GROOMING TO SHOW
GROOMING TO SHOW
Before we get to the specifics of grooming for a show, there are some important aspects that need to be
discussed.  Horses traveling the show circuits should be cared for and evaluated as athletes.  This includes their
physical and mental preparation.  Things to consider include:  body weight, body condition score, and luster of
including farrier work, vaccination and worming schedules, and dentistry work that need to be taken care of.  For
further explanation of these topics, click on the links below.








•  
Body Weight
•  Body Condition Score
•  Farrier (www.farriers.com)
•  Vaccinations (
www.equisearch.com/horses_care/health/vaccinations)
•  Worming (
www.animalforum.com/hvaccinate.html)
•  Dentistry  (same as Worming) Lovell Vet 548-2452 For appointment
•  Equine Dentist Nick Moore







There is a lot a mental stress that accompanies the road to showing.  Here are some tips for limiting the stress levels.
1.   Make sure you are prepared before hitting the road.
2.   Arrive early to show grounds to allow time to settle in and become familiar with surroundings.
3.   Take horse for walk around show grounds and arena/s to allow them to look at scary objects.
4.   Lunge your horse to allow them to settle in and generate a quiet mind.
5.   Prepare yourself and horse the night before the show:  enter your classes, band, clean tack, lay
clothes out and go to bed early.
6.   Do not overdo it at shows: to much riding or lunging and last minute training will cause a lot of anxiety
for  you and your horse.  Have a good training plan at home that allows you to be prepared at shows.  
You should also know your horse and use the same warm-up and exercises at shows.
7.   Make sure that after a long weekend of showing you allow your horse some days off with turnout time to
replenish the body and mind.
                                                   ELEMENTS OF GROOMING TO SHOW
Daily Requirements:

Pre-ride Grooming:
Tools Needed:
Rubber Curry
Vacuum and Attachments
Stiff and Soft Body Brushes
Rag, Mitt, or Body Wipes & Hoof Pick

Start by using a rubber curry comb and making circular passes over horse’s entire body.  
Start up by horse’s head and work your way back to hip while working from top to bottom
on each section of the body (neck, barrel, and hip). Keep the circles small in diameter and
firm on horse’s skin while currying.  Once both sides are finished, start at same spot you
began and make long strokes from front to back (head to hip) over each section of body to
help lay hair back into position.  Include the legs.  The rubber curry helps to pull dirt,
debris, and oils to surface of the horse’s hair coat.


Vacuum the horse in same manner that you just curried them, if you have access
to one.  There are many attachments you can purchase or are included with
vacuums including brush attachments so pick the attachment similar to rubber
curry comb to start.  Once both sides are finished, switch attachment to a soft
brush and finish with long strokes over body.  Vacuums are great tools for getting
maximum amounts of dirt and dander out of hair coats as well as making the
hair coat shine.  They are also good tools for replacing daily bathes at home or at
the shows which could ultimately dry your horse’s hair coat out and make them
dull and itchy.
o        Cost: Dover Sadderly ($599.00 to $239.90), State Line Tack ($599.99 -
$219.99), Valley Vet Supply ($599.95 - $153.95)

Body Brushes: to finish the pre-ride grooming you will need a stiff body brush,
soft brush (horse hair preferred), and a grooming mitt or wipes.  Begin with the
stiff body brush and take short strokes over each section of body as if you are
flicking the dust and dirt away from horse’s body.  Next use the soft body brush
and take long strokes over sections of body and include the horse’s head and
legs.  The soft brush helps to pull oils through horse’s hair coat so take a
couple more passes with the soft brush and your horse will start to shine!  On
the horse’s head, start by placing brush in middle of forehead and make
strokes towards corners of face.  Then pull the brush down the bridge of nose
and over cheeks.  To get that finished look, use a slightly damp rag, finishing
wipes (prefer Oster Grooming Wipes), or a grooming mitt and run over entire
body including head and legs.  Clean out horse’s feet.  Saddle and ride.
•        In order to have a long, full tail and healthy mane, do not brush or comb when they are dry.  This will cause the hair to break and over
time the hair will thin and possibly lose its length.  Refer to care of
Mane and Tail for guidelines.
Post-ride Grooming:
Tools Needed:
Cooler or Wool Dress Sheet
Rubber Curry
Stiff and Soft Body Brushes
Coat Conditioning Spray
Blankets
cool the horse out.  The cooler aids in wicking moisture away from horse’s body and keeps the horse from getting chilled
while cooling down.  Note: in hot, humid climates, a cooler may not be the best tool to use as it will take longer for the horse to
cool down.
•        Repeat Pre-ride Grooming Steps 1 & 3.  Once the horse is cooled down and dry, re-groom using steps in previous section.  If
the horse got really dirty and dusty from your ride you may also want to vacuum and wipe horse down again.  Note: Take about
30 minutes this time to curry the horse with rubber curry.  Bringing the oils in horse’s skin to top of coat really aids in creating a
beautiful hair coat.
•        Coat Conditioning Spray:  After the horse is groomed we like to apply a coat conditioning spray to help keep the hair coat        
moisturized and polished.  During the winter months we will spray the horses down every day or every other day depending on
the horse’s individual coat condition.  During the summer months, we will spray the horse down 2 to 3 times a week or as
needed. Note: if the hair coat starts to feel tacky, decrease the amount of times you spray in a week or possibly change products.




o   Products We Prefer:
            Vellus Moisturizing Mist
            MVP Daily Coat Regimen  
•        Blanketing:  Before putting horse away, cover horse with a sheet, fly sheet or blanket.  These help to keep the horse’s hair coat
short, polished, and dust free, as well as keeping the coat from fading when in the sun.  Winter blankets are chosen based on the
management of horse.  If the horse is stalled, we prefer using stable blankets as they are warmer, not water proof and generally
cheaper in price.  If the horse is kept outside or turned out daily we prefer using turn-out blankets as they are made of tougher
material, generally water proof but usually more expensive. We also used what is called a layer system for combination of warmth,
breathable, and water proof elements.
o    Layer System:
            Bottom Layer (closest to hair): Adjusta-Fit Nylon Blanket Liner
            Next Layer: Adjusta-Fit Polar fleece
            Top Layer: Stable Blanket
            Turn Out: Turn out Blanket and Neck Cover
o   Our Temperature System:
            60 degrees and up: Sheet, fly sheet or light blanket
            60 to 40 degrees: sheet and blanket (medium to light)
            40 to 20 degrees: liner, polar fleece and blanket
            Turnout: 30 to 0 degrees – liner, polar fleece, stable blanket, turnout blanket, and neck cover or hood
            
Note:  Each horse varies to amount of blankets needed; therefore, you will need to check horse frequently during
                           the day to make sure they are not getting to hot and sweaty.  If you are unavailable to check during day, use
                           less blankets to be on the safe side.
o   Products We Prefer:
            Nylon Sheets: Schneider’s
            Stable Blankets and Turn outs: Schneiders, Pessoa, Weatherbeta
            Fly Sheets and Liners: Schneiders and Beautiful Tails
Feeding:  a horse’s diet is a very important building block for the horse’s body condition, body weight and hair coat quality.
•        Provide good quality hay and fresh, clean water.
•        Provide grain or pelleted commercial feed if the horse requirements prove a need.  Some horses will need a grain     
supplement to help them maintain their weight during training.  Remember to feed each horse as an individual and at a
level  that best maintains their optimum weight and health.  Use recommendations from your vet, nutritionist or feed labels  
as a guideline and be willing to make adjustments as needed.
o        Products We Prefer:
              Alfalfa/grass mixed hay
              Empower (Commercial Pelleted Feed)
              Vitality (Mixed Grain)
Written by: Pamila Thiel & Anne Sherwood
Pictures Taken by: Pamila Thiel

“The information contained on this site is provided for general informational & educational purposes only.  The suggestions & guidelines should
not be used as the sole answer for a visitor’s specific needs.”
Anne Sherwood
823 Road 9 1/2
Powell, WY 82435
Home-(307)754-4120  Cell-(307)272-2829
email
 double_stitched@yahoo.com
Before
Tip:  Two Elements that aid in keeping hair off during winter
    provide adequate light in average stall.
2.        Heat:  heating a stall barn not only provides comfort to handlers but also helps keep            
           horses shed out with less blankets required.  During winter we like to keep our barn            
           heated to about 45-50 degrees.
After