What’s better than someone complimenting you on your luscious locks?…someone complimenting your horse on their luscious locks! If you’re anything like us, you probably spend more time brushing your horse’s hair than you do your own, but have you ever wondered how the top showing grooms create that sublime shine that you see in the ring? Well we’ve come up with a series of tips and techniques to tell you how…
1 - Feed - Now we’ll start with the obvious. A well balanced diet is key to good health and making sure your horse has all of the necessary vitamins and minerals will help them shine from within. In addition, adding a little bit of oil may help to put the gleam into your horse’s coat (but make sure you always supplement properly!). SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre is a showing favourite as it contains a palatable blend of soft fibres and oil formulated to help build condition and enhance coat shine. If you want to find out more about how nutrition supports a healthy coat, read our blog [Dine & Shine] Shine from Within.
2 - Brushing – Let’s take it back to basics. Elbow grease and a good trusty body brush has never failed to make your horse the cleanest of them all. But why not go one step further with the Wahl Body Brush? A combination body brush designed to remove dirt with the bristles, then flip the brush over to add that extra little sparkle. Or although a little more expensive, we’ve also heard good things about HAAS brushes, which have been designed with different coat colours in mind. But whichever brush you decide to use, remember that they need regular cleaning too otherwise, you’ll just end up just brushing the dust back in.
3 - Warm clothing & wiping down after brushing – Another basic but popular technique is the old wiping your horse over with a warm cloth or towel after brushing. A simple but effective method to lift any remaining dust off after a good groom.
4 – Bedding – If your horse spends a lot of time in his stable then it’s worth considering bedding options to reduce the amount of dust in the environment. Look for good quality straw and if you use shavings, bigger flakes are generally break down less and there are also several dust-free options available too. Keeping on top of the mucking out will also help as nothing ruins a clean and shiny coat more than a big stable stain!
5 - Have your rugs cleaned – Washing your stable rugs occasionally will help to reduce the dust and scurff build up on the lining transferring back to your freshly groomed horse to help keep them clean for longer. Whilst it’s not practical to wash your horse’s rugs as often as we wash our clothes, if you are going to a show, it’s worthwhile keeping one clean rug aside to use to help them look their best whist in the limelight.
We hope that you find these tips useful for creating that sublime shine when needed but also remember that a little mud and dirt is also good for your horse’s skin so it’s never a bad thing if they are not always spotless! If you have any other great tips for preparing for a show we’d love to hear them in the comments below!