Whether you do or don't depends on what breed you show and of course if you show or not! My girl is unregistered so she's presented as a show hack. In theory I could present her like whatever breed she looks like on the day I take her to the show, but I won't. I'll present her as a hack. Because that's what she is - an english-style performance horse - and they are always presented as hacks.
Also depends what level you show and in what discipline, of course. As a showjumper I have never used this stuff before! We don't even braid most of the time. And I don't usually pull manes or anything like that. We're judged on performance alone so presentation is just something you do at a big show to mark the occasion. Of course clean horses are essential but nobody really braids or blacks the hooves or does makeup or any of that unless it's a "big deal" show. Or they usually ride show hacks, or the show has hack classes and jumper classes, in which case they've presented for the hack class and can't be bothered changing anything for the jumper class.
Edit; DCA here in aus we use all sorts of products on our horses' faces. What I'm referring to is a product that highlights and darkens the black on/around the muzzle and eyes, and inside the ears. I'm only using a little bit on her muzzle (where she's not white) and in her ears, and if I can find a big tub of it, it's getting used on her legs too. You use it a lot more liberally on legs.
It's supposed to draw attention to the features that are best, make the eyes look bigger, and improve the shape of the face. All optical illusions but they look pretty snazzy all done up.
Last edited by blue eyed pony; 10-24-2011 at 01:21 PM.