You can’t beat a bath as the first step to get all the dirt off. If you have a grey horse, there are various products available that help lift manure and grass stains. These deliver more gleaming whiteness for less elbow grease.
If it’s a freezing winter day, or you don’t have time to bath your horse, you can use a spray to get rid of stains instead. Simply apply to the stain, leave for a few minutes, then rub with a damp sponge.
When your horse is dry, use talc or baby powder on any white areas of the coat. Baby oil around the eyes, on the muzzle and on the horse’s points, can give a nice shine. You can also run this through the mane and tail to help condition it and break up any tangles.
Clip the muzzle, ears, chin and coronet band to get rid of any stray hairs.
A final spray of coat shine can add some extra gloss to your horse’s coat just before you go in the ring or for those extra special pampering days.
If your horse is having the equivalent of a bad hair day, you can train the mane to fall on the right side of the neck by plaiting it into braids. Just leave these on the neck, you don’t need to roll them up like full plaits. You can loop two plaits together with an extra elastic band to really show an unruly mane who’s boss. Don’t leave these in for more than a few days, as it can damage the hair. If this has happened, try some mane conditioner to boost the condition again.
If you plait your horse’s mane regularly, it helps for it be well pulled. You can use a mane comb and scissors for this. Mane and tail thinners are helpful for sensitive types that don’t like their mane pulled. These rakes pull the hair out in a more pain-free manner.
Clip or cut out a bridle path with scissors to help the bridle headpiece sit neatly.
If you’re plaiting, try a spray to help the hair stick down or some of your own hair gel to help hold your plaits in place.
You can use a polishing hair conditioner to make the mane (and tail) shiny, easy to maintain and rebrush. But if you’re competing, use it after you’ve plaited otherwise you’ll make the mane slippy and you’ll never get your plaits in!
Just like your own hair, you’ll break the hairs of your horse’s tail if you brush it too much. So only brush your horse’s tail when you absolutely have to. Pick out the shavings or straw by all means, but it will keep better condition if you leave it alone as much as possible. You can use a polishing hair conditioner like you did on the mane, to make shiny, easy to maintain and brush when you absolutely have to.
Sponge under the tail (called the dock), with a sponge kept for the purpose, to make your horse feel fresh.
Don’t forget to take care of your horse’s feet. Apply any hoof conditioner recommended by your farrier and hoof shine to blacken and shine your horse’s feet if you’re going to a show. You can buy a brush for application, that comes with a coordinating cover, to stop your grooming kit getting messy.
Take the time to turn your horse out beautifully using our top grooming tips and everyone will know them for the superstar they are!