Preparing for a Show
Good Luck this year!!
Here is a post from my blog on how to prepare for a horse show. I hope it helps.
Whether you are headed for your first show or a seasoned vet, you must be prepared and your hose must be sparkling clean. You will want to wash your hose’s body, mane and tail twice and be sure to scrub any white socks until they are spotless. Be thorough when clipping and banding and cover your hose so he/she stays clean all night. Make the day before the show less stressful by having all of your supplies on hand. You should have a couple buckets on had, a hose, some sponges and a curry comb. Use a sweat scraper to help your horse dry faster and you will also want to have a mane and tail comb handy. It is also a good idea to have a clean, dry halter and lead rope on hand for after the bath when your horse is dry and clean.
You will need a good horse shampoo and conditioner. A gentle moisturizing horse shampoo will lift away dirt easily. Shampoo & Conditioner deep cleans and revitalizes hair in one step. Color Enhancing Shampoo intensifies natural colors within the coat while leaving it soft, smooth and shiny. Whitening Shampoo should be used if you horse is light colored or has white markings or socks. No Rinse Shampoo and Spot Removers will be handy if your horse gets dirty before the show. Use a Sheath & Udder Cleaner for those sensitive underneath areas so that every inch of your hose is dirt free. Conditioner especially designed for horses will moisturize your horse’s coat while leaving it smooth to the touch. Detangler strengthens and moisturizes manes and tails to help keep hair healthy and tangle-free.
After your horse is clean, it is time to clip. Start on the muzzle and use clippers to remove the large whiskers and then use a horse razor to get every last whisker. Be sure to clip under the chin and jaw as well. Clip the whiskers above the horse’s eye, but be sure not to trim the eyelashes. Trim the horse’s ears so that they look smooth and pointed. Remove ear hair that sticks out and looks unsightly, but the inner ear hair should be left to help deter bugs. The bridle path should be trimmed from the poll towards the withers about 4 – 6 inches long. You will need to trim around the horse’s coronet band so that when you apply hoof polish, there is no hair in the way. Also clip the long hairs on the fetlock. Some horses grow long hair on the back of their cannon bone that should be trimmed as well. If you want your horse’s hair to be very short, cut against the natural direction of the hair. If you want the horse’s hair to blend in nicely with the surrounding hair, cut with the direction of the hair.
Finally, it is time to perfect your horse’s mane and tail. If you have a pleasure-type hose, such as an Arab or Morgan, you will want to leave the mane long and natural. If you have a stock-type horse, like a Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred, the mane should be about 4 inches long and banded for the show ring. Banding can be time consuming. Using a light coat of Quic Braid will help you get the perfect grip for your fingers, neater braids and less stray hairs. Getting your horses tail ready is easier. Just brush it out, braid it from the bottom of the tail dock down and stuff it into a tail bag.
Now that your horse is ready for the show it is time to take care or your tack and yourself. Clean all parts of your saddle and bridle with saddle soap and condition them the day before leaving for the show. Polish all the metal on the saddle and bridle with metal polish. Do not polish the bit! Remember to buff off any excess polish so the metal will not look dull. Pack your tack and load them into your truck or trailer the night before.
Stuff a hay net and hang it in the trailer. Also pack some grain or treats to give your horse while at the horse show. You will also want to pack a water bucket. Prepare the wraps for your horse’s legs for trailering. Brush the horse blanket so it’s clean, fold it and lay it out so that you can easily put it on the next morning.
Be sure that your riding clothes are clean. Make sure your breeches fit properly and do not have holes or stains. Find your choker collar and attach the pin you’ll use to secure the collar to your shirt. Check to see if your coat has all of its buttons and that it fits properly. Hang your clothes in a garment bag and pack them in the truck or trailer the night before. Clean and polish your boots. Remember to buff them after polishing. Place your boots in a boot bag or wrap them in a cloth and put them in the truck or trailer the night before. Brush your helmet so that the nap of the velvet goes in the same direction. Clean it before brushing if needed. Pack your helmet the night before in a helmet bag.
Clean your truck and trailer and make sure there is no manure in the trailer. Put fresh shavings where your horse will be riding in the trailer and fill your truck with gas. Hook up the trailer and truck the night before the show and make sure the chains and hitch are secure. Also make sure all of the trailer lights are working properly.
Once you arrive at the show, find the bathrooms. Know when and where all of your classes are being held. Be on your horse at least a half an hour before your first class. You and your horse will both need to warm up and relax. Bring healthy snacks from home to save money. Know your expenses. There are usually class entry fees and you may need money for trailering, schooling, stabling and membership fees. If you bring a trainer, he/she may charge for going to the show with you. Most of all have fun!
Below is a quick check list of items you will need to bring to the show:
Show, spare and warm-up saddle pad
Bridle with bit and reins
Longe line and longe whip
Halter and lead line
Horse blanket and cooler
Tack cleaning supplies – sponge, soap, oil
Braiding/banding rubber bands
Mane & tail brush
Yarn, ribbon, comb, hook and scissors for braiding
Spot remover and/or whitening products
Water in a spray bottle
Stable, Feed and Shipping Items:
Manure fork or shovel
Broom & dustpan
First aid kit – iodine based antiseptic, triple antibiotic ointment, non-stick gauze pads, self-confirming gauze rolls, stretch bandaging tape, elastic adhesive tape, scissors, chemical ice pack, liniment, sunscreen, asprin, band-aids
Show cooler or sheet
Saddle and bridle rack
Cooler with ice and drinks
Jack for trailer
Any medicine for your horse
Carrots and apples
Muck bucket or wheel barrel
Clip on light
Feed buckets and scoop
White, long or short sleeve show shirt
Black dressage coat
White, long-sleeve rat-catcher dressage shirt
White dressage gloves
White full-seat dressage breeches
Black dress boots
White stock tie
Warm-up and cleaning clothes
Hat or cap
Makeup and jewelry
Elastic hair bands
Safety pins and sewing kit
Boot pulls and jack
Shin and knee guards for gaming
Hair net and hair accessories
Garment and boot bags
Truck and trailer registration
Map/directions to showgrounds
Health certificate, coggins, other required veterinary information Emergency telephone umbers
Veterinarian phone number
Proof of ownership
Proof of age
Amateur or non-pro card
Paper and pencils