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Hunter-Eq rider
Jul. 31, 2009, 10:27 PM
Well, I have a big show coming up and I want Tiffany to look amazing. I usually have a groom at the show, even though I love to groom, it really does help make sure everything runs smoothly, especially because she is young and this is only her third horse show.
She is a regular bay, very fancy movement but pretty plain other then that. Point is, I want her to look her best.

What are some of your grooming tips/ secrets to get ready for a big show coming up, or grooming tips day before the show.

Thank you in advance!

Hunter Mom
Jul. 31, 2009, 10:57 PM
I find that most of the "work" in grooming is done months in advance. There is no substitute for a regular date with your horse and the brushes. I don't use any type of show sheen or anything along those lines - I like the "natural" shine myself. Don't bathe too much, either - they need the oils in their skin.

What we do
Every ride - curry & brush - lots of elbow grease. Rinse off any mud before, always rinse (no soap) sweat off after the ride. Good nutrition, sheets to avoid sun burnt coats. Periodically, we do shorten/thin manes to keep them neat and avoid a huge last-minute pulling session.

Before a show - bathe with minimal shampoo (I personally love Absorbine SuperPoo, and use a capful per horse per bath). I use a scrubby mitt and work all over their bodies. For tails/manes, we wash with shampoo, add conditioner and work though, picking by hand. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. We then let them dry (they usually get to graze in teh sun, which they love!) and then start clipping. They get only one bath per show, except for spot bathing the pony who is paint.

My horse gets her socks clipped, but not too close to turn pink. Pony (who is 1/2 white) gets her legs clipped to the fetlocks and up the backs. Ears, jaws & muzzles are all clipped as well. I do not clip eye whiskers.

If we are at a show where braiding is required, I braid in teh morning normally. I like the look of a fresh braid job. I do use slightly contrasting yarn - my black girl looks smashing in a dark raspberry color. When we show, we do a normal grooming, with an extra wipe down with a microfiber towel to get off any dust. They do wear sheets at shows if it isn't too hot to avoid any spots/dust we can.

DeucesWild11
Aug. 1, 2009, 08:00 AM
i am OBSESSIVE over my turnout (I show A's as well as open and I used to do 4h). I have owned several horses but have downsized to just my Oldenburg mare.) I braid my horses based on their neck conformation. My mare has a nice topline, but the slightest of dips at the withers, so I braid with scallop braids and that goes away (from a distance, you can't even tell they are scallops and they look just as nice!) I do french braid for the forelock (it looks FAR nicer than a regular flat braid) and I do pinwheels for my tails, and I braid tails every chance i get, it always looks MUCH nicer. I show sheen my tails, and brush them religously so that they are as full as possible. (I will never use a fake tail!! they just don't move right to me) My horses do have a natural shine but I always use peppi shine all over except where the saddle goes. It accents the natural shine. Generally, my mare has a nice butt so I put one checkerboard quartermark on her. I hoof black my horses feet and then spray them with hairspray (keeps the shine) and I black chestnuts. I also use a small amount of shine on my horses muzzle (kinda like vaseline, but not as sticky) and also on ears and around eyes. I have a black horse who's muzzle can get ashy. The facial hair is clipped and the outside hair of the ears is clipped. If her one sock is yellowish (she's a messy girl) I put baby powder on it. Generally, she gets a bath afterwards to remove the pepi (with human shampoo and conditioner, which keeps the natural shine,) I ALWAYS take pepi and a brush/rag to the ring for touchups. Like I said, Im obsessive. =)

spmoonie
Aug. 1, 2009, 01:54 PM
Like others have said, the true work happens months in advance. To get that beautiful, natural shine/glow, I started adding 1/2 cup of corn oil to my horses feed. His coat is much healthier and just glows. Before most rides, I spray a hair conditioner in their tails, however to keep them full and thick, I only brush the tails at shows. For any white areas, QuikSilver is simply the best. I use a hoof conditoner instead of hoof oil. Let it soak in, then wipe any excess off with a rag. And of course, most important of all: CURRY CURRY CURRY! Nothing makes a horse look better than being curry combed religiously.

dauphine2
Aug. 1, 2009, 03:11 PM
I second the currying! Other than that, I brush Lady's tail, mane, and forelock almost every day. But I use a ton of detangler (Santa Fe works best IMO) so half her tail doesn't get ripped out.

For hoofs I use Fiebings Hoof Dressing, which is more like oil than dressing. It gives their hooves a nice natural sheen. And then, like Deuces, I spray hairspray over the hoof oil.

Quick Silver for any white, use a little less shampoo than you 'think' you're going to need. A lot of people over do it with the shampoo, I know I do. :lol: I don't shampoo her mane or forelock on the day of the show, I do that one or two days before. Garneir Silk 'n Shine or whatever it's called works really nice. Nicer than the horse shampoos.

Grooming chalk from Smartpak on the day of the show, it's much less messy than baby powder is. Scrim sheets are great for ring side because they aren't hot for the horses, but keep the dust off.

Sheepskin grooming mitts with a little show sheen on them are really nice for touch-ups right before you go in. They also make it easier to put show sheen on their faces, too. Rinse any sweat off your horse after you ride on an every day basis.


And remember to keep the tail wrap on until right before your class!

DeucesWild11
Aug. 1, 2009, 03:21 PM
Grooming chalk? Elaborate? Easier than baby powder? DO TELL!!!

spmoonie
Aug. 1, 2009, 03:30 PM
Grooming chalk? Elaborate? Easier than baby powder? DO TELL!!!

Its simply a stick of chalk. You just rub it on the horse, like coloring! :)

bhrunner06
Aug. 1, 2009, 07:28 PM
It all comes from daily grooming. No show groom comes at the show. Daily routine: curry, curry, curry, brush, brush, brush, then a towel with a moisturizer sprayed on it that i make (a little vetrolin, a couple of drops of baby oil, then fill with water)...rub all over the body and face and legs with the towel. show sheen on tail, brush mane and forelock. brush tail gently once the show sheen is dry. paint feet with effol or rain maker, after the ride i give the hoof (a squirt of bleach water to dry up any thrush that may be developing). legs get washed after every ride or turn out to prevent fungus.

legs are always clean shaved (up to knees) to help keep legs clean and easy to dry. trim face as needed (i use a razor on the muzzle almost daily followed by a wipe of baby oil to avoid razor burn).

mane is kept nice and tidy, braided over as needed to keep it on one side.

angrychinchillas
Aug. 1, 2009, 08:33 PM
I actually don't show my horse anymore, but would just like to chime in to nth the crowd extolling the virtues of regular currying. This summer, I've made it a routine to ride, rinse, and then take him out to hand-graze until he dries... And to give myself something to do, once he starts drying, I curry. And I curry. It ends up being 30 minutes to 1 hour of currying every time I ride, and WOW, has it ever made a difference. He's usually shiny to begin with, but his coat now is almost blindingly bright in the sunlight, and incredibly soft and smooth. My mom went out to see him and couldn't believe how good he looked - she thought I'd bathed and showsheened him, or that he'd been getting rice bran or some other supplement again. :winkgrin:

HJPony
Aug. 1, 2009, 09:31 PM
Well, if you maintain your horse's coat on a daily basis you are much more show ready. I, and so many others, cannot stress curry curry curry enough. It truly does wonders from the inside out.

However, I know that above is not the information you are looking for so here's some tips before the show:

1. As always, leave no straggle hairs anywhere on your animal. Always have them well clipped, especially the legs, to avoid fungal issues. I absolutely love those two dollar purple muzzle shavers. They clip the whiskers around the muzzle better than any clipper can do.

2. Stay away from Silicon based products. Have your groom or whomever spray show sheen/ comb the tail right before your classes. Show sheen and the like actually attracts dirt and grime..great for short term use..but wash the tail as always afterward to get it all out. I recommend Healthy Hair Care products for the tail while at home, as well as the body.

3. A nice braiding job will make the biggest difference. This is something I will not slack off on because of the cost. To me, braiding both mane and tail is a tradition well kept. If you'd rather not pay for a nice braiding job; learn and practice so you can do just as well.

4. Use little water. As tempting as it is to bathe these dirty beasts every time they get dirt on them..try to stay away. Water can really strip the coat of it's natural oils. Thus taking away from the shine and glimmer of their coats. After a bathe apply your favorite conditioner, such as Healthy Hair Care!(can you tell I love this stuff yet?)

4. A hoof pick, towel, and oil are quite helpful ringside. Picking your horse's feet is super important, as you already know. It is just ridiculous to work so hard to win and have a sour horse due to a rock in their hoof. This is especially probably in unknown footing. Oiling your horse's feet before each class is customary too. As annoying as it is sometimes, it should be done.

5. Elbow grease, a moist towel, and a curry comb. Curry than use a moist towel to pick up the lifted dirt and dead skin from the curry.

There's so much more. If I didn't have my own beasts to ride I'd go on for forever.

Tiffany01
Aug. 1, 2009, 09:45 PM
I find that most of the "work" in grooming is done months in advance. There is no substitute for a regular date with your horse and the brushes. I don't use any type of show sheen or anything along those lines - I like the "natural" shine myself. Don't bathe too much, either - they need the oils in their skin.

What we do
Every ride - curry & brush - lots of elbow grease. Rinse off any mud before, always rinse (no soap) sweat off after the ride. Good nutrition, sheets to avoid sun burnt coats. Periodically, we do shorten/thin manes to keep them neat and avoid a huge last-minute pulling session.

Before a show - bathe with minimal shampoo (I personally love Absorbine SuperPoo, and use a capful per horse per bath). I use a scrubby mitt and work all over their bodies. For tails/manes, we wash with shampoo, add conditioner and work though, picking by hand. Then rinse, rinse, rinse. We then let them dry (they usually get to graze in teh sun, which they love!) and then start clipping. They get only one bath per show, except for spot bathing the pony who is paint.

My horse gets her socks clipped, but not too close to turn pink. Pony (who is 1/2 white) gets her legs clipped to the fetlocks and up the backs. Ears, jaws & muzzles are all clipped as well. I do not clip eye whiskers.

If we are at a show where braiding is required, I braid in teh morning normally. I like the look of a fresh braid job. I do use slightly contrasting yarn - my black girl looks smashing in a dark raspberry color. When we show, we do a normal grooming, with an extra wipe down with a microfiber towel to get off any dust. They do wear sheets at shows if it isn't too hot to avoid any spots/dust we can.

same here.

gg4918
Aug. 1, 2009, 10:19 PM
If you're going to braid, make sure that the mane and tail are extra clean and dandruff free. Nothing like a good braid to make a dirty mane and tail that much more obvious!!

broughton_sporthorses
Aug. 2, 2009, 08:17 AM
What do you curry with? We use a rubber sort of curry. Do you use cactus cloths at all?

Caroline Weber
Aug. 2, 2009, 08:54 AM
What do you curry with? We use a rubber sort of curry. Do you use cactus cloths at all?

Dressage and event rider chiming in here, but I LOVE cactus cloths! I generally use a stiffer rubber curry for a horse who had a bit too much fun in the mud, one of the gentle rubber mitts (very fine, soft teeth) for a horse who appears clean but has some dander under there somewhere, and a cactus cloth on a clean horse. I have a cactus cloth mitt with fleece on the other side, I generally give the horse a thorough rubdown with the cactus cloth and then really smoooooooth the hair out with the fleece side.

DeucesWild11
Aug. 2, 2009, 09:16 AM
Question: What do you all do in the middle of winter when your horse gets that staticy dust. How do you get rid of it? Vaccum? Or water? These are the only things I know of but do you guys have any hints?

SkipChange
Aug. 2, 2009, 09:40 AM
I've always used rubber curry combs but lately I've been using this hard plastic one and I really like it.
http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-1009&ids=679067739

Coreene
Aug. 2, 2009, 11:16 AM
Quick tip for geting the gunk of the front of hind legs: squirt baby oil on wherever the gunk is, rub it in a bit, leave a few minutes and then shampoo off. Gunk gone. Of course if you keep the horse very el groomed then you won't have gunk, but a good quick way of getting it off.

bhrunner06
Aug. 2, 2009, 11:17 AM
i just use a regular curry mit! and as for the winter, i use a towel with the moisturizer i described in my previous post. works well to get dust off!

IsolaBella09
Aug. 2, 2009, 01:12 PM
People always give me compliments on how shiny my horse's coat is. My secret: curry. Curry, curry some more, and then curry again. Did I mention you have to curry? :) And not just with a rubber curry comb, I use a metal one. $5 at Beval.
http://www.beval.com/Products/Metal-Curry/2004006.aspx
It works better than the rubber ones and the horses loves it. I use a rubber mitt for his face and legs. Of course as everyone has said, a horse's shiny coat happens months in advance, and can not be done in 30 minutes prior to getting on at a show. I was taught that if you aren't dripping sweat by the time you are done grooming your horse, then you've done it wrong, and have to go back and do it again.

At shows, my horse will have had a bath the day before, so I usually give him a brush, a rubdown with a damp rag, and spray him with some Vetrolin Shine. I use baby oil around his nose, eyes, and ears, and I will put some hair gel in his mane. I'll put some detangler in his tail and spray with Vetrolin again. I make sure he doesn't have any stray whiskers around his muzzle, and I bring along a razor so I can clip them if he does. I put hoof oil on, go school around, and before I go in the ring, I put a second coat on. If my horse is getting braided, I make sure to have his mane and tail very clean, so his expensive braids don't look like crap in the morning.

Turnout is extremeley important to me, as I think it reflects the horse's care and the horse's caregiver. I was always taught to put extra sweat into grooming and make sure the animal was spotless, especially at shows. This sport is about the horse and the horse comes first.

RyuEquestrian
Aug. 2, 2009, 06:42 PM
This is going to sound a bit strange, but I actually got the tip from one of the recent Chronicles from last month.

For whites, mix corn starch and water together to create a thick paste and smear it on. Let the past sit until dry and then brush off.

We tried it with one of our hunter mares (with 2 hind high stockings and a big blaze) at her BWP Inspection a few days ago and it worked beautifully! I've always been a big supporter of Quic Silver, but this put it to shame. We bathed her whites the night before with Quic Silver, plastered her legs with the paste and let them sit over night to dry and then in the morning brushed them off.... worked like a charm!

spmoonie
Aug. 2, 2009, 07:56 PM
This is going to sound a bit strange, but I actually got the tip from one of the recent Chronicles from last month.

For whites, mix corn starch and water together to create a thick paste and smear it on. Let the past sit until dry and then brush off.

We tried it with one of our hunter mares (with 2 hind high stockings and a big blaze) at her BWP Inspection a few days ago and it worked beautifully! I've always been a big supporter of Quic Silver, but this put it to shame. We bathed her whites the night before with Quic Silver, plastered her legs with the paste and let them sit over night to dry and then in the morning brushed them off.... worked like a charm!


Hmm...I really like that idea!

RyuEquestrian
Aug. 2, 2009, 08:03 PM
Yeah, it was a great tip from the Chronicle and it couldn't have been easier! Happy grooming!

charlo
Aug. 2, 2009, 08:16 PM
MCarverS Great tip...thanks I'm going to try that on my daughter's mare. She has 4 stockings up to her knees and hocks, and a show coming up.

RyuEquestrian
Aug. 2, 2009, 08:30 PM
just make sure to get enough corn starch! We went through a box and a half with just two high hind socks and could have used more!

RyuEquestrian
Aug. 2, 2009, 08:33 PM
Also for show ring hooves. I apply Fieblings hoof oil everyday for a week before a show on non-black hooves after their shower or groom and let it dry. I find that this stains the non-black hoof a bit darker and then come show day, I simply apply a coat of Absorbine Clear Hoof Polish for a slightly darker and very shiny hoof that stays in place.