Unlike cats, ponies do not groom themselves and therefore need a helping hand from people. Grooming ponies is especially relevant in spring as the summer coat is growing and the winter coat falling off. With special tools, the grooming is a pleasant procedure for both the pony and its owner.
The dandy brush is a stiff brush best used for pastured ponies or those with long hair. The dandy brush is a good tool for removing mud from the pony's legs and body, and owners should pay attention that all the parts that touch the bridle, martingale, girth, and saddle are free from dirt and mud. Some ponies may object to grooming with a dandy brush on the head because it may be too harsh. Quality dandy brushes have natural stiff bristles, such as rice stems. They wear out quickly but are best for the pony's skin. However, brushes with plastic bristles are also rather common. When wet, some dandy brushes also function as water brushes, allowing owners to wet down the pony's coat, tail, or mane.
The body brush is a soft brush for removing dirt, dried sweat, dandruff, dust, and fine particles from the pony's skin and coat as well as adding shine to the coat. Smaller designs also function as face brushes. The body brush is also good for using on the mane and tail where the dandy brush could cause damage to the hair. The hair may also require special conditioner for detangling.
The curry comb is a tool of either plastic or rubber designed for loosening caked dirt and mud from the pony's skin. It has short teeth on one side. This comb is generally the first tool to use when grooming a pony. A good curry comb is flexible and not too sharp nor hard. Metal curry combs are too harsh on a pony's skin, although they are great for cleaning the body brush.
Other Popular Grooming Items
Sponges are handy items for thoroughly washing the pony's body. Smaller ones are suitable for the lips, eyes, nose, and dock. Using sponges of different colours is a good trick in order not to mix them up accidentally. A hairbrush or mane comb is a good tool for tangled tail and mane. They should be plastic or wood brushes because metal hairbrushes break too many hairs. For loose winter hairs, a metal shedding blade is a great tool. For trimming long hairs, people use scissors. For the final polish, pony owners typically use a grooming towel to wipe its body. They also use it after riding to wipe off any sweat. Besides tools, shampoo, conditioner, and sometimes mosquito repellent come in handy when grooming a pony.