So you see those stunning show horses?How do the owners get that amazing shine and if you'd run a brush through the horses coat not one peice of dirt would come out. My horse gets around 3 hours of brushing a day, rugged at night and bathed. Cooled down correctly after rides. Basically I try to keep him as cleen and neat as possible. He looks great, but he still doesn't look as good as he could. I've been meaning to add egg into his diet to give his coat that extra shine.
So my question after all of that is - What are some ideas for getting that "perfect" look? Things like eggs to add to their diets, grooming ideas, ect.
Well, every time I groom, I wipe Thumper down with a cloth. Not wet or anything, but it gets the dust particles off. He also gets a really long grooming session . Here's a picture of him after using a rag:
Also, for tails and manes, I don't comb it every day- I untangle it with my fingers and sometimes use Cowboy Magic Detangler if it's extremely tangled. His tail is a work in progress! You can also use Show Sheen/Laser Sheen, etc. to make them even shinier . That's what a lot of people around me do. Also, if they have any white socks, there are special whitening shampoos and sprays to get those even whiter; you can also use baby powder or something like that... can't remember exactly- someone correct me if I have it wrong! Some white powder- I know that :). It also has a lot to do with nutrition. A horse who isn't getting what he needs food wise, etc., isn't going to have that shiny coat and healthy look. Also, NEVER FORGET THE FACE!!!!!! Lol that's a pet peeve of mine :). Make sure you take a brush (I use one of the ones made specially for their faces and a face curry comb) and clean it all up :). You can also take a wet cloth and wipe off any little runny, messy bits :). If you're going for the all-out show look you can clip their fetlocks, ears, muzzle, and any other whiskers. I leave Thumper's fuzzy ears because he isn't accepting of the clippers (even pocket clippers) near his ears yet. It's a work in progress :). Hopefully I can work with him over the winter to get him over that issue :).
Your horse is probably never going to look at home as good as he does at a show. I believe it is good for a horse to get some dirt and only get show clean for well shows. You sound like your doing everything right and you might just have to live with your horse being dirty at home. Which is perfectly fine. Horses enjoy being dirty. Also I wouldnt add egg to my horses diet personally. It is a meat in a way and horses are herbvoirves. I don't really know anything about it but that is my two sense about that. Instead of adding egg you could look into getting flax seed. That helps improve the coat a great deal and is good for their joint too, im pretty sure. I know it works for a coat because my trainer uses it all the time. We use ground flax seed and just add it to their grain. They also make flax seed treats which could be another option. Then only problem with flax seed it that it is a little expensive but what isnt these days. Any ways hope this helps.
Anrz you are right about the baby powder. You can also use corn starch on their legs too! I personally use baby powder mostly because it smells nice and it was what was lying around my house. Putting powder on their legs takes practice so I recommend doing it at home first before doing it at the show and when your at the show spending the time to do it right.
DON'T OVER GROOM! Over-grooming will strip all the good oils out of the coat - And the oils are what help it stay shiny. Some horses are just shiny - some just aren't. Good nutrition is the MOST important factor in coat health. Your horse should always have a salt block/mineral block and fresh water avaiable, and not be deficient in anything. Also make sure teeth are all good, and worm regularly. You can add oils, sunflower seeds, egg, supplements like bio-bloom, or meals like Copra to their diet to assist in maintaining a good coat. Oils are the ket ingredient.
Apart from that? Rugging is important - Also don't over-bathe, again it strips natural oils from the coat.
I'm blessed with a naturally shiny horse - My show horse isn't rugged in summer and is a giant dust ball, I just give him a bath the night before a show, chuck a cotton on him and he is show-ready. Here he is after a quick brush straight from the paddock before my ride.
Have to agree with adding Copra. It's fantastic. I met someone at a show that fed like 1kg of Copra a day and you could just about see your reflection in his pally's coat!
At show's after a bath the day before and a good grooming, I grab a micro-fibre cloth and give him a quick wipe down just before I get on. It picks up loose dirt and hair that brushing wouldn't get out.
Keep some good brushes aside for showing only and clean them after each use with water.
Show sheen works well, just don't put it where the saddle goes or it will slip!
Make sure he's got a balanced diet too. That will boost his natural shine. There are some websites you can look at and you put in what your horse is getting and then it tells you what he's lacking and what he's getting too much of. Try that out or talk to a vet or nutritionist.
I agree with the wiping down with a rag, and not adding egg. I gave my girls corn oil, just a tiny bit, and it really did make a difference.
Show horses, it seems, are only ever NOT rugged when they are in the show ring. From my limited experience, they are bathed, dried, braided, blanketed, bagged, sleezied, and what have you immediately. There simply isn't time for them to get dirty, lol.