Pre Show Routine? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-10-2014, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: California
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Pre Show Routine?

I guess this could have been in horse talk? Not sure.

Anyways, Stitch and I are making our debut in the hunter and jumper rings in March, and maybe even doing some low level eventing for fun.
Stitch is my pride and joy, when I was horse shopping I was looking for a ready to go show horse, and came home with a rope horse. He has been a joy, easy to retrain and willing to please. So I want us both to put our best foot (hoof) forward.
What are your pre show routines?
What do you do to your horses?
And what do you do to yourselves?
And what are the "must haves" to bring with you to the show?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-10-2014, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I have a routine I do the day before a show:
For the horse:
First I ride if I'm going to ride the day before a show and then let him go back outside for a bit longer.
While he's outside I usually clean my tack and prepare 2 buckets of water one soapy and one to rinse!
Then I give him a nice big bath, ( I have a grey so it takes a while although sunlight fish soap works great!) then if I need to I braid.
after that it's usually turn in time so I put a very light sheet on (unless it's REALLY hot) and leave him in to keep him clean.
Then if I'm trailering to the show I get all that stuff ready and clean my brushes.
For me:
I clean all my show clothing and lay it out for the next day.
I also try and get anything I have to bring ready like horse boots, a change of clothes, a lunge line, and a rainsheet.
I also get to the barn early in case he gets any new stains.
That's my routine and it works well for me :)
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-10-2014, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-10-2014, 03:08 PM
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I don't show "big time" and just go to the local ones, but I still try to let me and my horses look nice.

I don't have a large size clippers, so a week before the show I will use a scissors to trim the "feathers" on their pastures. I do it a week out so that my scissor marks can have time to blend in.

In general, I keep their manes and tails braided with very little brushing (except show day) to minimize hairs getting ripped.

A couple days before, I make sure all my tack is in good repair and any tack that needs to be washed or cleaned is taken care of.

The day before the show, I use my mini clippers to trim their muzzle hair and around the eyes, and clean up the long hairs around the jaw. I just "tidy" their ear hairs. I don't show big enough to trim their ears fully, but just take care of longer hairs that are sticking out to make it look neater. If I have missed any, I can easily touch-up the day of the show.

The day before a show, I may or may not give my horses a full bath. Depends on the weather and if they need it.

I don't have to pack my trailer because that is where I already keep everything, but when I used to live at home with my parents, I would pack the trailer the day before or else set everything in a pile in the barn so it was be ready to go in the morning.

The morning of the show I get up extra early to wash 7 white socks. And use white brightening rinse. Once their legs are totally dry, I will apply hoof polish.

They get brushed from nose to tail, and all their hair is brushed out. I will usually take a damp cloth and just wipe down their entire body to wipe off any surface dirt. When their hair is dried completely, I'll spray with show sheen. I wait to do a "final brush" with my soft clean brush until I get to the show.

I'll take a damp cloth and wipe off any nose boogers and eye crusts, and will do so again at the show if need be.

I don't change into my clean show clothes until my horse is ready and my class is coming up. That also includes CLEAN boots.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-10-2014, 03:34 PM
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The day before:

I ride my mare pretty hard and correctly, she has a ton on energy. When I'm done I scrub her head to tail, twice. I'll feed her dinner and wait for her to dry. Meanwhile, I clean my tack and pack the trailer. When she is done I spay show sheen all over her, brush out her mane, clip her and tail and put her back outside.

The morning of:
I pull her out of her paddock and wash off any dirty spots. I usually rescrub her legs too (**** white!). I bring her in and give her breakfast in the barn isle. While she is eating I'll do her mane and tail again, oil her feet and look for any last minute things. Then I put her in she stall to eat more breakfast. Meanwhile I recheck the trailer, put my cloths in there and then triple check my stuff.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-10-2014, 03:42 PM
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A great tip is to take the brushes you'll need at the show (especially your body and finishing brushes) and disinfect/clean them by soaking them in a bucket with a splash of Simple Green or a little bleach. Then hose them off and let them dry. While you're doing this, you can wash your slinky and show sheets. Nothing makes me feel better than when I get to the show and I have clean brushes and clean sheets. It's just relaxing to me xD
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-11-2014, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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The day before I make sure that the horse has been bathed properly. Scrub the body and legs, and shampoo the mane and tail thoroughly and condition the bottom of the tail only.
If not doing a running braid the horses manes and tails are braided. If I am doing a running braid it is done right before the horse warms up for their class.
The horses bridle paths, whiskers, chin hairs, and leg hairs are clipped.
When all this is done I will put on a slinky and a weather appropriate sheet.
I also braid the bottom of the tail loosely and attach a tail bag.
All tack is cleaned and is cleaned everyday of classes sometime before the classes start.
For Schooling Day all horses must be wearing clean appropriate tack and white shaped saddle pads. If polo wraps are used they must be white. And riders must wear a white or black polo shirt, clean tan breeches, a plain belt, tall boots or matching chaps/boots, and must have hair in a hair net and tucked into their helmet. Horses are not braided but the mane must neat looking and the horse must be clean.

The day of the horse is taken out and cleaned of any stains and given a good grooming. The horse will wear matching bridle, girth, and saddle. a martingale is not required but if it is used it must also match. Like before a white shaped saddle pad is used and no boots or polo wraps are used (unless in jumpers). The rider must wear everything the same except they must have a long sleeved show shirt and a hunt coat (unless the weather and show permits polo shirts) If the rider decides to wear show clothes the whole day then they must wear coverups until they get on.

I do this routine for rated or schooling shows. The judge has taken time to be at the show. I think it is respectful to appear very well put together and it can sometimes even win some bonus points. It makes the rider(s) and barn look very professional IMO.

This is just how I do it
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-11-2014, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: California
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Thanks for all the ideas you guys! I will keep all of them in mind

One thing I was wondering though, was how the heck i'm supposed to keep my horse with giant white patches all over him, relatively clean from now until the first show on March 30th?

I could just wait until the day before the show and bathe him, but he stains really easily, and it takes more than just one grooming session to get him all white again.

I can't really put a sheet on him, because it's going to be 80 degrees by the end of the week, and he gets too hot.

Any ideas?

I was drawn to horses as if they were magnets. It was in my blood. I must have inherited a genetic proclivity toward the equine species.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-12-2014, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Western Washington
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if you have a light weight nylon sheet that wont be too hot.

This is what I used to to do when I showed a palomino with high white stockings....
one week before legs and white on face got clipped with a #10 blade, three to four days before I would make sure all my outfits were in order, my hat was clean and ready to go, and put anything in garment bags. numbers were already put on jackets, shirts or show pads. I had multiple numbers so I didn't have to change them out all the time. day before I rode in the morning, then cleaned tack and packed the trailer. Along with hay, and any other feed I might need. I then clipped the bridle path and whiskers ears and touched up around hooves. then it was bath time. Sam got a good scrubbing then he was tied to the trailer and let dry in the sun. I banded his mane. Out came the sleazy and sheet, standing wraps and tail bag. It can be a chore keeping a light colored horse clean. He was covered as much as possible and then put in his stall with plenty of hay to keep him busy.
The morning of, I was there early to get him to the show grounds, unload and make sure he was clean enough for the ring. I would much rather do last minute cleaning at the show grounds then at home.
As far as essentials, clean brushes and halter, hay, water buckets....I could keep going...
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-12-2014, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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I use a fly sheet. Some sort of spot remover is great. Shapely's make a horse friendly white spray paint that works awesome, just spray it on a rag and wipe it carefully onto his white patches!
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