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Here's a list of tips to help you shine on show day
or to get ready to take some great professional-looking photos of your horse:
Two Days before the show:
For breeds that show with a shiny hoof, fill in any old nail holes with a spackling
compound or wood filler (available at any hardware or lumber store) that matches the color of your horse's hoof
as closely as possible. Holes can be coloured with shoe polish and then regular
hoof polish. We have also used filling successfully on small cracks. This can be done a couple of days before the show.
To polish the feet on show day, use the wax-based, cake shoe polishes to add a
deep luster to the foot while protecting it from the drying effects of hoof
lacquer (black or clear), which can be
applied over the shoe polish. Appaloosa owners use clear only to
show the striped color of their horses' hooves.
Clippers can give you the effect of a pulled tail, without having to pull out hairs. Run the clippers
carefully along the outside of the dock and down about 4 to 6 inches, just up to the point where
the hair begins to crest over. Thin the hairs along the top of the tail and blend longer hairs to
gradually blend into the shorter ones. Be very careful not to shave
the horse's dock area bald as he will suffer from sunburn and flies. (Not to
mention it will look terrible.)
If you clip the inside of your horse's ears, place cotton inside to prevent hairs from entering the
ear canal and also to deaden the buzz of the clippers.
When you don't need to pull the mane, use thinning shears to shorten it without having the
chopped look of scissor cuts. Comb well before and during the
process to ensure that you get a level mane.
For coarse tails, use a hot oil treatment (not too hot for you to touch) in addition to your regular equine conditioner to soften
the hairs and make them flow. See
show clipping page
The Day Before:
Wash your horse with a mild shampoo. Pay extra attention to the around
the eyes, mane, tail and heels A sheen product will help to repel dirt. If
possible, keep a light sheet on to keep the coat clean.
Rub a dab of baby oil along the bridle path and inside of ears to get rid of that chalky, just-clipped look and make it
To cut down on static electricity in the mane and tail, use damp dryer
sheets, a little fabric softener, or hair gel on a damp cloth.
- Braid the mane before you get too tired with your
show preparations. Don't start braiding at 10 p.m.! If you get frustrated, the
horse will become frazzled and will associate braiding with an unhappy time .
If you chose not to band a western horse's mane, lay a dampened towel over the neck to help
the hairs lie down smoothly. Again, comb a little watered-down
styling gel into the mane. Let dry and comb again for a natural look.
Keep a wrap, stocking or tail bag on your horse's braided tail while
traveling to the show grounds.
Apply hoof oil or lacquer. The oil will collect dirt, but the
judge will know that you made the effort. Lacquer is best unless
your horse has dry hooves as is has better staying power..
Instead of using rags to wipe down your horse, purchase inexpensive knit gloves (available at
most drug or hardware stores) and apply the product directly to them. When you are finished,
they can be washed.
For really white socks or stockings, dust the legs with baby powder or corn starch. (Be careful not to make too much dust for you and your horse to
breathe in.) Slightly dampen the area to be whitened and brush on the
If your horse gets shavings in its braids, use a small, short-bristled brush
or use your fingers to gently remove them
without damaging any of your work.
...And at the Show:
Keep damp cloths, a few elastics and a small brush
nearby or with a helper who can come with you to the ring for last minute touch-ups to
riding boots (dusty boots are a no-no!) hooves, bit area (do NOT go into the
ring with green slime on your bit!) and tack
or to fix a stray braid.
to kids fun and learn pages
See show clipping
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (613) 378-0352 · Tel: (613) 378-0321
545 Hunt Road, R.R.#1, Newburgh, ON, CANADA K0K 2S0
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