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Fowl Play 08-05-2011 11:29 AM

Hoof polish for 4-H showmanship?
I know most of the kids will have their horses hooves all polished up, but it often looks so fake. My daughter is about a week away from her first fair and I don't want her to be at a disadvantage, but I also don't want her to make her horse look fake. What do you recommend. His feet are not dark (which leads to black paint on the hooves) but at the same time, they're not very light either. Should we go for clear? What prep needs to be done for this to look decent, but not fake?

I'd prefer not doing it at all, but I don't want her to be at a disadvantage because we didn't do it. He's a mostly solid paint, but he was born with solid white legs so he's registered as such. I think that's why his hooves are lighter. They're not light like a grey horse though. Ugh, I don't know what to do, and I don't have a lot of extra money to spend on stuff right now because my husband is out of unemployment. We're really pinching pennies right now. Is there an alternative to "paint" that is economical?

MHFoundation Quarters 08-05-2011 11:39 AM

Are his hooves striped? If they have any light in them go with clear. If hoof shine is out of the budget, use a very fine grit sandpaper on them and get them very smooth and then use one of the buffing/polishing block things they make for our fingernails. You can get them pretty spiffy looking that way too :)

Hope your daughter has a great fair! Tell her big smiles and sell her horse to the judge without saying a word. Good luck!

gigem88 08-05-2011 12:00 PM

I would use the clear polish, gives a little shine.

DejaVu 08-05-2011 03:43 PM

I put some of the Hooflex conditioner on, let it dry, then cover and lock it in with clear. The Hooflex darkens his hooves to a nice color, and it doesn't look fake.

rc82 08-05-2011 05:10 PM

Technically, unless a horse has black feet, they shouldn't be painted black (though every breed is different - I speak from an APHA perspective). It's a big no-no at the paint shows. Stick with clear; plus it won't look tacky like that black stuff will. Or if you want a quick easy fix, use a little Pepi. That's what I spray on really quick before I go in for my showmanship pattern. Plus is smells sooooo good. :)

nicole25 08-05-2011 05:18 PM

I saw in a different thread that someone said hair spray works just as great as hoof polish. They said to just let it dry for a few seconds before letting the horse walk around in the grass and sand.

Fowl Play 08-05-2011 06:01 PM

I saw that Pepi stuff today at the feed store. I was wondering about it. Thanks so much for the ideas. I think we're definitely going with clear since it looks less tacky than black feet.

KissTheRing 08-05-2011 06:16 PM

Black Spray Paint- or clear coat.

Scoutrider 08-07-2011 09:38 AM

For a verrrryyy budget-friendly quick clear hoof shine, try a little baby oil. A little goes a long way, and let it dry before going into a dusty ring or you'll end up with some funky mud, but it'll get the job done in a pinch. Not a long-term solution or an everyday treatment, but if you're only doing a few shows a year season it's a decent compromise. :wink:

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