How to overcome last minute grooming fails at a horse show!
A trip to a horse show should be a fun and exciting time - not a time to panic as you get your horse ready and discover he has a giant stain here, there, or everywhere. Here are some common show day grooming fails and how you can deal with them:
A generally dull coat.
So your horse is in the middle of shedding, or he was freshly clipped, or he just looks a bit “blah”. After as much elbow grease as you can muster, you have some options to add some shine back in. If it’s a few days before a show, you can use No. 1 Light Oil as a deep conditioning treatment. You can also use Magic Sheen to slick up your horse, or some Hi Gloss Finishing Spray for the ultimate mirror like shine.
To prevent this from happening, always body clip a week or so in advance and do a deep conditioning with No. 1 or No. 2 Oil. Before and after a clip is even better, you will help the clip be seamless and afterwards add some shine back.
Everyone’s biggest challenge! Have a stash of washcloths ready. After thoroughly curry combing the stain, spray some Easy Out on the stain and let it sit a bit. Less can be more so you don’t create a wet mess. You can also go back a second time for a final touch up. Use a damp cloth to remove the stain and you are set!
You can help prevent this by using super thin sheets for your horse to wear. Extra deep and fresh bedding helps also, along with picking out the stall at every chance. And the slicker your horse is, the easier it is for stains to slide right off.
Shavings in your horse’s braids.
Do what you can with your fingers, a soft brush, and maybe even a blow dryer to get rid of the dusty shavings. Any loose and stray hairs can get Mane Moussed back in place, and then tidy up any loose braids with a bit of yarn or some braiding elastics. In time crunch situations, a few elastics can tuck a braid back together without redoing the whole thing, even if yarn was originally used.
Try and do some trial runs of braids before you hit the shows! This will tell you how messy they can get, and also how much time you might need to fix them.
These are common when it rains, or around the wash racks. In truly horrible and muddy situations, rinse the legs. You can also use a bucket of water with some cloths to clean the mud away if you are back at the stall. This is best when the mud is still wet. For dry mud, use a stiffer type brush then follow up with some Easy Out. Adding Show Touch Ups to your show grooming routine will also cover up any mud stain that as you head into the show ring.
When you are walking around the show grounds with your horse, try and keep his legs bandaged or in boots. This will help!