Several of you were interested in hearing more about my SleekEZ grooming blade, and it seems like the perfect time to share since all of the horses are starting to shed their winter coats. This isn’t the only tool I use to help shed the winter fuzzies, but it’s definitely the most important one!
In addition to reviewing the SleekEZ, I’ll go a bit into my de-fuzzing routine. Since there are so many different tools out there, and I’m sure a lot of you may have different routines, I want to hear all about them!
The SleekEZ can be ordered in two sizes. There is a 5″ blade, and a 10″ blade. It appears that at least at Riding Warehouse, the 5″ blade is more popular, most likely because it is easier to hold and use with its smaller size, but when I walked into Dover last year to purchase one, 10″ was all they had left and it has served me well.
This is now my second shedding season with this grooming blade, and it has been fantastic for both shedding, and when he comes in caked in mud. Unlike the round shedding blades that tend to be stiff, and make Val–and most other horses I’ve used it on–twitchy and unhappy, the SleekEZ doesn’t bother Val a bit, even if he’s covered in mud. The blade doesn’t seem to pull the hair at all, and the teeth are small so that even thin-skinned thoroughbreds don’t mind it.
Because I have the bigger blade, I do have to be careful around his stifles and elbows so I don’t whack Val with the wooden handle, but I think with the smaller blade this would be a non-issue. It’s even gentle enough that I can go over his knees, hocks and canons with the blade. I generally run it over his entire body (going with the direction of the hair of course) until there is no more hair or mud coming off. Sometimes if there are a few loose hairs here and there I’ll call it good enough.
The great thing about this blade is that unlike when you curry and hair goes everywhere–in your mouth, on your clothes, stuck to your face, etc.–this blade helps to keep everything contained.
Usually after 5-10 minutes of going over my horse with the blade, I’ve got a bunch of hair on the ground, and it’s time to move on.
I then follow up with a really soft jelly curry on his whole body just because it’s so good for their coat, and it helps loosen up any other hair and dirt. I follow up with a pretty stiff brush to flick everything off, then I use a fairly normal brush as far as stiffness, and finally I end off with my (super dead) face brush. I definitely need a new face brush, as this one is missing lots of bristles and has hamanol all over the bristles at one end, but it gets the job done.
Usually once that’s done I spray him down with a coat tonic because he lives out 24/7 and his hair gets really frazzled and dry. While that sits and dries I clean out his feet, and then go back over him with the face brush gently, or with a towel if I have one to catch the last bit of dirt and smooth the hair after the coat tonic.
After just 5 grooming sessions since he started shedding two weeks ago, here is the before and after:
The larger blade is $18.95 and the smaller is $14.95 (with Riding Warehouse). In my opinion, this blade is well worth the price, especially since it is also so useful on muddy days as well as during shedding season, and it has lasted really well. After sitting in my trunk for over a year, the blade is not rusty, and the wood has held up nicely. My horse approves, and it makes the shedding process SO MUCH faster (in each grooming session, and over all–with just a curry it takes a few months to shed out all his hair, whereas with the blade it’s usually a matter of weeks), and much less obnoxious. I don’t know about you guys, but I hate trying to pull hair out of my chap-stick with hands than are also covered in hair. Factoring in price, usefulness, and quality, I give this an A+. I’m really not sure how I survived shedding season without it.
I should add that I while there are a few other companies that make similar grooming blades, I would assume they all function about the same. Let me know if you have a contrary experience!
So. Are you now dying to get a blade of your own, or do you have another routine that works well for you?