse Brush is our pick for the best horse brush for the money. It has an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver over your horse. The rubber-tipped plastic bristle is gentle and safe to use on the face and ears, and its shape helps to massage your horse as you brush.
The only real downside we experienced while using the Tough-1 was that the plastic bristles would break, and after a few weeks, the brush was missing several bristles.
3. Furbliss Equine Multi-Use Grooming Horse Brush – Premium Choice
The Furbliss Equine Multi-Use Grooming Horse Brush is our premium choice horse brush. Its special design allows you to use it as a deshedding tool and for calming and massage. It also has small pockets that hold shampoo during bathing and special teeth to help remove lint and dirt. It’s safe enough for use on the face but rigid enough to use over the entire body. You can use it wet or dry, and it’s easy to clean.
We loved using the Furbliss while we were reviewing it. The only problem we had was that it is a little small, especially if you own more than one horse.
4. Oster Equine Care Grooming Horse Brush
The Furbliss Equine Multi-Use Grooming Horse Brush is a soft brush that uses real hog hair bristles that help soothe the skin as you use it. The contoured sides are easy to grip, so it’s easy to use, and your hand won’t cramp up while you work. The rubber handle is durable and should last you many years.
The problem we had with the Furbliss was that the hog bristles keep falling out, and after a few weeks, we were missing quite a few, which will reduce the brush’s effectiveness.
5. Wahl Professional Equine Horse Grooming Brush
The Wahl Professional Equine Horse Grooming Brush closely resembles a human hairbrush and has a comfortable, rubberized grip that makes it easy to manage and reduces hand fatigue while you are working. It’s extremely durable, and none of our bristles broke while we were using it. It’s perfect for eliminating tangle in the mane and tail.
The biggest downside to the Wahl is that the bristles are quite stiff, so it is easy to hurt the horse by pulling too hard. One of the horses would always try to move away from us if they saw this brush coming.
6. Weaver Leather Bling Brush
The Weaver Leather Bling Brush is an attractive brush suitable for horses as well as other animals. The soft polypropylene bristles are safe to use on the face, and they won’t pull the hair or irritate the horse. The attractive design gives it an authentic appearance that children and collectors will love.
The only downside to the Weaver is that it’s quite small and will take a long time to groom several horses. We also thought it cost a little too much for the size.
7. Equi-Essentials Wood Backed Horsehair Body Brush
The Equi-Essentials Wood Backed Horsehair Body Brush is another attractive brush with dense, soft bristles that create a beautiful horseshoe design. They set the hairs in a finely crafted wood body that will not crack or split while you are using it. The built-in straps hold it on your hand, so it’s incredibly easy to use and won’t make your hands tired.
What we didn’t like about the Equi-Essentials horse brush is that it loses bristles quickly, and some were already collecting in the package when it arrived. The pins holding the straps also fell out quickly, and we were able to reattach them a few times, but then we had to use the brush without straps which became much harder to brush the horses due to hand fatigue.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Horse Brush
Let’s look at a few of the more important things to consider when choosing a horse brush.
The type of horse brush you buy will depend on the type of work you need to do. The first brush style we’ll look at is the curry comb. Curry combs are becoming a more and more popular way of grooming our dogs and cats as well as horses. These devices have firm bristles that pick up and hold hair from a shedding animal. When the brush is full, you can twist the handle or push a button, and the bristles will retract, allowing the hair to fall into the garbage.
Curry combs are an effective way to remove loose hair, massage the horse, and remove dirt, but the bristles can be too hard to use on the face, and lesser expensive models may also scratch and hurt the horse due to the hard bristles. The hair release feature may also be flimsy on inexpensive models and will break easily.
When choosing a curry comb, choose one with stiff but not hard bristles to break up dirt and remove shedding hair without hurting or irritating the horse. Longer bristles will be softer than shorter ones, but they may not massage as well.
Dandy brushes are another type of horse brush that will often use natural fibers but may also use plastic or nylon. Dandy brushes are typically long and narrow, not that much different from a push broom without the handle. These brushes are often curved in the middle, making them easier to hold and work over your horse. More expensive models may have a better ergonomic design, and some will even employ straps that you put your hand through for maximum control.
Dandy brushes are for removing dirt, and you will want to get one with stiffer bristles if your horse is frequently muddy. You can get something a little softer if your horse generally stays clean or objects to the harder brush. Plastic bristles will last much longer and be less expensive than ones that use natural fibers, which will require special care. The handle is often wood or plastic, and once again, the plastic version will last longer, but many people prefer the feel of the wood.
You will also need to check how the bristles are attached when choosing a dandy brush. Most companies glue the bristles into the brush, and while this can lead to hairs falling out, many modern types of glue are improving and will hold the strands for a lifetime. Other brushes will use a wiredrawn technique where the strands are pulled through and secured in place. If you notice small screws in your brush, it likely uses the wiredrawn method and will last a lifetime. The only downside to wiredrawn brushes is that they are more expensive.
Soft brushes make up the majority of the models on our list. These often use synthetic bristles, but the more expensive models will use real horsehair, and they are well suited for grooming the more sensitive areas of the horse, like the face and ears. They have the same basic shape as the dandy brushes but are more flexible. This brush is perfect for removing dust and other small particles without irritating the horse due to the bristles being so close together. Longer hairs will get clogged quicker and require frequent cleaning. Flick brushes are soft brushes with extra-long hairs that flick the dust off the horse using short, quick strokes. Soft brush bristles will be glued or wiredrawn like dandy brushes.
The body brush is another type of soft brush, but with short, tightly packed bristles. These brushes often have a strap to make them easier to hold as you work them into the fur. It helps massage the horse as it removes the dust and will help stimulate the skin into releasing protective oils, leading to a shiny coat. Natural fibers usually work better than plastic because they hold the oils better and can spread them evenly over the body. These brushes have plastic and wooden backs, but many experts recommend a flexible leather back for the best results.
Your horse comb can be plastic, metal, or rubber, and while they may all look the same, tiny differences in the shape of the teeth can make a huge difference in the brush’s effectiveness, and some will even break the hair as you are using it. Combs are great for getting tangles and knots out of the mane and tail, but you need to be careful because it is easy to pull the hair while you are untangling it, making the horse angry and less likely to stand still.
When choosing your next brush, we highly recommend our choice for the best overall. The Decker Manufacturing Company Face Horse Brush is soft and safe to use on the horse’s face. We found it excellent at removing dust without annoying the horse, and it’s extremely durable and will likely last you many years before you need a replacement. Another smart choice is our pick as the best value. The Tough-1 Great Grip Mane & Tail Horse Brush is an inexpensive yet durable brush with plastic bristles that will help massage your horse as it cleans. You can use it to remove dust from the body, and it’s soft enough to use on the face. Finally, the Furbliss Equine Multi-Use Grooming Horse Brush features a modern design that’s well suited to wet and dry use, so it makes a perfect bathing brush as well as a groomer. It removes dust and loose hair and will help promote a clean coat.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found a few brushes you would like to try out. If we have helped you achieve a clean and shiny coat, please share these top horse brushes on Facebook and Twitter.
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Featured Image Credit: Oster, Chewy