Show day can be stressful, and whether you’ve just shipped in for a single day show, or you’re camped out for a full weekend or longer, we all have our specific show day prep routines for our horses. Here are a few must-haves from our experiences!
You’re probably thinking “curries are for bringing dirt to the surface, I don’t want that on show day!” and you’re right, you don’t want to bring fresh dirt to the surface of your horse’s coat on show day. But, when you use a rubber curry as part of your bathing routine, especially at shows, you can get stains and difficult dirt out much faster. Rubber curries are multipurpose, year-round tools. Add a rubber curry to the shampoo part of your bathing routine, and your horse’s coat will be show-ready in no time (or in time for your classes, if you need to do an emergency wash the morning of!).
Soft brushes are perfect for last minute knock offs, and getting rid of any dust your horse may have picked up during the walk up to the ring. Having a soft brush in your show kit will ensure your horse’s coat has a topnotch shine when you travel down centerline.
Mane and Tail Comb
There are so many options in the world of mane and tail combs, from wide tooth combs to human paddle brushes, and a lot of your choice will depend on personal preference. A thinner tail will benefit more from finger detangling followed by a run through with a wide toothed comb, versus brushing with a paddle brush, while a thicker tail might be able to handle being a little less careful. Whether dealing with a thick or thin tail, be sure to use a conditioner after washing, and always brush from bottom to top to prevent the most breakage. It may be time consuming, but it’s worth the effort for the reward of a beautiful, full tail. If you stay on top of your tail, all it will take on show day is a quick run through with the brush of your choice for a lovely final picture.
Fly spray is essential at summer shows. Flies can be distracting and irritating for both you and your horse and can cause unwanted problems in the ring. Spray options are often better than ointments at shows, as they can be quickly spritzed on as the need arises and won’t leave obvious marks like an ointment might. Mist your fly spray on a clean towel to wipe on your horses face and ears – don’t spray it directly on his face, it might get in his eyes!
You can never have enough clean rags in your show kit. They can be used for everything from cleaning tack to wiping boots and mouths on your way into the show ring. Be sure to keep separate towels for fly spray, show sheen, and sweat/slobber wiping, as you don’t want your horse ingesting fly spray if the same cloth is used to wipe fly spray on his face, and wipe the slobber off his mouth.
What’s your must-have grooming product on show day? Leave us a comment below with your favorite brands or your ring prep routine!