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.
May 23, 2022 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.

May 23, 2022 AEC

AEC Countdown: Less Than 100 Days!

The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.

May 23, 2022 News

USEA Podcast #310: The Season So Far

USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.

May 22, 2022

Auburn University Demonstrates Talent and Spirit to Win 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.

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