Bathe That Horse – Get That Show Ring Shine

big and little
Creative Commons License photo credit: qmnonic

Getting a show ring shine isn’t as hard as people may think. With a little elbow grease a run of the mill bay can turn into an A circuit coat.

 What you need

  • Buckets 1 for soapy water and 1 for clean water. Some people like to use a hose to spray off a horse but it isn’t necessary.
  • Sponges – 1 for soap and 1 for clean water
  • Hoof oil
  • Shampoo
  • Scraper
  • Towels

 Getting Started

Before beginning paint the horse’s feet with oil to prevent them from drying out from the soap. Bathing can dry the hooves leaving them dry and brittle.

Starting at the left side near the neck. Soak down the neck and shoulder with warm, clear water. Continue along the shoulder and back. While wet apply a small amount of shampoo to a dampened sponge. Apply the sudsy sponge in circular motions to the wet areas of the horse. If there are stained areas use a gentle scrubbing action with a rubber or plastic curry comb or rubber scrubbing mitt.

While washing pay particular attention to the elbows and stomach area. Continue down the legs and use a rubber mitt to remove dirt. Make sure to check areas for any lumps bumps or cuts.

Before the soap is dry, rinse the suds off with clean sponge and warm water. Repeat over the horse’s loins and quarters then repeat on the right hand side of the horse.

To add a bloom to the coat add a 1/4 cup of cider vinegar to the rinse water. This will cut any grease and help remove any soap from the coat. As an added bonus it will help keep flies away.

About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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