prettying up hooves for a show

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prettying up hooves for a show

This is a discussion on prettying up hooves for a show within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Hoof preparations show

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    06-09-2013, 02:50 AM
prettying up hooves for a show

Hey all,

I don't do shows, nor have I had experience in a show barn prior to leasing a horse last month that is boarded at one (my lease is the farthest thing from a pretty little show horse! Lol).

One thing that really jumped out at me last night when I was out at the barn was the (what seemed to me) excessive hoof preparation/ prettying up for a show.

The horse in question was getting the walls of his hooves power sanded by his owner. Yep, power sanded. The owner had used a marker to note where she may have left some 'high spots', and then went over the hooves a second time with the sander (mind you, it could have had just a buffer style pad on it, i'm sure not gritty sandpaper, at least hoping not!). Then shoe polish (may have been just the term used for hoof polish, I didn't notice the container it was coming out of) was applied. It was white, not clear, and being put on white hooves. These hooves looked so smooth, like a baby bum.

The horses at this barn that are likely to go to shows are also fitted with a bustle (padded strap that goes under the tail) while in their stalls to help achieve the raised tail look.

Is this considered status quo for show barns (this is a morgan barn), or is it excessive? It pretty much blew my mind that so much was felt necessary to pretty up a horse for a show, but like I said, I don't show and would never think to do so much altering to a horse's already beautiful appearance. I've watched a 'big lick' Tennessee walker show once, and that just make me sick to my stomach.
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    06-09-2013, 03:06 AM
It is done for showmanship here for bigger shows. I remember I was at the provincials once sanding my horse's hooves, a lady walks by and says to me, "what would your farrier say if he saw you doing that?" I laughed and said there he is, he has got his horse's hoof over his knee doing the same thing, lol. It doesn't hurt nothing if your horse has healthy hooves and it's done once in awhile. By the way, my farrier won the provincial championship in showmanship, his horse's hooves shined like glass, as all our horse's hooves did. In all the years of showing and sanding hooves smooth, none of my horse's ever had a problem, or thrush or abcesses or chips or cracks. Now if I had a horse with hoof problems I would not do it. As for big licks and other things, that doesn't even compare, not even in the same realm of things.
    06-09-2013, 03:18 AM
Originally Posted by waresbear    
It doesn't hurt nothing if your horse has healthy hooves and it's done once in awhile.
i am not sure how often this is done. The horse is stalled a majority of the day from what I know and looks clean and groomed well enough for me to eat dinner off its back.

One other thing I noticed on this horse's hooves was a large-ish area of horizontal bruising on the side of one hoof wall, about halfway up, level with the visible ends of the nails holding the shoe on. I think with this bruising, that would denote a weakened hoof wall / unhealthy hoof, and power sanding would weaken that area further?

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