When it comes to grooming, I’m a pretty simple gal. I love a good selection of nice
brushes and a great hoof pick, but when it comes to curry combs I keep it pretty basic. I’ve always felt like there are so many gimmicky horse “massagers”, gel curries, roller curries, etc. – but nothing truly gets the job done but a good old fashioned hard rubber curry – or a stiff boar bristle brush. In recent years I’ve strayed from rubber curries to the cheap and very useful “Magic brush” (essentially a lightweight plastic brush made of flexible plastic bristles), and while the Magic brush is great for breaking up crust and stimulating the coat, it is rigid in design and somewhat limiting on what areas it can tackle – especially on a thinner skinned horse.
I recently decided to try the “HandsOn Grooming Glove” (handsongloves.com) and to be honest I wasn’t expecting to like it as to me it seemed like another grooming “accessory” who’s only real purpose was going to be getting dusty in the bottom of my groom kit, but I had seen a friend of mine who grooms at Rolex with one tucked into her back pocket, so I figured I’d give it a go. I was right that I don’t like it – I truly love it.
Purchasing & Fit – The grooming gloves can be obtained directly from the manufacturer, HandsOn Gloves, and comes in sizes Junior, SM, M, L, & XL. I checked out the size chart and opted for a M, and while the fingers were a little bit short it was overall a good fit. I have pretty long fingers and usually wear about an 8 in ladies riding gloves. The gloves come in two different colors, black and green, and can be used wet or dry.
Quality – The gloves seem very durable and well made, the velcro strap is secure on my wrist when fastened, and it doesn’t feel like my fingers are at risk of poking through the fabric when I’m using them. They are coated and clearly would be also to handle a lead rope, hose, or dog leash without being slippery, and I appreciate that I wouldn’t have to take them on and off while bathing a horse or grooming if I had to quickly grab something else.
Performance & Experience – Here is where I was really impressed with the gloves. I used them on an unusually chilly summer day to groom Isley after his ride. I had groomed him without the gloves before the ride and thought he was pretty clean, but because of the chill I didn’t want to hose him after. First of all, from the very first touch he clearly LOVED what I was doing. Isley typically rubs himself all over his stall walls to scratch himself after every ride, so I knew the scratchy factor would be a big plus for him – and I was right! After the initial hilarious itchy faces, he really relaxed and closed his eyes as I groomed him. He has a thin summer coat, but the amount of hair I got out of his coat with minimal pressure was pretty incredible, all while keeping my hands clean.
Working on him with the gloves was rewarding and relaxing for me as well – I clearly was having a positive effect on my four legged partner, the benefits of bringing the oils out of his coat, and the chilled out bonding time that we were having was making me feel just as happy and relaxed as he was clearly feeling. It was easy to access the spots that I usually have to fight to clean around his ears, and the gloves made it possible for me to contour around legs or use just one or two gentle fingers around his eyes. It also showed me truly how much I was barely scratching the surface (pun totally intended) with my other grooming tools – even after the full grooming before his ride I got an incredible amount of crud and hair out of his coat with my HandsOn gloves.
I haven’t used the gloves to bathe Isley yet, but I’m sure I will be singing the same praises all over again when he has the most effective and relaxing bath I’ve ever given him! I am absolutely getting rid of my other curry combs and will be putting the HandsOn gloves at the center of my new grooming regimen. Can’t wait to see Isley’s coat bloom as a result – no supplements necessary!