Jul 18, 2019

Top 10 Tips to Make a Horse Shine with Sam Burton

By Claire Kelley - USEA

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.

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.
Jun 05, 2020 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: June 6-7, 2020

This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.

Jun 05, 2020 Association News

USEA Podcast #259: Sinead Maynard's Recipe for a Successful Return to Competition

The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.

Jun 04, 2020 Eventing News

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee Postpones Inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill Due to COVID-19

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.

Jun 04, 2020 Competitions

USEA Events A-Z: Apple Knoll Farm Horse Trials

Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.

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