Join Date: May 2010
Location: Queensland, Australia
I think it'd help if you also went over his mane with a thinning comb or leave your cut a little longer and just pull the remainder to avoid the toilet brush look. I'd do that as soon as possible. Then the night before, that's when I'd band it and then put a skinny hood over the top to make it stay flat.
I wouldn't put black make up on his face, simply because it can be quite hard to do if you don't have the natural black/grey around his eyes to go off. Instead, I'd probably use baby oil.
If you can't clip him (which I wouldn't suggest if you're going into summer now), then I'd suggest getting into him with a brush and getting rid of as much loose hair from his coat as you can. Then I'd put a light cotton rug on him, making sure all hair is lying flat and then perhaps even put a bigger rug on top (but not enough to overheat him - I'm not sure what your weather is like). Once you've brushed him, I'd go over his coat with a soft sheepskin grooming mit.
One of my favourite grooming things is my Mr Sheen Furniture Polish - just lightly spray on his tail and his legs (if you can't get the raven's oil for his legs). It'll make them look far richer in colour. After the show, just make sure you wash both areas well.
Good luck at your show!
...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...