I use a pumice stone and give Pukeko a bath , rub over with the pumice stone (not hard , its more of a back scratch than anything else , he loves it - I also use a hessian sack , he prefers it on his face and its rough enough that it gets off the loose stuff.) I wouldn't pick off the scabs , as it opens him up to infection and all sort of crud but using the pumice and the hessian sack , it gets off what is loose and ready to come off anyway and makes him feel good :)
I put some tea tree oil in the water as it also deters fleas and ticks and makes him smell good if nothing else - I find that by putting the tea tree oil in , it gets off the live ones and stops new adults hopping on - and then once he's dried off I put the frontline on and it kills off the last of the eggs/juvenile bugs
I do the same for the cats if they come in with them - and for my boy lol - everyone gets tea tree'd haha and the whole property stinks of it for a week.
I'd give your blankets and saddle pads a scrub too just to be safe , wash them in the tea tree oil solution too - they'll smell a bit for a while until they air out but it'll kill anything still on them.