When the days begin to get a bit longer and a bit warmer, horses naturally start to lose their long, outer layer of protective hair. You’d be surprised how much hair can come off of one horse! Although horses shed naturally, a shedding tool can help the process along dramatically.
Contrary to popular belief, horse shedding is not caused by temperature, but by the amount of light in a given day. As the days get longer, your horse’s coat begins to loosen and shed, and the process actually begins long before it becomes noticeable. Most horses will shed along a particular pattern too, beginning with their necks and then down to their flanks, but this isn’t always the case. Either way, it makes for an unsightly patchy pattern. While it is not a cause for concern, it can certainly be helped along with the correct tools.
In this article, we tracked down the best horse shedding tools and gave each an in-depth review to help you choose the best one for you and your horse. Let’s get started!
A Glance at Our Winners in 2024
|Decker Manufacturing Double Blade Horse Shedder
|Farnam Slick 'N Easy Horse Grooming
|StripHair The Gentle Groomer
|Weaver Leather Horse Shedding Comb
|Wahl Professional Horse Shedding Blade
The 7 Best Horse Shedding Tools
1. Decker Manufacturing Double Blade Horse Shedder — Best Overall
The Decker Manufacturing Company’s Double Blade Horse Shedder will keep your horse looking their best, removing not only dead, loose hair but also caked mud and dirt quickly and easily. The shedder has two, sturdy, stainless-steel blades, with one side equipped with rounded curry comb teeth made for shedding and heavy cleaning and the other smooth and flat for sweat and moisture removal. The shedder has a comfortable, sturdy, non-slip grip for use as a loop, but the shedder can also be used as an open blade to cover more surface area and make the job faster. It’s made in the U.S.A. and is our top choice of horse shedder overall.
The only drawback we found with this shedder is that the blades are somewhat flimsy and bend easily, which can make the brushing process difficult.
2. Farnam Slick ‘N Easy Horse Grooming — Best Value
The Farnam Slick ‘N’ Easy shedder is the best horse shedding tool for the money. The fiberglass block easily removes hair and dirt from your horse’s coat in minutes, and one block can be used for 10–12 horses. The block cleans off loose hair quickly and easily but can also be used to clean matted hair from blankets, sheets, and saddle pads. Once the edges become rounded, you can simply scrape the black against abrasive concrete to sharpen them up again. This is an inexpensive yet highly functional tool, and it can be used along the small edge or used flat for larger areas. It is great for sensitive areas, like the tendons, legs, and face.
Some customers report that this shedding tool broke easily once in use and that small pieces crack off easily. This keeps the Farnam shedder from the top position on this list.
3. StripHair The Gentle Groomer — Premium Choice
If you’re looking for a premium shedding tool that will do the job well and last a long time, look no further than the Gentle Groomer from StripHair. The multipurpose tool is blade-free, flexible, and comfortable to hold and contours comfortably to your horse’s body. One side of the tool consists of small, soft cleaning diamonds that are perfect for sensitive areas like the face and legs. The other side has larger diamonds that remove loose hair and dried mud and massage and relax your horse, with gentle grooming edges. The tool is clean and sanitary because it will not collect hair or dirt and potentially harbor bacteria and is easy to clean. The groomer is made in the U.S.A. and comes with an included carry case.
Some users found that the tool was uncomfortable to hold for extended periods, so if you are using it on multiple horses, you may get cramping in your hands. Also, the tool removes mud and dirt well but mostly glides over the longer hair, not removing it as efficiently as one would want, keeping it from the top two spots on this list.
4. Weaver Leather Horse Shedding Comb
The Weaver Leather Horse Shedding Comb is a simple yet effective tool for pulling out shedding hair and won’t harm your horse or make them feel uncomfortable. The comb has a 4-inch head with 29 evenly-spaced, stainless-steel teeth that effectively catch dead hair and dirt, with rounded tips that will not get caught on or hurt your horse. The head is attached to a durable “Y” frame that won’t easily bend or break, with a grippy, comfortable, non-slip handle that is comfortable to use. The steel blade is detachable, making it a breeze to clean.
There is honestly nothing to fault on this shedding tool, although it is rather small, which can be tiresome to use.
5. Wahl Professional Horse Shedding Blade
The Wahl Professional Horse Shedding Blade is a simple, functional, and easy-to-use shedding tool that will keep your horse’s coat sleek and smooth throughout the shedding season. The tool has two stainless-steel serrated blades that effectively remove dead hair and dirt, with one side equipped with larger serrations for tough areas and the other for more detailed shedding on sensitive areas. The tool has a comfortable, ergonomic handle that is easy to grip, and the entire blade opens up for working on large areas of your horse.
The only issue that we found with this tool is the teeth on the blade: Although they are small, they may still cause discomfort to your horse. The blade itself is also fairly flimsy and can twist easily.
6. EquiGroomer Self-Cleaning Deshedding Tool
The EquiGroomer shedding tool is made in the U.S.A., with a comfortable, ergonomic handle that comes in a variety of different colors. The tool’s blade has pet-safe barbs that won’t hurt your horse or cause discomfort but will still effectively remove dead hair and dirt. The teeth of the blade are finished in a rust-resistant epoxy to prolong the blade’s life. Both the blade and handle are easy to clean, with three coats of pet-safe paint in bright colors.
Several users reported that the blade bent fairly easily, and although it has “pet-safe” barbs, it still caused their horses discomfort. It is also fairly small, so it may take a while to go over your entire horse.
7. Tough 1 Shop Double Blade Shedder
The Double Blade Shedder from Tough 1 is a simple shedding tool that does the job. It has two stainless-steel blades, with fine teeth on one side that remove dead hair effortlessly and easily and a straight, flat edge on the other side to remove sweat and moisture. The blade is attached to a comfortable rubber handle and easily detaches to make the blade longer and cover more surface area.
The blade is fairly flimsy, and customers report that it bends easily. Also, the clasp to enlarge the blade is placed poorly and can make brushing uncomfortable.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Horse Shedding Tool
Spring is that wonderful time of year when flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and trees begin their new growth, but for equestrians, spring is also the beginning of a less idyllic time: shedding. Your horse may have already begun shedding, leaving balls of hair laying around the stable or sticking to your clothes. This natural process happens to horses every year, and the best way to deal with it is with a shedding tool that can help you quickly and effectively get rid of dead, shedding hair before it ends up all over the stable.
A shedding brush or blade is a simple tool specially made for one purpose, but there are tons of products on the market, and it can quickly become overwhelming to find the right tool for the job. When looking for a new shedding tool, you’ll want it to work properly and be durable and safe to use on your horse. Let’s take a look at a few factors to consider when buying a shedding tool.
There are four different types of shedding tools commonly used on horses, and each has unique pros and cons.
A shedding blade tool has a stainless-steel blade inside a handle and multiple uses, making it one of the more popular shedding tools. It is comprised of a long, steel strip with sharp teeth on one side and a flat surface on the other, and when these teeth are dragged over your horse’s coat, they pull out the winter hairs. It is also great for removing dried, crusted mud, and the flat side can be used for sweat and moisture removal. It usually has a comfortable rubber handle, and the blade can be extended to cover more surface area. Steel shedding tools generally work great but have sharp teeth that may be uncomfortable for sensitive horses or potentially hurt them if you get overly enthusiastic with it.
A less common choice of shedding tool is a scotch comb or curling comb, a T-shaped tool with rounded teeth placed together at the end of a wooden or rubber handle. These tools are great because they are comfortable to use but do not cover as much area as a shedding blade can and are arguably not as effective at removing dead hair and dirt.
Rubber shedders are longer-lasting and not prone to blunting or bending out of shape like blades are, they are more comfortable for your horse, and generally, they last longer than steel tools. That said, they are not as effective at removing dead hair, and you may have to make more passes over your horses to rid them of dead hair and dirt.
Lastly, traditional fiberglass “slick blocks” are popular and highly effective at removing dirt but are not as effective as steel blades at removing hair. These blocks are great for more sensitive areas of your horse, like the legs and face, and can easily work around tendons and joints. These blocks tend to be easier on the skin and are also great for pulling off fly eggs. They have a limited lifespan, though, and typically will wear out after a dozen or so uses.
Tips for shedding season
Besides having the right tools and applying some serious elbow grease, here are other tips to make the shedding process smoother and easier for both you and your horse.
By beginning early in the season, you will stimulate your horse’s skin and coat, which will help loosen hair and make the shedding process easier. If you wait too long, removing the hair may be more laborious because it is tougher to remove without stimulation. Also, most equestrians recommend brushing your horse after exercise, as the hair tends to come off easier after a workout.
Do you want to skip shedding season altogether? Try clipping your horse! This makes your horse far easier to clean and maintain, especially if your horse is going into show season, and it can remove the need for shedding tools completely. Of course, springtime can still have cold spells, and it’s a good idea to make sure your horse has a warm blanket for colder temperatures.
Grooming oil can also help speed up the shedding process, as it helps pull off loose hair and debris and will leave your horse’s coat looking shiny and sleek.
Regular bathing will also help remove dead hair and dried mud and debris, as well as any dead skin. Of course, you’ll need to bathe them on a warm, sunny day so they can dry off properly, and you should be careful to not over-bathe your horse. Too much bathing can strip their coat of its natural oils and dry out their skin, causing more issues down the road.
Your horse’s shedding is not triggered by temperature, but by the amount of sunshine increasing as summer approaches. One way to speed up the shedding process is to get your horse out in the sun as much as possible during spring, triggering their coat to shed. If this is not possible, some horse owners will even use artificial lights in their stable to help speed up the process.
Everything, including your horse’s coat, is affected by nutrition, and the first and arguably most important step in your horse shedding correctly and having a healthy, sleek coat is giving them good nutrition. This can be especially tricky during the winter months, so you may want to consider giving your horse a vitamin and mineral supplement.
What if my horse is not shedding?
Shedding is a natural part of your horse’s annual cycle, and if they are not shedding as much as usual or shedding erratically, it could be a sign of Cushing’s disease, especially if you have an older horse. This disease causes horses to have trouble shedding, and they may not even shed at all, and you’ll need to get them to an equestrian vet right away.
The Decker Manufacturing Company’s Double Blade Horse Shedder is our top choice of shedding tool overall. The tool has two stainless-steel blades, with one side equipped with rounded curry comb teeth made for shedding and heavy cleaning and the other side being smooth and flat for sweat and moisture removal. It has a comfortable non-slip grip and is made in the U.S.A.
The Farnam Slick ‘N’ Easy shedder is the best horse shedding tool for the money according to our reviews. The fiberglass block easily removes hair and dirt from your horse’s coat and can be used for up to 10-12 horses. It’s great for sensitive, hard-to-reach areas like tendons and joints, and it can also be used for blankets, saddle pads, and sheets.
Shedding season is an exciting yet stressful time for equestrians and finding the right tool to help your horse shed properly can help reduce worry and anxiety dramatically. It can be difficult to find the right tool for the job with all the available choices, but hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you narrow down the options and find the perfect tool to suit your needs!