Seeking tips for removing hair from saddle pads before washing

So, I want to try washing my saddle pads at home since I’m now working from home. (Sh don’t tell DH! :smiley: ) I want to take off as much hair as possible before tossing it in the washer. That way, it’s sneakier because tons of horse hair won’t end up on his clothes. And because having less hair is probably better for the washing machine.

Does anyone have any good tips/tools to take off the hair? I was thinking about getting a small stiff scrubbing brush to try and brush the hair off outside. I’m not sure that would be the most effective. Any opinions/options are welcome!

Are you talking about fleece pads, or the cotton square pads that most people school in?

For those, I use a curry comb on them before the wash. For the fleece ones (show pads, etc) I either use a curry or the vacuum cleaner if they are really bad.

I have used a dandy brush in the past it will remove quit a bit of hair.

Specifically the square pads. My fleece one only has a bit of dirt on it as I put the square pad underneath it. Not much of an issue of it getting dirty so I’ll wait on washing it. I want the pads close to his body to be clean first.

I got a Strip Hair kit for Christmas and it includes a tool for removing hair from saddle pads that works very well. It’s basically like a small, rectangular, textured piece of stall mat. I think a curry comb would have a similar effect.

You’re smart to try to remove all the hair, and not just to be stealthy. I used to board at a very large barn that had to stop offering laundry services for a while because (as I understand it–not sure of the technical details) the septic system ended up clogged with horse hair. They had to have the whole system fixed, I think maybe even with a new tank? It was very expensive. They now have a hair removal station in the laundry room where boarders are supposed to take off as much as possible before washing anything. I think there may be a vacuum there? I’m not sure what other tools they provide. But anyway, it’s a good idea.


Their mistake for not installing an inexpensive inline hair/grease trap. Easy to clean out as needed. Anyone that has a wash stall that drains into a leach field should have an inline hair/grease, soap scum trap. Spend a few hundred $ now or many $$$$$ later.

A shop vac with an appropriate nozzle does a very good job.


I grew up on a septic system so I’m completely familiar with trying to prevent as much stuff from going down the drain as possible. Cleaning out a septic system is way too expensive. People who just put leftovers down the garbage disposal just don’t make sense to me.

I use a shop vac and a rice root brush. Gets most of it.

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Tip #1 - use a jelly curry brush with the little pointy nubs on it. Here’s an example of using one on a household pillow with cat hair all over it. Works wonders.

Tip #2 - Put something else in the wash that’s better at collecting hair than the saddle pad. I have several blankets for use on my bed at home, and a couple of them are way worse about collecting and retaining cat hair. I don’t know what they are made of, but I would know the material when I see it … it “pills” easily. Go to your nearest thrift store and buy one of these blankets to wash and dry with your saddle blanket. It’s sort of like throwing a magnet into a bucket of dirt to pull the iron shavings off. Whatever sticks to the blanket you can give another round with the jelly scrub above. Stash the magnet blanket until next use.


curry, vacuum, and also a shower squeegee - moisten the edge of it and it’ll collect a ton of hair- this is also my go-to for the couches to collect the cat hair before vacuuming . Pull the fabric taught and then use short, firm, uhhh strokes (LOL) with the squeegee…it’ll create a line of hair you can pull right off the fabric.


The squeegee with the plastic lip or the rubber one?

Hmmm great question…i use this one from Ikea:

I put it on the floor and step on one edge then use my dyson to vac it

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OMG! That sounds like it would work but I’d be super worried about ripping it with the vacuum. The person cleaning my parents house tried to vacuum their couch with the floor part of the machine and ended up tearing a hole in the cushion!

All I know is that I spent last night pulling an amazing amount of horse hair out of the tubing leading to the drain pump of my washer when it stopped draining. Oooof! Just brushing the hair off with a stiff brush is not adequate.

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I use a Slick N Groom - I think that’s what it’s called, they sell them at Dover and other places for a few $. It’s like a black pumice stone type block that’s for grooming - but I mainly use it to remove saddle pad hairs, does a pretty good job

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I use the horse size Furminator on two really hairy pads at home. Works like a charm. Then when I got most of the hair of the shedding pad, I mean SADDLE pad, I used the hose attachment for the Dyson Animal, and it was able to take off the stragglers. I was really happy with how well the Furminator worked.

At the barn, we have two horse vacs, stiff poly brushes, traditional shedding blades, and a variety of the SleekEZ and Groom Ninja tools. I’d say the new-dangled shedding tools and the Furminator do the best, most efficient job.

I don’t think trying to vacuum without the extension tools would work very well, and could potentially chew up part of a pad. But it sounds like Magicboy has the technique down. :slight_smile:

I use this

Which awesomely enough they sell in tack stores in Holland and Belgium

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You beat me to it. I bought these and LOVE them. They are starting to sell them in pet stores, etc.

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I’m going to have to try the furminator on my pads now…perfect timing with this thread!