Share your Horse Presentation, Plaiting, Grooming Tips for Shows! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-20-2012, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 68
• Horses: 1
Share your Horse Presentation, Plaiting, Grooming Tips for Shows!

So I wanted to make this thread for everyone to get ideas, get inspired, ask for how-to's on everything from presentation tips and grooming ideas for hacking/ showing or any show really.
Now I'm not a Hacky person so I'll share a few of my tips I've picked up. Yes a few of these things are extremely pointless but if you are in a show the judge sadly likes this.
- Spray hairspray on your horses hooves to get them black again from your Blac-It in between your classes.
- Use a towel to wipe over your horse when you've finished grooming to pick up all that excess dirt, dead hair and little bits and pieces. It also brings out oils and gets them really nice and shiny, a sheepskin mitt works too.
- If your horse foams and they just had their brekky ( usually made up of hay ), a good way to get them to froth white instead of green is to feed them a sugar cube or an apple before putting the bridle on.
- Make sure you clean your bit! The judge once left me till last and all she said was, " your bit was dirty "
- Make sure your keepers are up on your bridle , yes I got picked up for this too!
- Make sure not only your horse is clean but you are too! Clothing and boots :)
- If you are putting on make up or hoof oil or anything that can stain wear something on top of your clothes just in case of spillage.
- Plait big and spread out plaits for horses with skinny necks to give the illusion they have a bigger neck . And vice versa for horses with fat, cresty necks.
- Buy one of those instant leather buffer shiny thingos from the shoe store, to quickly buff and leave your tack spotless :)
- Use a toothbrush to get those stirrup treads really white.
- To save time carrying a bucket to and from the tap, bring like an empty water container that you see in offices and buildings, you can buy one from the shops, drink it all yourself and refill it for the shows. That way all you have to do is have an empty bucket and just poor the water into the bucket. Walla! Saved 10 minutes finding and filling up at a tap and your back bringing it back :) You can also have one for yourself if you get thirsty between shows and dont have enought time to go to the canteen.
- Smile for the judge and HAVE FUN don't take it too seriously if you don't get placed. It's always for experience :)

I'm doing this at 12:09 AM so excuse any mistakes haha, I'll be sure to post anything else I can remember. Please share your ideas ! I'd love to add a few new tips to my list.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-23-2012, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: I live in the United States
Posts: 101
• Horses: 1
-For a shiny horse throw some flax seed in his food all throughout the season.
-After bathing spray him down with your show shine product (whatever that may be) *Even where your tack goes is alright with controlled amounts.
-Under your saddle to stop the slippage throw a shamy under your pads, it'll all stick like glue.
-Instead of wetting the mane for braiding, wet it with your stiffest hair gel you can find
-Spray all your braids after your done to help prevent them from coming out next time he shakes his head, or worse, half-way through the day!
- use a fine grade sandpaper on your hooves before applying the hoof shine to really get a mirror finish
-Spend the time to get every tiny little piece of tack like you just bought it before arriving, it really counts!
-don't be afraid to talk to your horse in the ring, a little encouragement will get you far! will calm the both of you down, and the judge likes seeing a working partnership too!
- In the warm-up ring use only schooling tack, and use the most covering tack as well to help keep your ride clean for when it counts
-in the warm-up ring ride in comfortable clothes, no sense dirtying up your outfit and getting it all sweaty when the judge isn't near- your competition doesn't care they're too focused on what they're doing to notice
-in the warm-up ring don't do anything too fancy, keep that in your bag of tricks for when it's your time to shine!

I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse.
- John Galsworthy
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-23-2012, 03:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,620
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- Wash and shampoo the day before the show so your horse has time to restore his natural oils.
- Use baby shampoo on a rag to wash the face so it doesn't sting their eyes.
- M-T-G the tail and put the tail in a braidable tail bag to keep it clean.
- Purchase a show sheet and clean the stall often to keep poo stains off if your horse frequently lays down.
- Band your mane the night before and pull the bands tight from underneath. Or pay a professional to do it.
- Put on a slinky to keep the braids nice and flat for the morning.
- Hoof gloss.
- Make sure your fake tail is freshly washed and neatly combed, and always put it in as correctly as possible. Be sure to trim the bottom for scraggly hairs.
- Make sure all your silver is polished.
- Keep a partially wet rag to get the dust off, and have a small soft brush at hand for touch-ups.
- Make sure every hair on your horse's face and ears is clipped, and also his feet. If he has white facial markings, clip those close so they look pinker.
- Apply baby-oil or sunscreen to the nose, eyes, and ears for a sleek appearance.
- Use chalk to make white spots look whiter.
- An ungodly amount of show sheen.
- Apply fly spray lightly with a rag so it doesn't attract dust.
- Make sure all your tack fits properly and is clean, including the bit.
- Don't put on your hat until the last second, because horses love slobbering on them.
- Don't put on your chaps until the last second, and keep a bristle brush handy to wipe off the dirt.
- And make sure the boogers are out of your horse's nose :P
- And don't forget your bright red hooker lipstick!! lol
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-23-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 68
• Horses: 1
Thanks learnt a bit and youse covered a few that I forgot!
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-23-2012, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 424
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Wash your brushes the day before or have seperate set of show brushes so using only clean ones for the show.

Bath horse day before then cover with sheet.

Braid tail up for the night.

Don't use show sheen because it attracts dust.

Don't curry your horse the day of the show, because it will do nothing but bring up the dirt from under the coat which triples your grooming time to get rid of it.

Lots of rags, for boots, tack, nose, and body.

When bathe horse day before take sandpaper block to the hooves to get everything off and have smooth layer to apply polish.

Clip horse 1 week before show, in case make an oops cut this gives chance to grow back some. Also helps to give just a little more of natural look. Including the socks.

Braid/band mane night before and put on hood. If doing running braid wait till day of show to do so and be sure to braid and keep horses in more upright position to keep from getting the crinkly messy look.

Have sponge and water ready before every class. About 5 min before class take very damp sponge all over horse mane and tail to help bring out shine in your horse.

Morning of show day unto braid in horses tail to let relax so braid crinkles can work themselves out. If tail drags ground loosely tie up.

Apply corn starch to white areas of horse. Baby powder I think is too light and doesn't stay nearly as well.

Apply baby oil to face and ears right before going into class.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
Azale1 is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 04-24-2012, 04:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sayreville, NJ
Posts: 65
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I really must have been OCD while showing! My list was a lot longer! I was showing both 4-H and National Champion Standardbred Horse Show... My horses manes are always kept long and flowing. no pulling. no banding. no braiding. I ALWAYS qualified for states in Grooming and showmanship and did both English and Western. I would wash in Pantene Pro-V thickening shampoo and conditioner the day before the show and used 1/4 gallon or so of show sheen after (My standardbred was 16 hands and was insanely long). I never used a fake tail and I kept getting questioned by judges whether she had a fake tail or not... my secret? Ignore everyone that says to finger pick and be careful. All the show horses I've seen who had that treatment had no tails to speak of including the ones I rode at college who were supposed to be top champion horses. I would douse the tail in show sheen and CAREFULLY use a grooma rake or comb and start at the very bottom of the tail and work up in about 1 inch (2.5cm) sections. Then I would take a paddle brush and brush through the entire thing. This would ensure the natural oils got through the tail and made it healthier. The only hairs I ever lost were those that were dead already which you can tell by the root being attached still.
Morning of the show: BRUSHING TIME! I would start at like 3 or 4 in the morning before the trailer got this order.
heavy rubber curry with the thick nubby things
long bristled stiff brush
plastic curry-circular motion
stiff brush
plastic curry-brushing motion with the hair
medium-hard brush
rubber curry
medium brush
fine bristled rubber curry
soft brush
fine mist of showsheen
finishing brush-2 mists of showsheen on brush with each stroke
spray mane and tail with showsheen--wait 2 minutes
gently comb out mane
brush mane
gently comb tail with grooma rake from bottom to top in 1" (2.5cm) sections
brush tail and braid while still damp from showsheen then braid, put in tail bag (the lycra kind that ties in) and wrap the ties with electrical tape

I haven't shown in around 10 years but I'm working on my paint gelding for this year with a 4-H girl. My secret for all his white to become blinding white: in a bucket find a concentrated whitening shampoo and pour a little in and mix with water. using a curry that attaches to the hose, thoroughly wet the horse (until the white turns pink), sponge shampoo mix all over the horse including non-white areas, grab a bottle of straight arrow Spray 'n' White and spray just the white areas, wait 2 minutes, curry with a trickle of water coming out of the hose attachment to get a nice bubbly mess going, wait 1 more minute, turn curry attachment to highest output and curry out all the shampoo. Let horse dry in the sun and follow above grooming. I have yet to EVER clip my paint and I get compliments on how blindingly white I can get him. (He's in my photo albums)
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-24-2012, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 68
• Horses: 1
OMG that's a lot of brushing! No wonder why you qualify. Anyone got tips with black horses to make them black as night? No dye shampoos though, I don't want to try anything out just incase :)
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-24-2012, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sayreville, NJ
Posts: 65
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Originally Posted by KnB View Post
OMG that's a lot of brushing! No wonder why you qualify. Anyone got tips with black horses to make them black as night? No dye shampoos though, I don't want to try anything out just incase :)
I've heard great things about a feed supplement called "Black as Knight". I also swear by Omega Horse Shine. To prevent fading in the summer, full clip the body AT LEAST a month before the show and use a Kensington protective sheet and Quik Shade (spray on sunscreen for horses) every day. Again, I used this method on my Standardbred before nationals one year. She was looking orange (normally a beautiful blood bay) and not so shiny... this worked miracles!
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-26-2012, 01:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 133
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what would you do with a horse's mane for western events? really don't want to pull/cut/roach,

could i just leave them down? and one of my mares has CRAZY mane! its all over the place, and i really should cut a bridle path, but i braid one instead. is that okay?

Having horses means: There is always hay in your bra. And you're never quite certain on how it got there.
You realize that you just clucked at the dog
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-26-2012, 01:39 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by WyomingSissy View Post
what would you do with a horse's mane for western events? really don't want to pull/cut/roach,

could i just leave them down? and one of my mares has CRAZY mane! its all over the place, and i really should cut a bridle path, but i braid one instead. is that okay?
I'm not savvy on western, so I will leave the western even question to the others but,

As for the bridle path, I would clip it or shave at least a small patch with one of those safe trimmers. If you braid it then your bridle will not fall correctly onto the horse's poll, and it can cause pressure, itchiness etc.... and overall be uncomfortable. Not doing anything and just leaving it can cause the bridle to pull the hair, tangle with it, and cause other discomforts. The bridle path is first and foremost for the horse's comfort while wearing the bridle.

Most people already said the general gist but I have a few things I like that haven't been listed by anyone.

Yes, do wash your horse at least 24 hours or more before a show so your horse can build up it's natural oils. If something happens and you just MUJST wash your horse again, or a spot, use something really mild like a moisturizing body wash. My favorite is Olay Moisturizing body wash because it doesn't strip the oils so bad and you don't end up with a dull patch, or dull horse because you had to wash poo or mud off before the show.

When braiding the tail, taking the smallest strands possible from under the tail and don't take any from the front (when done properly it covers the front anyway) looks better and more "finished" than taking thicker bunches. I always get "oohs" and "ahhs" when I braid Cinny's tail and I even had one judge say that if they could award a "best tail braid" at the end of day's miscellaneous awards, Cinny would have had it hands down.

If using bands, buy a big bag, or several packages of the ones you plan to use and do a trial run. No kidding.... My last show I tried a different brand and they all broke and/or "popped" off within 10 minutes of putting them in. Not something someone wants to have happen.

Have someone double check under the tail.... I've seen a LOT of horses at schooling shows gallantly trotting around the arena with mudd butt!
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