Jul 18, 2019

Top 10 Tips to Make a Horse Shine with Sam Burton

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

Whether a horse is going down the centerline, cross-country schooling, or working in a lesson - everyone wants their horse to shine, both figuratively and literally. For the latter, a quick, last-minute shine can be achieved by slathering on products. This type of shine might help a horse look clean short term, but once the product fades or the horse starts to sweat, the shine can wear off.

For a horse to shine day in and day out, it’s not a quick fix but rather a continual process. Sam Burton, who was the competition manager for the O’Connor Event Team as well as David O’Connor’s head groom for many years, gives her top tips on how to make a horse shine. A shiny horse is a reflection of a healthy horse, and it comes to no surprise that nutrition is on the top of Burton’s list.

Sam Burton’s Top 10 Tips to Make a Horse Shine

  1. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Good condition, including coat health, starts from the inside out. If you feed a good feed and supplement program it will show in his coat.
  2. Good old-fashioned elbow grease. Nothing beats a good grooming. Currying and brushing your horse stimulate the natural oils in your horse’s coat, creating more shine.
  3. Good conditioners and sunscreens. Spraying your horse regularly with a good coat conditioner and sunscreen will help protect your horse's coat and shine.
  4. Proper aftercare and cool down. Removing all sweat with proper hosing after work and turnout will remove salt from your horse’s coat and help prevent skin issues and protect shine.
  5. Baby wipes. Using baby wipes as a last-minute preparation for the show ring removes all dust for a great last-minute shine.
  6. Vinegar and astringents. Apple Cider Vinegar and astringents, such as Witch Hazel, are excellent for reducing dust and do a great job combating skin conditions that reduce shine.
  7. Clipping. Clipping your horse during the colder months to keep the hair a shorter length will help keep the shine in your horse’s coat throughout the winter months.
  8. Limit bathing. Bathing your horse strips the natural oils in the skin which makes the coat dull. If you have to bathe frequently be sure to replenish the oils with coat conditioners.
  9. Make sure your brushes are kept clean. Brushing your horse with dirty brushes only puts the dirt back in their coats, reducing the shine.
  10. Have a regular grooming schedule/routine and proper grooming tools. Make sure you brush your horse consistently with proper, maintained tools to create a beautiful shine and healthy coat.
Aug 01, 2021 Competitions

Major Contenders Pass Final Horse Inspection at the Tokyo Olympics

All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.

The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.

Aug 01, 2021

FEI Statement on Equine Fatality at Sea Forest Cross-Country Course

The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.

Aug 01, 2021 News

From the Magazine - Travers Schick: A Day In The Life

In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .

Jul 31, 2021 Competitions

Tokyo Cross-Country Catapults Great Britain to Top Heading into Final Show Jumping Phase

The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.

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