With the showing season in full swing and many chasing down qualifications to championship shows, Equetech sponsored rider Helen Newbold has kindly agreed to share some of her showing tips. As a ROR panel judge and top show horse rider and producer, Helen's knowledge and turnout of not only her horses but herself is exemplary.
Helen says "It's always important to make an impression for all the right reasons as soon as you enter the ring. However most of the hard work begins at home and the actual day of the show is the culmination of all those hours of training, polishing, trimming, tidying etc. The weather won't always be your friend and your horse may not be particularly on side that day but always make an effort for you and your horse to look your best. This not only creates a good impression to the judge but it's also good etiquette which is a must when showing horses."
Make sure you practice riding in your show kit, especially breeches, boots and gloves - you have to feel as comfortable in the ring as you do at home.
Boots MUST be polished - not saddle soaped! Not only does it look so much smarter, the polish protects them against the wet and the shine lasts much longer.
For the perfect hat hair use a bun ring, then wrap the hairnet around twice and secure with clips. Hairspray the fly away bits down too for a flawless look.
Plait according to your horses neck, for a fat cresty neck you want fewer smaller plaits with a thinner mane. For a weak neck you need to allow the mane to grow a bit more and use the size and height of the plait to create the illusion of a bigger neck. Quite an art to get it right but makes all the difference.
Finish off your quarter marks with hairspray to make them last longer.
I use hoof polish as opposed to hoof oil, either black or clear depending on hoof colour. Not only does it last longer, it won't rub off on the joints behind if they brush.
Pop a bit of baby oil in some warm water and use as a final rinse after a bath to leave a nice shine on the coat. Using a shiny under rug will result in a gleaming coat by morning!