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Hey Guys! ii am new to the horse showing world so i want to find out how to make my horse the star of the show. this year i won a reserva champion, but next year i want to win champion (then i get one of those flowery things for their neck!) i did everything possible this year but it just wasn't enough. i have a stunning black/ brown mare with a big white star, i used cornflour and all that stuff but i need your secrets! anyone want to help me? oh and i only have one small pair of clippers and my parents don't want to spend $200 on a big pair. Any Ideas??
Thanks! :)
 

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Rubrags.

Get an old sheet, cut into 12x12 inch squares and use one of those in one hand to follow along after brush. Pulls out dirt, and loose hair and using elbow grease daily, will put a fantastic shine on your horse.

Been using them for 50+ years now.

I second the motion. There are no shortcuts to shine. Sure, you can spray stuff on the horse but the overall coat looks 100% better when you have put the time in every day of the week, not just on show days. Rub rags do the job. Good curry, soft brush and rub rag daily. This with good nutrition and exercise and you will have a glow in the dark shine before you know it. :)
 

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Skin so soft works great on dark horses. We used to have a bay and she would glow when we used it as fly spray. It didn't have the same effect on my chestnut though.
 

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Lots and lots of currying and a good diet.
 
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When you curry your horse, use do it in a circular fashion starting behind the ears. This is a great massage. Use one arm on one side and save the other for the other side. I see people just follow the direction of the coat, using the curry like a brush. Start again behind the ears and brush vigorously, almost slapping the horse with the brush and flicking the dirt away. Now you need a flat body brush to go over the horse a third time. Finally a white towel to wipe the horse down. The color of the towel will tell you how good a job you've done. The morning of the show vacuum the horse. Any shop vac will work. Do not bathe as it dulls the coat. Curry her first to lift the dirt then vacuum. Then the final wipe. This grooming technique works wonders as it stimulates the skin. It is sweat work on your part and you'll have built more muscle in your arms.
 

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Beautiful dark bay! Like the hint on the sheet squares-I'm stealing that! Might try the flax seed, too. Wishing you all the best & much luck at the shows!
 

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As others have said, feed is vital to give a good healthy glow and flax seed is on of th best.

The rest is down to grooming, bathing the night before a show is not good enough especially if you use cold water as this does not remove the grease.

Groom after exercise when the horse is warm and dry. Begin with a rubber curry comb in a circular action to raise the grease. You can flick over with a dandy brush, personally I rarely do.
Then the body brush along with a metal curry comb to clean the brush. To start brush in a circulation motion, four circular stroked to each part of the coat, then four in the same direction of the coat, cleaning your brush on the curry after every four strokes.
Once you have done this go over the coat with an old towel, it is far better than a small piece of cloth. Press really hard with the wad of towel, use a circular motion to start and the go with the hair.

The important thing is to remove the grease and you will not do this unless you have a metal curry to remove the grease from the brush. Old grooms always made sure that they had at least four piles of grease outside the stable door for each side of the neck, then body and quarters, each side. Easy when you first start but not so easy when the horse is starting to come clean!

Using a lightweight sheet on the horse helps to keep the coat flat and the horse clean.

You need to do this every day for at least three weeks, and if you are doing it correctly it should take you about 45 minutes each session.

I cannot find my photos on Photobucket, of horses I have turned out for major shows but they didn't shine they gleamed!
 

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Another thing I forgot to add - when using your body brush very slightly dampen it. Do this by dipping your hand in water and just a few sprinkles from your hand onto the bristles so it is damp and not wet. You need to do this several times during the grooming
 

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Good diet is number one key (make sure teeth are in good working order). I use corn oil or Linseed oil (Flax seed oil is called linseed oil) or rice bran oil. The second key is a good rubber curry and alot of elbow grease (I wear out 2 to 3 curries per show season). Keeping the horse out of the sun is also another key (the sun will fade coats esp dark coats). I dont use any silicone products on the coat (I will use some in the manes and taiils on the day of show but NEVER on the coats. Then I wash the manes and tails after the show. Silicone products will eventually dry out hair.) I keep manes and tails braided up (if you have a long maned horse, if not then just the tails.) Good Farrier care and a good deworming schedule is also important. I rinse the horse after work but I only bathe when nessesary and I only use Baby Shampoo when I do (it doesnt strip the natural oils off the coat and its very mild).

Here below is a picture of my late TWH mare (taken on a cloudy day with a storm brewing in the back ground). No polishers were used on the coat....that is natural shine. If you notice the mane is bleached out (This horse was a rescue about 6 months before the photo was taken....long story) and has bronzed. This is due to sun damage and poor diet. You can see the darker hair growing out on top of the mane is new hair, naturaly dark hair. This later replaced the brozed dry stuff. She ahd a lovey thick long mane. I kept it braided up along with her tail. It takes work and dedication but you can do it.
 

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Wow, you guys have gorgeous horses! I love seeing these pictures.
 

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wow such shinny horses!! I too use flax ground. I use a cup about 3-4 times a week. (she eats it dry but it gets stuck on her teeth! How much do you give and how do you do it? interested in a better method!
 

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Flax seed ..... Does everyone use GROUND flax seed or do you feed it whole?

How much do you feed?
 

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we use ground, but whole would work. In our case the whole herd gets it, so we buy big bags of ground from the feed store. We use it so quickly it never goes bad. If you were feeding just a few horses, you would either have to buy small quantities or refrigerate it, it needs to be treated like a nut, as it will go rancid. 1/2 a cup per feeding per horse. We occasionally feed it dry on oats or pellet(depending on the horse) but more often with soaked beet pulp.

If your horse leaves it in the feed bin dry, add a cup of hot water to the flax, stir, and let stand for 5 minutes, then mix into the grain. it will gel up and stick to the grain.
 

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I get it ground (its also known as linseed when ground) I give one cup a day with her daily ration of hay pellets and vitamins. right before I feed her I pour just enough water over it to make the flax stick to everything else. She digs right in. Hers a winter furry picture, you can still see the sheen, even in the dark barn.
For reference, the first picture was from when I first got her.
Horse Mammal Vertebrate Mare Terrestrial animal

Horse Mammal Mare Mane Stallion
 
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