Friday’s Five – Winning turnout tips all equestrians can use


Friday’s Five – Winning turnout tips all equestrians can use

Looking like a winner is part of having the entire package. Various talented grooms have taught me some of their trade secrets to help make their riders’ horses glisten.

Here are my five favourite turnout tips that you should implement at your next competition:

1. Baby oil to shine your horse’s face.  A little bit of baby oil around your horse’s eyes and muzzle goes a long way. You can simply put the oil on your hands to apply it to your horses face or you can use a towel if you want to keep your hands clean (however, this is a lost cause when grooming a horse). I personally use my hands because it wastes less oil since none gets absorbed into a towel and my horses love to spook at towels approaching their faces.

2. Baby powder is great for last-minute whitening. – No matter how much you clean your horse, sometimes they manage to look a bit off-white. Bust out the baby powder to enhance the white in your horse’s socks and tail (if it has a white tail). Be careful though because it can get everywhere. Make sure you do not have your black show jacket on yet. Also, have a towel on standby to wipe off your horse’s hooves so it is not glaringly obvious that you used a bit of a cheat. When I had a grey horse I found putting a few puffs of baby powder in his tail really made it look spectacular.

White socks for a '9' on the centreline.

White socks for a ‘9’ on the centreline.

3. Hoof oil and a rag make for picture perfect hooves. – I find using good old fashion hoof oil is easier and makes horses hooves look much nicer than the clear coated or black polish. Plus the polish can be a pain because you have to ensure no dirt gets on your horse’s hooves as it dries. Apply whatever hoof oil brand you fancy to your horse’s hooves and let it soak in for a few minutes while you finish getting ready. When you pull your horse out of its stall, take a rag and wipe off the excess oil and dirt before you get on and ride off. Your horse will have shiny and healthy looking feet!

4. Horse make up is real and it will make your horse look extra fancy. – A trainer of mine told me my grey horse was looking too bland and I needed to do his makeup to make him look more impressive. I laughed hysterically and thought it was a joke. Turns out he was serious. There is makeup for horses and that is why all the horses at the top levels look like horse celebrities. So what is it? It looks like black shoe polish and you apply it with a sponge to the black points on your horse’s legs, muzzle, ears and around their eyes. I can only find it for sale in the UK but Townfield Saddlers Ltd ships to America and sells it for $15.21 USD a jar but that will last you several show seasons. You have to be cautious not to use too much or else your horse will look like a clown. But just like human makeup, if you take the time and blend it in nicely, your horse will look stunning.

Rambo running down the runway with his makeup on.

Rambo running down the runway with his makeup on.

5. Horse Silverado Shine spray will make your horse the shiniest on the show grounds – This is the stuff Quarter Horse people use it to make their horses look out-of-this-world shiny. It comes in an aerosol spray can and you just spray it on, let it set, then use a towel to wipe off any dust left on your horse and smooth the coat. You will think you’re dreaming the first time you use it, that is how phenomenal it works. Plus it is affordable, you can purchase it on Amazon! Go order yourself some now.

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