lock plus

Here’s How to Groom Your Show Horse and Get First Prize!

As the old saying goes, "You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression".  And this is still very much true when it comes to showing off your horse to a panel of judges.

It’s important to make a first good impression, whether the horse is shown in halter or under saddle and the best scenario is to gain the undivided attention of the spectators and judges alike, upon your horse’s entrance. This is the time when the judges notice and assess the overall appearance and presentation of the horse, which makes it the most opportunistic as well. This means the presentation and appearance of the horse is the most important factor.

Proper Grooming Is Not Something That Can Be Achieved In Minutes

It’s important that the grooming is carried out daily, as preparing a horse for the show is not only hard work, but one, that has to be done right from the get go. You should consider grooming to be just as important as feeding the horse, which means that it should be added into the animal’s every day routine. Following are some tips that can help make your horse look the best, in the show and even afterwards.

Tip #1: Invest In Good Quality Brushes for Grooming Purposes

Remember to buy good quality brushes to groom your horse’s mane. Additionally, the brushes should also be cleaned thoroughly before each use. A variety of brushes can be found, with each one being appropriate for a different part of the horse. It’s also possible to avoid fungal infections by buying separate brushes for every horse.

Tip #2: ‘Curry’ Your Horse Every Day

By including this into the daily grooming routine, oils embedded deep inside the skin will come to the surface which will ensure a healthier and shinier coat. Also, curries should be selected according to the season, i.e. shedding blades in the winter that will help remove shedding hair, and round, rubber brushes in the summer. A small, soft one should be used for the face and a larger one for the horse’s body.

Tip #3: Your Horse’s Hooves Should Be Picked Daily

Most horse owners make the mistake of neglecting their horse’s hooves, until taking the animal out for a ride or in preparation for a show. Ideally, the hooves of your horse should be picked daily and treated with a lanolin based conditioner, specifically made for hoofs.

Tip #4: Pay Extra Attention to the Mane and Tail

Remember to start at the ends and work your way up when brushing the mane and tail but this shouldn’t be done daily if you are trying to grow them out. Invest in grooming mitts as they are handy for wiping dirt and dust off, as well as for applying fly spray.

Tip #5: Bring a little oomph to the show

Bring some colored grooming sprays with you to the show for brightening chrome before you head to the ring.

All the effort put into the ongoing grooming of your horse, will surely pay off greatly in the ring!