Getting ready for a horse show is a tedious process, but worth the effort when you receive high marks! Your horse is very intuitive and will realize that something big is coming up. Trust the grooming and training you have been doing daily over the past few months as you prepare yourself and your horse for the big day. Here are some tips on what to do a few days in advance in order to ensure your horse is in the best condition a few days in advance.
Horseshow Preparation Checklist
- Bathe your horse the night before the show and keep them from rolling in the dirt and anything else that may require another bath!
- Give your horse a haircut by clipping hair around the muzzle, hooves, face, throat and ears. Avoid clipping your horse’s entire coat right before the show so the coat doesn’t appear dull.
- Clean and whiten white sock sections. If your horse is naturally white, make sure the spots are not grey or brown. The best way to do this is to let special whitening shampoo set in on the coat for a few minutes. Rinse it out with warm water and let the coat dry. Finally, add French chalk or cornstarch to the coat to help keep the right spots looking white and bright.
- Wash the mane and tail. First, use shampoo that is specifically designed for the mane and tail. Rinse this out and work a detangler through the damp hair to avoid knots and retain shine. Thin thicker sections using a metal pull brush. Brand or braid the hair so it looks nice and neat.
You will form a routine that works for you and your horse after attending a few horse shows. It's always encouraged to seek advice from other trainers as well to see if they have similar approaches or different styles for the checklist! In the name of good competition, you owe it to yourself to absorb as much information as possible!