Grooming For Show

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Grooming For Show

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  • 1 Post By Cinder
  • 1 Post By DiamondK
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    08-28-2012, 10:14 PM
Grooming For Show

I typically spend my time training on horses. I take them down the trail, in my little trail/desensitizing course, in the arena and to local schooling shows. The horses I do this with sell well around my area - and mainly I ENJOY it. But, this isn't really the matter of my question, just some background information.

I'm looking this fall/winter to try and start (key word: START) grooming myself (no pun intended haha ), for more competitive showing. This means, still attending those schooling shows (for practice), but going for a more competitive look. Because, to be quite honest, in my personal experience; the better looking the horse, the more apt you're going to get a buyer.

So rather than doing my typical, 'clean the horse up the best I can the night before show,' I want to start going for a more competitive look, a more proper/groomed horse, instead of the winter woolies.

So, I'm looking for some suggestions. My facility actually does not have a wash rack, and I do my bathing the 'good ol' way' - a bucket, hose, and some shampo. I'm not too sure what to do in the bathing department, since I don't have the option for warm water, and don't think the horse would be all to partial of me bathing it in the cold, with cold water, haha.

But any tips, tricks of the trade you've learned along the way would be greatly appreciated!
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    08-28-2012, 11:55 PM
What kind of shows do you go to?

I use a vacuum in winter. If there are stains, use a spot remover like Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover or something similar. You can also spot wash and throw a cooler on until he's dry.

A good clip job helps, too, but does depend somewhat on the type of show you want to attend.
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    08-29-2012, 09:53 AM
Classes I'm planning on doing as just simply local/schooling shows for in-hand classes, walk trot - maybe lope, and then the fun monthly 'fun' class. It will probably be around 5/7 classes for the horse and myself, just time to get them exposure!
    08-29-2012, 01:59 PM
For washing the horses tail in winter I got tail buckets and they work really well. My horse doesn't mind the cold water just on his tail and stand very nicely as I wash it. I still try to do it on the warmest day of the week or I use a bucket heater to warm up some water to do it. Hope this helps. HorseSpa | Tail Buckets
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    08-29-2012, 02:27 PM
Thank you! I'm just trying to have a game plan for the nicest way possible to bath them and such!
    08-29-2012, 02:56 PM
Depending on how cold it is, do you think you could bathe and then blanket and put the horse in it's stall or something like that? Just a thought.

I would say clip the horse's muzzle and ears, maybe a bridle path. I'm not sure if you want to clip the body, as I don't know much about that.

To get the coat shiny, make sure to thoroughly brush the horse every day, if you can.

I'm assuming this is a Western show? Pull mane/s and neatly band. (If English, pull and braid- type of braid depends on class).

Brush out the tail the morning of the show.

Baby oil around the eyes, on the muzzle and ears.

Baby powder/corn starch/french chalk on any white markings.

Show sheen on the tail.

Clear hoof oil on the hooves. If you can, do it somewhere the hooves won't get dirty before the oil dries. Even if some dirt does stick, at least the judge and the buyer know you made the attempt.

Clean any tack.

Make sure you are dressed neatly.

I hope I helped!
DiamondK likes this.
    08-29-2012, 03:46 PM
Great info. Cinder, thanks!
Cinder likes this.
    08-29-2012, 04:19 PM
For a well groomed dressage horse for day to day:
Clip the lower legs
Clip the sides of the tail
Clip a small bridle path
Clip the "beard" and only trim the whiskers
Bang the tail
Pull the mane
In the winter, full body clip, or a well done trace clip
Good feeding program
Regular farrier work

For shows:
I rarely bath. If the horse is very dirty I will rinse him, sweat scrape, rinse, sweat scrape until he scrapes clean, and then shampoo only the white with a whitening shampoo. I will wash the tail, but it must be thoroughly conditioned and have a lot of detangler put in it afterwards. If the horse is not dirty, I will just groom, use "Miracle Groom" and wash the white and the tail only.
Learn to braid well, or hire someone.
Baby oil, hoof polish and coat conditioners - but a healthy sheen will always come from a good feeding program.

I hope that helped; learn discipline specific grooming tips from someone that shows and remember to always follow breed and discipline standard and that "neat and tidy" are key over flashy.
Good luck!

ETA also make sure your tack fits well, the extra leather is trimmed off of everything, you have an appropriately sized saddle pad, your clothing fits well and you are well turned out (make up, hair done properly, etc...) and that your clothes and tack are spotless.
Cinder likes this.
    08-29-2012, 04:52 PM

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