Spring means flowers, green grass, and horse hair everywhere. This year was my first Arizona winter at my Tucson horse boarding facility, and I was surprised how thick my horses’ winter coats were since our climate here is so much more mild than where we lived in Central Montana. We are finally done with the “Arizona cold” and my horses (and dogs) are shedding like crazy. I have an arsenal of shedding tools in my grooming box, but one works better for me than the others. For 2019, the clear winner is the SleekEZ.
What’s In My Grooming Box
Over the years, I have collected a variety of de-shedding tools, and some work much better than others.
When I was a kid, the only tool we had to use in the spring was a regular shedding blade (buy it here). This worked fine, but not great. The nice thing about a regular shedding blade is that it has a large surface area, so each stroke covers a large part of the body. The teeth are usually dull, so there’s little risk of cutting your horse’s skin. This is not the most efficient tool, but it served me well for the first 20+ years of my equestrian career.
The Kong Zoom Groom (buy it here) is another staple in my grooming box. I use this mostly for bathing, but it is excellent for removing dead hair. The rubber tips are super comfortable for your horse. The downside is that this is a smaller grooming tool and the dead hair collects between the rubber tips, so you have to stop frequently and remove the hair. This is time consuming, but for horses with sensitive skin, this is a good choice.
Several years ago, I bought a Furminator (buy it here) and used it on my dogs and horses. It works well but the surface area is not big enough to make grooming a horse a time-effective project, and I had to stop every few strokes to eject the hair. The blades are so sharp that they cut my Dalmatian's skin, but it left my horses with beautiful coats.
The fourth de-shedding tool in my grooming box is the SleekEZ (buy it here). This is the first year that I have used this tool, and it is the clear winner.
What I Love
My mother-in-law’s love language is gift giving, and I am one of those people who never wants anything. My mother-in-law lives in Billings, Montana, and she saw an article in the local paper about the woman who invented the SleekEZ. She bought it for me for Mother’s Day last year, but by May shedding season is long over. So, the SleekEZ got stuck in the grooming box.
Until last week, when shedding season started.
I was skeptical that the SleekEZ would work well. The blade is very narrow and the teeth are very shallow. I did not see how it was going to remove the hair, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The SleekEZ removed a lot more hair than I anticipated with each stroke. It was so efficient that I had my horse shed out in only 20 minutes.
This de-shedding tool is amazing at removing dander from the base of the hair. This was a surprise too. At the end of our grooming sessions, my horses’ coats were shinier and cleaner than I expected.
The SleekEZ has a wood handle and stainless steel blade. It fits well in my hand and is comfortable to use. Although I have only used it a few times, it feels like a quality grooming tool and I believe it will hold up for many years. I have this in two sizes – the large for the horses and medium for the dogs. This does not work well on my long-haired Australian Shepherd, but is amazing on my medium-coat dogs (a Dalmatian and a Heeler) and my horses. You can also use it to remove horse hair from the bottom of your saddle pads or from your cloth car seats.
I really only have one knock on the SleekEZ, and this is just a personal preference and has nothing to do with the quality of the product.
The handle is wood, and even though it is sanded down well and not sealed with anything, it makes my hands swell and itch. This is a problem that I have with any wood tools (including kitchen utensils) so I generally avoid them. Unfortunately, SleekEZ is only available with a wood handle, so I wear gloves when I use it.
The SleekEZ is definitely a tool that belongs in your grooming box. It works well, gives your horse’s coat a beautiful shine, and is a high-quality product. Plus, it was designed in Montana and is made in the USA, so by buying SleekEZ, you are supporting a small local business.
What is your favorite de-shedding tool? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.