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At every horse store, you will find a section dedicated to horse grooming items. There is usually an array of special tools and sprays, combs, and brushes. They are all designed to help you keep your horse’s coat clean and shiny. However, one item you might not be familiar with is cactus cloth for horses.
Cactus cloth is often referred to as a ‘miracle grooming tool’. It has a wide range of uses and performs them well. Cactus cloth can help with polishing the coat, removing loose hair and dirt, and cleaning off sweat. All these functions, and many more, make cactus cloth for horses a great option!
Horses are prone to getting dirty: they love rolling and grooming each other. This can make keeping your horse clean a challenge! Every horse owner is undoubtedly looking for something to make this task a little easier. So, keep reading to learn more about the ‘miracle grooming tool’ known as cactus cloth!
What Is Cactus Cloth?
Cactus cloth is a natural fiber material made from cactus plants. The material is made from cactus pulp, which is generally a by-product of producing tequila. Cactus cloth is also known as a cactus pad or a nopales cloth.
What sets cactus cloth apart from other materials is its texture. The cloth, while at first stiff, softens with use. It has great exfoliating properties, which make it popular as a replacement for loofahs for humans!
The natural fibers are also popular as they do not strip natural oils from the skin or coat. Cactus cloth is also biodegradable, meaning you don’t have to feel bad each time you replace it.
Why Should You Use Cactus Cloth For Horses?
There are a number of reasons why cactus cloth is marketed as a miracle grooming tool for horses. Here are the top ten uses for cactus cloth:
1. Removing loose hair: the natural bristles of the cactus fibers are great at removing shedding coats. The cloth is soft and flexible enough that it can be used in areas where other tools typically cannot. These include the legs, flanks, and stomach.
2. Dried mud removal: the natural bristles also work well at removing mud. Cactus cloth comes in handy when there is mud caked on sensitive areas.
3. Sweat mark removal: once again, the natural bristles help to buff out stubborn dried, crusty sweat marks.
4. Final polish: cactus cloth works well as a finishing tool. A wipe-over with cactus cloth after a grooming session will leave your horse sleek and shiny. This is because the cloth brings dust in the coat to the surface, and removes it.
5. Oil buff: you can use cactus cloth to apply grooming oil to your horse’s coat. While this does take some elbow grease, it removes dirt from the coat and leaves your horse extra shiny. There is the added benefit that the coat will be conditioned, which helps to repel dust and dirt.
6. Washcloth: cactus cloth is also popular in the wash stall. It works well at spreading shampoo around, as well as exfoliating your horse’s skin. The texture means cactus cloth is more efficient than other materials.
7. Dandruff removal: some horses get flakes of dandruff in their manes or tails. Using cactus cloth can help to lift the dandruff away from the base of the hair.
8. Stain removal: cactus cloth can be used to lift small stains, like those from grass or manure. They are a great spot-cleaning option when shampooing and washing the stain isn’t possible.
9. Grooming the ears and head: there are not many grooming tools that are kind enough to be used on the horse’s head. Cactus cloth is soft and flexible enough that it can be gently used on the horse’s ears and head. Many other grooming tools are either too harsh for this purpose or too soft and ineffective.
10. Buffing hooves: lastly, cactus cloth can be used to buff hooves. This is good practice before applying hoof polish, as it ensures the surface is clean and ready for the polish.
Tips on Using Cactus Cloth for Horses
Grooming Tips When Using Cactus Cloth for Horses
The way that you use cactus cloth will depend on what you are doing. The action you use when removing caked-on mud will be different from a final polish.
For the removal of mud or stains, you use cactus cloth in a gentle scrubbing motion. This same motion is used when using the cloth to shampoo your horse. Circular scrubbing motions work best for large areas, such as removing a shedding coat. This same motion can be used to clean up stubborn sweat marks.
For delicate areas like the head, you simply wipe gently but firmly with the cloth. Some horses might appreciate a rub with the cloth, especially if they are molting or sweaty. For a final polish, simply wipe gently but firmly over the horse’s body. You don’t want to ruffle the coat, but simply wipe away dirt and add shine.
You can choose how you hold the cloth. Some people like to fold the cloth into a flat pad, to wipe over the horse or to buff out a stain. Others like to scrunch the cloth into a ball and use a scrubbing motion to remove loose hair. You can also dampen the cloth, to aid in the removal of fine dust.
As with any grooming tool, you will need to clean the cloth throughout your session. Dirt and hair will accumulate and impede the ability of the cloth. You can clean the cloth out simply by shaking it out or brushing off excess hair.
For a more thorough clean, a wash with mild soap is best. This will remove any residual dirt, hair, or sweat from the cloth and make it work like new again.
Where Can I Buy Cactus Cloth for Horses?
Cactus cloth is widely available at most equine stores. If you don’t have one nearby, you will be able to order one online. There are a number of different cactus cloth products available. Each product has its own special features.
For starters, you can buy a basic piece of cactus cloth. Put simply, this is a plain old piece of cactus cloth. You can purchase different sizes, depending on what you want to use the cloth for. The cloth design works best for stain removal and coat polishing.
You can also buy cactus cloth mitts. These appear similar to oven mitts, with cactus cloth on the outside. They might be easier to use than a standard piece of cactus cloth material.
Are There Other Options That Work As Well As Cactus Cloth For Horses?
There are thousands of different grooming products available for horses. Plenty of options are available when it comes to tools that remove hair, dirt, or mud. There is also a huge number of coat conditioning and polishing sprays or mitts available.
However, there are only a few items available that are as multi-functional as cactus cloth. For example, items like curry combs are great at removing loose hair and dirt. However, they aren’t suitable for delicate areas like the face. And while sheepskin mitts do a great final polish, they are unable to buff out stains.
For some horses, cactus cloth is one of a few limited items that you can use for grooming. Very sensitive horses might not tolerate tools like curry combs or dandy brushes, even for mud removal. These horses require a softer tool that won’t upset them during the grooming process.
What Are Some Other Uses for Cactus Cloth?
Cactus cloth has a huge range of uses in the stable. Here are some other things that you might find cactus cloth handy for!
Wiping down bits after a ride: it’s important to keep your horse’s bit clean. You wouldn’t want to eat off a crusty used fork! Cactus cloth can be used to wipe clean bits from grass or slobber.
Cleaning tack: cactus cloth can also be used to clean tack. It is especially useful for gear that is really dirty or greasy.
Scrubbing buckets: if you have nothing else around, cactus cloth works well to clean out water and feed buckets.
Saddle blanket: if you have a piece large and thick enough, you can use it as a saddle blanket! The natural fibers will be breathable and flexible, offering your horse maximum comfort.
Grooming the yard cat or dog: cactus cloth is not just for horses! It can be used on all animals, including cats, dogs, and even goats!
Grooming yourself: cactus cloth is a popular item with humans, too! It is great for use in the shower, as a replacement for a loofah. It can also be used to exfoliate the face. Although, it is always recommended that you treat yourself to your own cactus cloth!
Cactus Cloth For Horses – Final Thoughts
The secret is out: using cactus cloth for horses is one of the most versatile grooming hacks! This wondrous natural fiber can be found in the wash bay, show kit, clipping bag, or everyday grooming box. It has a myriad of uses, from removing dried mud and sweat to polishing and buffing coats. Once you have invested in your own cactus cloth, you’ll wonder how you ever went without it!