Product: Betty’s Best StripHair Gentle Groomer
If there’s something to know about me, it’s that I’m notoriously suspicious of new products. Anything. For humans, horses, dogs, study materials. I am particularly wary of “fad” products because once I find something I like, I will die for it. Even if it’s old fashion or requires more work, that’s fine because I know it will work. That’s one of the reasons I have yet to post a product review. I don’t branch out often. Well, that and because I’m sort of frugal with my money because I don’t have a ton of it to spend.
However, I do try to keep my eye on things that could make my horses more comfortable, especially during times of natural irritation, like in this case, shedding season. When I saw Betty’s Best StripHair Gentle Groomer being advertised on my Instagram feed, I was interested. Normally, shedding season is a ton of elbow grease with my favorite purple curry for Joy and a shedding blade for Apple. I not so secretly love shedding season. That might be because I don’t have any spring allergies, so the additional horsey hair doesn’t bother me, or maybe it’s because there’s something about helping shed out a horse that brings me great peace and comfort during quality binding time. Either way, I flipped through some people who used a StripHair online and was impressed, especially having used various de-shedding products before on other horses and not really seeing results. So, I mentioned to my husband that Valentine’s Day was coming up and it would be a useful, practical gift. Thanks, Taylor!
The StripHair is a straightforward, flexible alternative to a simple curry. It has two sizes of diamond patterns: one for more sensitive areas and another for generally large areas. I would say the larger diamond side is the most useful, but I can see how the smaller diamonds might be good for dogs or very sensitive skinned equines. The results claim to remove dirt, dander, and loose hair, as well as stimulate blood circulation and natural oils in the coat. Additionally, it can be used in place of a sweatscraper. I did not use it during baths nor as a sweatscrape, but I did have the opportunity to use it on three different coat types, sweaty ponies when it was too cold to bathe, and on some seriously filthy mud monsters.
Let me start off by saying that I’m still a believer of a good, old fashion curry comb. There is nothing like that slow ache of your arm as you see the dapples begins to appear and you have to shake of hair pancakes from your curry every three seconds. Especially if your horse is not body clipped and you don’t have one of those horse vacuums on hand to make grooming the easiest part of horse ownership. However, there is something about the way that the StripHair removes waves of hair that is sort of addicting?? It is used like a brush, pulling the hair the direction in grows – similar to a shed blade. However, I think it’s superior to a shed blade for a couple reasons.
For more sensitive skinned horses, like Apple and Joy, grooming with a shed blade might be most efficient, but it is not what I would call a comfortable experience. You know when you pet a cat and they sink their backs down and make that weird U shapes like slinkies? Yeah, that’s Joy and Apple if the metal teeth of a shade blade touch them. No matter how itchy shedding makes them, they will not put up with it. Plus, when you have a pony like Apple, who, despite living his ENTIRE life in Texas, grows a winter coat the thickness of a goddamn appaloosa polar bear, currying seems like a job that will suck you in and swallow you whole, drowning you in hair. Nothing seems to make any progress.
However, the StripEasy has proven itself on all three horses with very different hair types. Joy’s coat in short and fine, with no additional winter coat. Apple’s is multilayered, long, and coarse. Posey’s first winter coat is very long and straggly, but very fine. I used it on all of the more sensitive areas of the horses (ears, armpits, faces, butt cheeks, cannon crud) and have had really great results. The brushing motion used helps bring up all the dust and dirt that settles on the skin, making it easy to remove. Even on Joy, who barely sheds during spring, the StripEasy brings up the dander and removes what little excess hair there is. Her favorite spot? Withers and jaw.
I think the results speak for themselves. It’s now my go to grooming too. It does such a great job, even if used as a currycomb, that I normally don’t have to use a dandy brush afterwards. During bath time, it’s really useful for the shorter haired horses like Joy. I wouldn’t use it while Apple and Posey are still shedding because the diamond pattern simply isn’t deep enough to get to the skin on horses with thicker coats, but it definitely does help.
If you’re looking for something to add to your grooming routine that is great for shedding, helping get rid of caked on mud or crud, and get in all of the most sensitive areas, I highly recommend it. The rubber material the StripHair is made of is easy to clean and store in any grooming box. However, if you’re looking for something that’s not going to give you the arm workout of a curry, this isn’t for you. There still is elbow grease required! It’s just more comfortable for the horses. My only complaint is that sometimes it can slip from my hands while using it. Maybe that’s user error. Otherwise, I think this is something we all could use to make our grooming routines easier!