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Best SHOW-DAY Grooming Tips? What can't YOU Do WITHOUT?

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  • Best SHOW-DAY Grooming Tips? What can't YOU Do WITHOUT?

    I'm often impressed by the turnout at hunter shows!

    What unique or "tried and true" "tricks of the trade" do you use on show-day?

    How do you give your horse that extra-boost of shiny coat on show day?

    Make hoof dressing not look "dusty" on feet the second they enter warm-up?

    Flow-y, tangle free tail?
    Get socks/tails white? And keep them white in warm-up?
    Get boots gleaming?

    All ideas appreciated!

  • #2
    I go through ridiculous quantities of rubbing alcohol.


    • #3
      Bring a Towel!

      A rag (preferably large towel size) and rubbing alcohol. Get's the green stains out and is great for spot cleaning. Towel is useful for many things: boot rag, spit remover, seat cover...

      Hoof oil also a must. Showsheen those white socks (unless you're putting boots on them because the showsheen will cause the boots to fall). Showsheen in the tail as well or another favorite is the Vetrolin Detangler.
      HorseStableReview.com - Tell others what you know! Post your barn or review today.


      • #4
        I've started putting a little coconut oil in the bath water, which I really like. Socks HAVE to be clipped with a 10 blade, I like to do muzzle and ears with a 40, then rub the inside of the ears with a little baby oil to get them really bald looking and get out all that flakey gross skin. Hoof dressing I have more or less given up on, just do it right before you go in the ring. I have also purchased the most offensive rags ever in the history of mankind so that no one will steal them at the gate. Also, a cactus cloth is great for saddle marks before the jog.


        • #5
          Do a vinegar rinse after you bathe. I just line the bottom of a bucket with vinegar then dilute with warm water and sponge over my horse. Gives them a nice gleem and repels flys (doesn't smell the best though). Clip leg markings with a ten blade. Showsheen on white leg markings repels stains. Also if your clipping job wasn't superior, baby powder hides that and brightens the markings (recommend doing this AT the ring though). The big grey I used to ride, I would keep her tail in a bag up until I head up to the ring (braid or tie in a know for warmup). I used brown boot polish for my dark bay to cover scars from pasture mates nipping at him. I brush off feet and put hoof oil on as the first part of my grooming routine. It drys and makes the feet look clean and dark after a simple sweep of the hard brush at the ring. Then you reapply as frequently as you want ringside. Lay a damp rag over their braids or brushed out mane as you groom your horse in the cross ties. It will press down the stray hairs or get the mane to lay flat. Baby oil on a small rag and wipe around nose, ears, and eyes. Some people don't like this (it runs, collects dust, causes sunburn, etc.), but if you only put a small dot on the rag and rub your horses face, rather then just drenching them in it, it is tasteful and doesn't usually collect dust or run. Rubbing them all over with a towel! Although it doesn't seem like much, if you repeat and really put some elbow grease in it then it makes the hairs lay flat and brings out the shine. Some of those disposable shop towels (you find them in the auto section of target, walmart, and the works) are great for anything. Love them ring side to rub and get the sweat marks off for the job. Wintergreen alcohol works for everthing! Stains, cools off your horse, spray in your helmet, use it as a brace for wrapping, spray on yourself before you go to the grand prix dinner , anything really.
          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
          inside of a man.

          -Sir Winston Churchill


          • #6
            In addition to the above:

            Healthy Haircare for shine in the tail AFTER Show Sheen - its like nothing else - plus its moisturizing and won't make the tail brittle. http://www.healthyhaircare.com/hairMoist.php I know it says just a moisturizer, but man, those oils are shiney!

            Don't wash mane before braiding or your braids might fall out :-) There's nothing I dislike more than getting to the horses stall at o'dark-thirty and having a shiney-showsheened mane to work with. dirty manes hold the tightest braids. (of course you can rinse the dirt out )

            A buffer for white feet (to get the brown stains off) then oil... it sounds silly, but I would use those dirt removing blocks to "sand/buff" his hooves. Or the softest sandpaper you can find...just lightly rub the dirt stains off.

            I used to carry a tub of Orvus with me to the shows for my horse with sabino type markings on all four legs and wash his legs in the morning before the show. He was a jumper, so he wore boots, this way the boots wouldn't slip as if I put Showsheen on his legs.

            I also have a stash of these with me in my grooming kit: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-10146
            Coruscant Stables


            • #7
              I'm posting this hoping someone will remember:

              A spray bottle of Vetrolin cut with XXXX. I forgot the XXXX ingredient. (someone help ) It was a new tip for me and works GREAT. I'm only halfway throught my first bottle and need to figure out what you mix it with before I run out.

              It's great for getting sweat marks off a warm-upped horse before you go into the ring. It's also great at getting dusties off. I spray onto a brush or rub rag or directly onto the horse if the marks are large and wet. The alcohol in the vetrolin makes it dry fast. I've also used this trick when it was too cold to bath in the winter.
              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


              • #8
                Dippety Doo for braids

                Corn starch for socks after they are clean

                Vetroline Shine


                • #9
                  For the most part, the best way to get a shiny coat comes from elbow grease - ie, a curry comb and a rub rag, used in serious quantities every day!

                  For show days, though, I agree with most of the tips above and would add:

                  Putting hoof oil on, letting it "absorb" a bit and then rubbing the excess off with a towel will keep the hooves dark & shiny without attracting so much dust and dirt.

                  Chalk is good for touching up white markings, and easier to use without getting it on everything/everyone else as can happen with powder.

                  The Lucky Braids salve is very good for calming irritation from braids, bugs etc and can really soothe manes & tails that show some wear and tear from braiding. Solves the itchies, too!

                  The leather wipes that come in small packets are great for last minute boot shining, and are easy to stick in a grooming box. Combine with a sheepskin mitt and you are all set (and the mitt can be used with a little Healthy Hair moisturizer to go over the horse's coat one last time to remove any dust/pollen etc that has accumulated during schooling, too.)
                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                    For the most part, the best way to get a shiny coat comes from elbow grease - ie, a curry comb and a rub rag, used in serious quantities every day!
                    Yepp, this is why I love a bay. I spent hours grooming daily, and then at shows my horses look fabulous. Can't do that with a grey... (current horse is, indeed, grey...blech!)


                    • #11
                      I don't know about the dirty mane thing. The pro braiders where we are have always requested a shampooed mane but no conditioner or show sheen of course. I hate the look of a dirty mane braided. You can see the dirt!
                      Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by luvs2ridewbs View Post
                        I don't know about the dirty mane thing. The pro braiders where we are have always requested a shampooed mane but no conditioner or show sheen of course. I hate the look of a dirty mane braided. You can see the dirt!
                        Yeah, that is true, I guess dirty is overboard. But, please no detangler, conditioner, etc.
                        Coruscant Stables


                        • #13
                          Not just washed might be the operative phrase? LOL

                          I've never used the chalk...hmmmmm...thanks for the tip.


                          • #14
                            After we the pick the feet we put on the hoof polish and let it dry before we leave the grooming stall.

                            We also really like the cowboy magic detangler and shine on our ponies with dark tails. Just to clarify we put this on after the tail is braided (our braider would kill us if we did it before) We still don't have the magic formula for the grey pony tails.

                            Definatley baby oil in the nose, muzzle and ears. Using the same rag with a little baby oil also helps shine the boots ring side.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheOrangeOne View Post
                              I have also purchased the most offensive rags ever in the history of mankind so that no one will steal them at the gate.
                              This made me laugh, as just yesterday I decided to take the most hideous towel from the barn for the show. I was just doing it for a laugh, but I guess it won't likely get stolen either!

                              Depending on the footing at the show I usually clean up the horses' hooves up really nice the night before the show and put on the (I think it's Absorbine?) Super Shine polish on their feet. Let it dry, put them in their stalls and in the morning they're still super shiny! Saves me from doing just one more little thing at the show.
                              I'd rather be riding!


                              • #16
                                Ok, it's totally weird.

                                Endust (yes, ok, it's a furniture polish).
                                Sprayed on a rag.
                                Wiped on the horse.

                                Especially when it's dry and windy out - keeps the horse from getting "dusty" when the arena dirt blows around.

                                Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.


                                • #17
                                  I love a pretty tail at the shows so I keep them nice year round. I had always heard that it isn't a good idea to Show Sheen them on a regular basis, that it caused their hair to break. I now know this is a wive's tale. I now Show Sheen, Abracadabra, Vetrolin Shine - what have you, before every ride as part of my regular grooming program. I also regularly condition with baths, then, after half-heartedly rinsing the conditioner out, I spray again w/my detangler of choice. However, if I know I am going to be at a show where we need to braid, use of any conditioner needs to be ceased long enough in advance for the tail to no longer be slick. A vinegar rinse will help cut the conditioner prior to the show.

                                  Poo Stains
                                  If I'm riding one that has white on him, I bring a spot remover to the ring like "Wow" or something like that. I also used to train a grey pony that got the squirts at the in gate which meant he had a nice green slimey trail down both back legs and in his very thick tail. For a guy like that, I kept a bucket of suds and several towels on hand and wiped the pony clean before and after he went into the ring.

                                  Finishing Touches
                                  Everyone else has pretty much covered everything I think most of us like to do. One routine I followed every single time, every round, before every single girl went into the ring was - I took my rag and went over the horse's coat and legs, wiped out their eyes and nostrils. I dipped a corner of the rag into our bucket of water that we kept at the ring and wiped their mouths then the bit. I dusted off the girl's boots and lifted up the horse's tail to make sure everything was ship shape back there. Of course, hoof oil and a spritz of fly spray went on too.

                                  And yes, I am always the person that everyone else is mooching grooming tools off of at the ring. Grrr.....

                                  "If you have the time, spend it. If you have a hand, lend it. If you have the money, give it. If you have a heart, share it." by me


                                  • #18
                                    I am an eventer, but I am KNOWN for the way I do my tails. My trainer won't let anyone else touch his horse's tail before he goes into the dressage ring.

                                    The key is to use products that are designed for African-American hair. It is really cheap and you can find them at walgreens, walmart, etc..

                                    I use the Pink hair care products. Every day I put http://www.lusterproducts.com/produc.../original.html in their tail while I am grooming. For shows, first I wash and condition with http://www.lusterproducts.com/products/Pink/09.htm. Next, I apply the same every day conditioning lotion and brush the tail out. Then, before the horse goes into the ring, I apply http://www.lusterproducts.com/products/Pink/08.htm throughout the entire tail. It literally makes the horses tail shine and flow with ever step. I guess if you are braiding you might not want to use the shampoo/conditioner before because it might make the tail slippery, but I use it once a week at home and it keeps tails nice and soft.

                                    For white socks, http://www.discountbeautycenter.com/...ampoo-4878.htm is the absolute best thing ever. It works so much better than QuicSilver and actually makes the white markings shine!


                                    • #19
                                      I use white shapleys show touch up for the socks and black show touch up for the body.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by luvs2ridewbs View Post
                                        I don't know about the dirty mane thing. The pro braiders where we are have always requested a shampooed mane but no conditioner or show sheen of course. I hate the look of a dirty mane braided. You can see the dirt!
                                        ABSOLUTELY! I would refuse to braid a dirty mane. If my fingers are filthy after I braid, the mane is too dirty.