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A curry comb is a type of specialized horse comb. It's primarily used to remove mud and dirt that's dried right into the coat of the horse. Three options are available: plastic, rubber, and metal. The plastic and rubber versions are safe to use on a regular basis, but the metal comb should only be used under special circumstances.
One unique feature of the curry comb is that it has a handle that slides over the hand of the groomer to keep it secure during brushing. This gives the groomer a better grip and allows for a more thorough cleaning job. The average curry comb is about the size of a person's hand and is generally round or oval, but they also come in rectangular forms. On the face of the comb are multiple rows of short teeth. During brushing, these teeth work their way into the coat of the horse and help dislodge any dirt and debris that's present.
The curry comb is normally the first comb that a groomer picks up during a daily grooming session. It's typically used by brushing the coat in a circular motion until all of the embedded dirt and debris are lifted and released. This type of grooming is also healthy for the horse because the circular motions help stimulate the skin and promote the release of natural oils. The horse needs these natural oils to keep its skin moisturized and protect it from injuries and infections. This is why daily grooming is always recommended for horses.
When choosing which type of comb to use, keep in mind that it's safe for a groomer to use a plastic or rubber curry comb on a horse daily. All parts of the horse can be brushed with this type of comb, except the legs and head. The skin on these parts is too sensitive for the average curry comb, but special, softer combs can be purchased for this task. The metal version is never recommended to be used directly on the coat of a horse because it is considered too rough and can cause damage to the hair and skin. Metal combs are generally used to clean out other brushes and to work on small trouble spots on the horse's coat when other combs aren't effective.