How to Remove Burrs From Horses

As horse owners, we strive to provide the best care for our equine companions. However, sometimes our horses can encounter nuisances in their environment, such as burrs, that can cause discomfort and potentially lead to more serious issues if left unaddressed. Burrs are small, prickly seed heads that can become tangled in a horse’s mane, tail, or coat. Removing burrs promptly is essential to maintaining your horse’s well-being. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of effectively removing burrs from horses, ensuring their comfort, and preventing any potential complications.

How to Remove Burrs From Horses: A Guide to Keeping Your Equine Companion Comfortable

How to Remove Burrs From Horses

1. Prepare the necessary tools:

Before embarking on the burr removal process, gather the following tools:

– A pair of gloves: Wear gloves to protect your hands from prickly burrs and to maintain a firm grip.
– A wide-toothed comb or brush: Opt for a comb or brush with wide-spaced teeth to prevent further entanglement.
– Scissors or clippers: In cases where the burrs are deeply embedded, you may need to carefully trim the hair around them.
– Detangling spray or conditioner: Applying a detangling spray or conditioner can make removing the burrs’ grip on the hair easier.

2. Create a calm environment:

Horses can sense our emotions, so it’s important to create a calm and relaxed environment for both yourself and your horse. Find a quiet and secure location where your horse feels comfortable, and ensure there are no distractions that might startle them during the burr removal process.

3. Approach your horse with patience and gentleness:

Approach your horse calmly and reassure them with a soothing voice. Begin by stroking your horse’s neck and gradually work your way toward the affected area. Building trust and maintaining a gentle approach will help your horse feel more at ease and cooperate.

4. Start removing the burrs:

Begin by using your fingers or the wide-toothed comb to gently separate the hair around the burrs. Take care not to pull or tug forcefully, as this may cause discomfort or pain for your horse. Use the comb or brush to work through the hair, gradually removing the burrs in small sections.

5. Apply detangling spray or conditioner:

If the burrs are particularly stubborn or tangled, apply a detangling spray or conditioner to the affected area. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to soften the burrs and make them easier to remove. Use your fingers or the comb to gently work through the hair once again, loosening and separating the burrs from the coat.

6. Trim when necessary:

If the burrs are tightly entangled and difficult to remove without causing discomfort, you may need to trim the hair around them. Use scissors or clippers with caution, ensuring you are not too close to the skin. It’s recommended to seek assistance from a professional if you are unsure about trimming the hair yourself.

7. Post-removal care:

After successfully removing the burrs, it’s essential to provide some post-removal care to your horse. Inspect the skin for any signs of irritation or injury caused by the burrs, and apply a soothing ointment or antiseptic if necessary. Gently brush or comb through the horse’s coat to remove any remaining burr fragments.


Removing burrs from horses is an important aspect of their grooming routine to maintain their comfort and prevent potential complications. By following these steps, approaching your horse with patience and gentleness, and using the appropriate tools, you can effectively remove burrs while ensuring your equine companion’s well-being. Regular grooming and vigilance in checking for burrs will help keep your horse’s coat free from these pesky irritants, allowing them to thrive in a comfortable and healthy environment.