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How to overcome last minute grooming fails at a horse show!


A trip to a horse show should be a fun and exciting time - not a time to panic as you get your horse ready and discover he has a giant stain here, there, or everywhere. Here are some common show day grooming fails and how you can deal with them:

A generally dull coat.

So your horse is in the middle of shedding, or he was freshly clipped, or he just looks a bit “blah”. After as much elbow grease as you can muster, you have some options to add some shine back in. If it’s a few days before a show, you can use No. 1 Light Oil as a deep conditioning treatment. You can also use Magic Sheen to slick up your horse, or some Hi Gloss Finishing Spray for the ultimate mirror like shine.

To prevent this from happening, always body clip a week or so in advance and do a deep conditioning with No. 1 or No. 2 Oil. Before and after a clip is even better, you will help the clip be seamless and afterwards add some shine back.


Manure stains.

Everyone’s biggest challenge! Have a stash of washcloths ready. After thoroughly curry combing the stain, spray some Easy Out on the stain and let it sit a bit. Less can be more so you don’t create a wet mess. You can also go back a second time for a final touch up. Use a damp cloth to remove the stain and you are set!

You can help prevent this by using super thin sheets for your horse to wear. Extra deep and fresh bedding helps also, along with picking out the stall at every chance. And the slicker your horse is, the easier it is for stains to slide right off.

Shavings in your horse’s braids.

Do what you can with your fingers, a soft brush, and maybe even a blow dryer to get rid of the dusty shavings. Any loose and stray hairs can get Mane Moussed back in place, and then tidy up any loose braids with a bit of yarn or some braiding elastics. In time crunch situations, a few elastics can tuck a braid back together without redoing the whole thing, even if yarn was originally used.

Try and do some trial runs of braids before you hit the shows! This will tell you how messy they can get, and also how much time you might need to fix them.


Muddy legs.

These are common when it rains, or around the wash racks. In truly horrible and muddy situations, rinse the legs. You can also use a bucket of water with some cloths to clean the mud away if you are back at the stall. This is best when the mud is still wet. For dry mud, use a stiffer type brush then follow up with some Easy Out. Adding Show Touch Ups to your show grooming routine will also cover up any mud stain that as you head into the show ring.

When you are walking around the show grounds with your horse, try and keep his legs bandaged or in boots. This will help!

Happy Showing!

Product Focus

Shapley's Famous M-T-G

  • Formulated to eliminate the caustic agent that creates skin problems
  • Conditions the skin while creating a barrier against the elements
  • Conditions the hair and skin around the problem area to promote hair growth
  • Effective against rain rot, dew poisoning, mud fever, girth itch, tail rubbing ad scratches
  • Can be used on livestock, dogs and cats and helps eliminate hot spotsMTG_and_MTG_plus_300_w_for_bottom_row.jpg

  • Grooming Tip

    How to brighten your horse's color:

    Help your horse looking good throughout the summer by letting him dry before turning him out.

    Supplement his hair coat with Equi-Tone to bring out the highlights of his own color.

    EquiTone is available in four shades - black, red, whitening, and gold.

    Find them here at your favorite online retailer!



    “Magic Sheen is the only shine product I trust on my horse and it works beautifully! It detangles quickly, leaves a high shine and I just love the smell. And it repels dirt better than any product I have used before without drying out his coat. My horse always stays much cleaner than his barn mates!”

    Magic Sheen is designed with no additional ingredients that can dry your horse's coat. It's great to use on your horse's body to add shine and help prevent stains.

    You can also use Magic Sheen to detangle manes and tails.



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