You may have wondered how professional grooms keep horses they take care of looking so good. If the truth be known, most show grooms have their own little secrets which are more time saving tricks than anything else. The real secret to keeping a horse's coat looking shiny and in top condition, is a thing called "elbow grease" which is something no amount of money can buy!
If you own a horse with white markings whether it's socks, a blaze or patches on their bodies, you know how hard it can be to keep these sparkling during a horse show. Below are a few tips on how to get white markings brilliant white and to keep them looking good throughout the day.
This is a great investment and a product you can pick up at any good horse shop or online. Blue shampoo is specifically formulated for use on grey horses or horses with light coloured markings. It's great at getting rid of any stains while at the same time adding a hint of blue or purple to the coat which reflects the light and this in turn makes white markings that much brighter looking.
After bathing a horse, many professional grooms and owners apply some baby powder on a horse's white bits which makes them stand out even more, especially if you've used some blue shampoo first! The great thing about baby powder is that it effectively keeps white bits whiter because it deflects any discolouration or dirt that might otherwise make white markings look a bit grubby.
Another really great shampoo to have in your grooming kit is a product called Orvus shampoo and the best time to use this is on a very dirty horse. The product works well because it's extra strong which means you only need to use a very small amount to get the right results. It's fantastic at removing even the deepest and most stubborn stains which are typically around the lower legs and hindquarters.
Another great trick is to mix some baking soda with water and then scrub any stains out of white markings. Baking soda is great because it lifts out the stains found in a horse's coat leaving things nice and clean.
There are several choices when it comes to Touch Up Sprays which are extremely useful things to have in a grooming kit. If you find a stain while at a show, you can just spray over it to disguise it until you get a chance to clean it off!
When it comes to tails, getting rid of tangles can often be a real nuisance. The only way to keep your horse's tail looking tidy and shiny is to wash it frequently and to brush it every day! Other tips include the following:
By far the cheapest way to keep your horse's tail looking brilliantly shiny and tangle-free is to spray furniture polish on it after you've washed it and before brushing it. As a bonus, a product like pledge (original) will repel dirt too because it is not silicon based. Silicon based products usually end up attracting dirt which can make a tail much dirtier looking!
There's nothing more unsightly than a beautiful tail with bleached out ends! The secret to dealing with this is to use hair dye on your horse's tail if you are taking them to a show. You have to be a little selective as to which human hair dye to use and none of it should touch any bony parts of the tail (dock) otherwise you might end up causing an allergic reaction! In short, you must only use the dye on the ends of the tail being careful not too get any on their coats either!
If you have a grey horse that tends to have a very dirty looking tail, using a product like Oxi Clean will get out all of those stubborn stains that can be a real nuisance. You only need to use a very small amount mixed in with some water before soaking your horse's tail in it. The Oxi Clean will lift out all the stains just as it would when used on fabrics. Again you need to be careful the product doesn't trigger an allergic reaction which means using it carefully with caution.
Skin irritations caused by fungus can be a real sore point in more ways than one when it comes to keeping your horse's coat looking good and in tip top condition. There are few things you can do to make life more comfortable for your mount and which helps prevent them rubbing themselves raw which includes doing and using the following products:
Dreft is an incredibly gentle washing powder that contains some very useful enzymes which are brilliant at killing off fungus. However, as with everything, it's best to try it on a very small and healthy area of your horse's body first to make sure they don't have an allergic reaction which could make the irritation worse!
If your horse is forever rubbing their tail so that it looks like an unkempt bush, try using a few drops of Listerine mouthwash on the area that's causing all the problems. The alcohol contained in this product will kill off whatever is causing your horse to rub their tails and it will act as soothing agent too!
This is another great product that works wonders at killing off any fungus. The product might not smell very nice but it's great at doing its job and soothing irritated skin. However, you need to wear a pair of gloves when using the product on your horse otherwise you might end up with stinky hands for the next few days!