How to Use a Hard Brush on Horses

A hard brush can be useful to get rid of dirt, caked-on mud and any other items that are stuck to the coat. However, it must be used with great care as it risks hurting the horse and should never be used on delicate areas of the horse, such as its face.


  1. 1
    Check the coat. In summertime, only use a hard brush on the legs, as the rest of the horse's body will be quite sensitive with less hair. During winter, you can brush more areas because the coat will be thicker.
  2. 2
    Start by using a curry comb to lift the dirt off your horse. If you do not do this first, the hard brush will not do much to clean your horse!
  3. 3
    Get a sturdy brush and start at the front legs of your horse, pressing hard and using short flicks to get all the dirt out. Then proceed to the back legs. That's it for a summer hard brush.
    • As you brush, check the horse's legs for cuts, blemishes, infestations, etc.
  4. 4
    If it's winter, focus your attention on the withers, back and dock. It is important to brush the area where the saddle is going, including the girth.
    • Do not run the brush in long sweeps across your horse; instead, keep flicking the dirt out in quick movements.
  5. 5
    Remember to soft brush the face, not hard brush.
  6. 6
    Finish off with a soft brush. After you hard brush is is a good idea to soft brush, to get a glossy finish on the hair.
  7. 7
    Done. The horse has been groomed and can be returned to the stable, ridden or set loose in the field.


  • If you spot bumps, cuts or nicks, infestation or anything else, be sure to follow it up quickly and get the appropriate attention.


  • Do not hard brush your horse's face. Only use the soft brush on the face.
  • The hard brush is just that––hard. Do not press too hard and be sure to hard brush less sensitive areas when the horse has its summer coat. It may be inappropriate altogether for some horses if they are super sensitive. Follow your horse's lead; if the hard brush gets a bad reaction, use that as the information you need to either avoid particular areas or to cease hard brushing altogether.

Things You'll Need

  • Suitable hard brush
  • Standard soft brush
  • Halter for tying the horse in position
  • Treat(s)
  • Water for spot cleaning, if needed

Article Info

Categories: Horse Grooming