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.
Feb 28, 2021 Profile

Now on Course: Heartbeats and Hoofbeats

My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.

Feb 27, 2021 Association News

Beware of Phishing Attempts and Other Types of Fraud

Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.

Feb 27, 2021 Education

Top 10 Tips for Leather Care with Bates Saddles

Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.

Feb 26, 2021 Rules

Update on Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal

Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).

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