Staying clean when owning a horse seems to be an impossible task. We have all learned to have our “horse clothes” which are strictly for when we are around the horses. These clothes get spat on, rubbed on and God knows what else all over them. That’s just the price we pay for having a horse, getting a little dirty isn’t so bad, is it?
Unfortunately, when we are competing, looking grubby is not an option. Our beige breeches and white shirts are not exactly the most practical of colour choices, but custom dictates they stay pristine. And Heaven help us if the horse we have been washing for the past month gets dirty! Hands up if you also have a pony who will always find the dirtiest place in the paddock to roll?
So, how do we keep ourselves and our horses clean when it seems almost impossible? These next five tips will help you not only stay as spotless as possible, but also show you how to overcome any messy mishaps that come your way.
Prepare for the worst
This is really the best and easiest option when it comes to getting ready for a competition. Pop an emergency costume change in the car with an extra shirt, white saddlecloth, and pair of breeches. Sometimes its better just to accept the fact that accidents happen and to prepare for them as best as possible.
Keep an extra set
It’s really helpful to have an extra set of gear for your horse that is strictly for competitions. Keep a show tub handy where you pack away clean rugs, brushes, boots and even a halter and lead that you only use for a clean horse. This ensures that your old gear isn’t dirtying your horse; it also makes packing for a competition so much easier! Always make sure when you come home from a competition that you clean and put away your competition gear so it’s all ready for next time. While by no means necessary, matching sets help your horse really look the goods when you turn up to the event.
If you have a horse with white socks, stockings or even if you’re unlucky enough to have a grey horse (jokes!), this product is a must. Even the best rugs and weeks of washing do not prepare you for the morning of the competition when your horse has green hocks. This product is a Godsend on those stressful occassions, and not only removes unsightly marks but doubles up as a shine spray.
A lot of us have either experienced, or seen pony club kids walking around gymkhanas with tracksuit pants or funky pyjamas over their jodhpurs, and let me tell you, they are onto something. Dress in your breeches and shirt before you leave the house and cover with long loose pants and an over shirt. This ensures you aren’t getting dirty whilst saddling up, or even when trying to awkwardly get dressed in the back of the float.
Invest in some decent grooming tools
A good set of brushes and a grooming each day will help keep your horse competition ready. Caked mud, knotted tails and most other things our horses manage to get stuck to them can usually be fixed with a decent brush. Stock up your grooming kit with the following and you can’t go wrong:
– Dandy brush
– Body Brush
– CLEAN sponge
– Mane and tail brush
– Small comb
– Hairspray (for any hoof black incidents)
– A small bottle of shampoo
– A clean cloth (just in case there is a need to wipe a slobbering mouth etc.)
When it comes to packing for a show, everyone will have their own tricks and preferences. Hopefully, by integrating the above items into your competition kit, you’ll be looking the part and ready to get out of any messy situations that (inevitably) will arise. Happy showing!