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Grooming horses is both lovely and a little stressful: horse ownership takes a lot of work, after all. While I love grooming, and it’s excellent for bonding with my horses, I do find hoof care a little tricky, especially when they get dirt and rocks stuck in there.
That’s why finding really good hoof picks for your horse is vital. A good pick will remove dirt from your horses’ hooves and leave them feeling clean and comfortable. A real lifesaving tool and a must-have for your grooming kit.
But what do you need from a hoof pick?
How can you find the best pick for your horse, one that can withstand a ton of dirt and rocks?
And when you’re buying online, what should you look for?
I’ll answer those questions in more detail and give you my top recommendations for the best hoof picks for your horses.
The Bottom Line Up Front
I think my personal favorite hoof pick is the Wahl Professional Animal Equine Grooming Horse Hoof Pick. It’s strong, durable, feels the most comfortable to hold, and the price point is pretty low: you can have a few of these in your gear kit, and it won’t break the bank.
However, I also like Kelcie’s Pick Brush Cleaning Tool for Horses. It has a large brush with tough, reinforced bristles and a pick in the handle, making it a useful multi-purpose tool for horse care.
Best Hoof Picks at a Glance
- Wahl Professional Animal Equine Grooming Horse Hoof Pick– a solid but low-cost hoof pick with a good money-back warranty
- The Ultimate Hoof Pick – a robust and durable hoof pick with a helpful angle for maximizing leverage
- Horse Hoof Pick with Soft Touch Rubber Handle – an excellent multi-purpose tool for reaching smaller areas
- HORZE Soft Grip Hoof Pick – firm grip and decent-sized hook, comes with a brush included
- Kelcie’s Pick Brush Cleaning Tool for Horses – a large brush with a hoof pick included, ideal for deep cleaning.
- Intrepid International Brass Hoof Pick – a small, tough, durable little pick for ponies or smaller horses
What to Look for in a Hoof Pick
What should you look for if you’re buying a new hoof pick? I’ve used a few different types over the years, and some are way better than others. Here are the key things you need to know:
- The Hook – The shape and the material. You want a tough hook
- A Brush – Does it come with a strong bristled brush for easy cleaning
- A Handle – Look for ergonomically designed handles, which should feel more comfortable to hold. This is crucial for those long, tough grooming sessions.
- Storage/Visibility – Most hoof picks have a space for a hanging hook, so you can safely store it away without losing it.
- Size – Generally, you want to go with a hoof pick that follows the general, universal size guidelines
- Warranty/Returns – Check to see what the return policy is for your particular pick. If a pick arrives and it bends quickly or is broken in some way, you’ll want to be able to return it quickly.
- Pricing – Hoof picks can cost anything between $5 to $20 or more.
Best Hoof Picks: My Top 6 Recommendations
Here are six hoof picks I’d recommend checking out. They’re all durable, tough, and should make digging out even the toughest dirt a little easier to handle.
I’ve included a range of sizes and price points, so you should find something that suits both your budget and your horse.
Wahl Professional Animal Equine Grooming Horse Hoof Pick
The Wahl Professional Animal Equine Grooming Horse Hoof Pick is a great choice. It’s ergonomically designed and will fit neatly and comfortably in your hand.
The rubber grip makes it easy to keep hold of even when digging out packed-in dirt from your horses’ hooves, and it’s made from solid steel, so it won’t bend or warp.
It comes in two colors and has a hanging loop for storage purposes. Plus, I like its 30-day satisfaction guarantee; if it doesn’t work for you, you can send it back for a refund.
The downside to this one is that it doesn’t come with a brush, so you’ll need to buy one separately. The pricing is pretty cheap, however, at just under $5. Some other hoof picks that come with a brush cost around $8-10, so the pricing works out about even.
- Ergonomically designed
- Made from strong steel
- Good money-back guarantee
- Pretty cheap to buy
- Doesn’t come with a brush
The Ultimate Hoof Pick
This is a pricier one, but The Ultimate Hoof Pick is useful. It’s designed with a shape that maximizes leverage, meaning it’s easier to dig out dirt even at difficult angles. If you’ve struggled with using regular horse picks for your particular horse, I’d recommend giving this one a try.
It’s made from solid steel, and while the handle is comfortable to hold, it has a good grip, so you won’t drop it easily. (This is good if you have a particularly wriggly horse like I do!) It’s good for clearing out that ‘packed-in’ dirt that can sometimes accumulate, so you can reach dirt in the layers underneath.
It comes in a variety of bright colors, which means you shouldn’t lose it during your grooming routine.
The downside is that it doesn’t come with a brush, so you’ll need to buy one separately.
- Easy to use, even on difficult angles
- Very strong, suitable for removing packed-in dirt
- Comes in a range of bright colors
- Comfortable to hold
- Pricier than some of the others on this list
- Doesn’t come with a brush
Horse Hoof Pick with Soft Touch Rubber Handle
The Horse Hoof Pick with Soft Touch Rubber Handle is a low-cost, multi-purpose tool. It has a durable rubber handle, which means you should be able to keep hold of it even when your hands are wet or cold. The hook itself is made from solid steel, meaning you should be able to remove those tricky bits of dirt.
The hook part itself is actually pretty small. This means scraping out more significant amounts of dirt is going to take longer, but it’s great for reaching difficult areas. I think this would work well in conjunction with another, larger hoof pick. (It’s also great for removing dirt from your boots, too.)
It also comes with a brush with solid and tough bristles, making it easier to do quick clean-up work without needing extra tools.
They also offer a money-back guarantee if your brush arrives broken or faulty.
- Low-cost, multi-purpose tool
- Good for reaching smaller areas
- Comes with a brush too
- A good grip on the handle
- Relatively small, so it may take a while to dig out larger clumps of dirt
HORZE Soft Grip Hoof Pick
Designed to be super-comfortable to hold, the HORZE Soft Grip Hoof Pick is ergonomically designed, with a firm grip, so you won’t have to worry about dropping it even if your hands are cold or wet.
The hook itself is large enough to remove big clumps of dirt and strong enough to be able to dig down into those tricky, impacted areas. It also has a brush, so you can clean up as you go.
It’s comes in a range of colors, but they’re pretty muted, which can be a downside. Several times I’ve put my grooming tools down on the floor only to be able to not find them again, so I find it much easier having a bright-colored hoof pick instead!
However, it’s a good-quality tool, the pricing is reasonable, and it comes with a hook so you can hang it up safely. If you don’t tend to lose your tools, you may enjoy using this one, and it’s durable enough to last a long time.
- Easy to use
- Good grip
- Comes with a brush too
- Muted colors may make it harder to find
Kelcie’s Pick Brush Cleaning Tool for Horses
If you want a pick with a larger brush, Kelcie’s Pick Brush Cleaning Tool for Horses is a good choice. It looks more like a brush than a pick, with a large handle, so you can do a nice deep clean on your horses’ hooves. The bristles are tough and angled in a way that makes it easier to get into those hard-to-reach areas.
As well as the brush, it has a reasonably small pick on the top of the handle. You should be able to dig packed-in dirt from hooves using this pick, but as it’s pretty small, it may take a little while – you may also need to have a bigger pick around to remove the top layers of dirt before going into the crevices with this one.
It’s a bright blue brush, so easy to find if you drop it on the floor. It also has a hook so you can tidy it away neatly.
The downside is that it has a slightly higher price tag than some of the others on this list, but you might feel that it’s worth it thanks to the large brush included.
- Easy to use
- Strong, durable brush for cleaning
- Practical pick for reaching small areas
- Bright color makes it easy to find
- A little pricier than some of the others on this list
Intrepid International Brass Hoof Pick
The Intrepid International Brass Hoof Pick is a classic tool, looking more like an old-fashioned hoof pick than the others on this list. With an elegant engraved brass design, it’s a nice-looking tool to have around, and it’s strong enough to deal with packed-in dirt.
It’s ergonomically shaped, although lacks the rubber grip that you usually see in hoof picks. The angle of the hook makes it easy to dig out dirt in difficult areas, and it’s super tough, so it shouldn’t bend or break.
This size is perfect for smaller breeds and ponies, too. It’s decently priced, although it doesn’t come with a brush, so you’ll need to buy that separately.
This would make a nice gift for a beginner horse owner, and it should last for a long time.
- Super tough and durable
- Looks pretty
- Good angle on the hook
- Ergonomically shaped
- It may only be suitable for smaller horses and ponies
- Doesn’t come with a brush
Answer: Ideally, you should do this at least once a day. In professional stables, hooves are cleaned and picked before the horses are taken out, to prevent bedding, hay, and muck being dragged out with them.
Horses’ hooves are annoyingly susceptible to picking up small rocks or hard clumps of dirt, which may not hurt them but can cause infection if left uncleaned for a long time. So it’s better to check your horses’ hooves after a ride to make sure they’re all clear – you can always do a quick removal of any obvious bits of dirt and do a deeper clean later if you’re in a rush.
Answer: The tough outer part of a horse’s hoof is similar to human fingernails or toenails – they don’t feel pain, as they have no nerve endings. This means shoeing horses doesn’t cause them any pain or discomfort.
The sole of the hoof and the frog (the triangular part on the bottom of the hoof) does have nerve endings, and they can feel sensations, including pain. However, it is very unlikely that you will hurt your horse by gently cleaning these areas.
Answer: I’d say that horse oil is the one other tool I use often on my horses. Oil is an excellent thing to use, particularly in the winter, as it can protect their hooves from damage and increase shine. Anything more complicated – including hoof trimming and horseshoeing – is best left to a farrier, as they are the experts!
To Wrap Things Up …
I like the Wahl Professional Animal Equine Grooming Horse Hoof Pick. It’s a simple, no-nonsense tool with a super-strong pick and a comfortable handle. It’s a good all-rounder, perfect for removing tough, trodden-in dirt, smaller rocks, and difficult clumps of mud.
If you’d rather have a pick with a brush included, I’d recommend Kelcie’s Pick Brush Cleaning Tool for Horses. It comes with a large, tough brush with super-strong bristles and a small pick on the handle. This makes it really easy to clean hooves using just one tool.