2005-09-08 16:02 #0 av: Rebecca

Presentation of yourself and your horse at a competition - gives you an edge, you are there and you mean business ! All of a sudden you become the competition.

Preparing for Competitions

It takes a lot of patience and a lot of time to prepare a horse for a competition, just how you like it, but if you end up coming a place in any event, it is worth it (mainly for the pic´s, nah, just kidding!). The months before the competition, is spent toning up your horses muscles and getting him a nice rounding shape.

The day before is always hectic, having to wash your horse, plait him up and do all the odds and ends, to be ready for the next day, and for me, the worst part is not getting to sleep until about 3 hours before you have to get up (from excitement).
It's natural to feel nervous, but once you feel your horse is working nicely, you calm down.

First of all, the day before, you need to work your horse AND THEN, wash him.
You will need:

  • a bucket
  • shampoo and conditioner (preferably good quality ones )
  • towel
  • sponge
  • sweat scraper
  • and anything else that may be of use

I always wash the entire horse first, but I am not sure, if there is actually any particular order you should do it in. Firstly.....

  1. Rinse your horse of with the water hose.
  2. Tie the horse securely, near the place where you are washing him.
  3. Fill a bucket with shampoo and water
  4. hold the bucket right under the tail and slowly bring it up, so that the tail is in the bucket and is up to the dock.
  5. swirl the tail round and wash it properly
  6. Use a hose or a bucket of fresh water and pour it over the tail to rinse it
  7. To dry it, squeeze all the excess water and then, standing with your back towards the rump of the horse, hold the bottom of the dock and twirl the tail around in a circle. (Watch you don't get “wacked” in the face though, it hurts!!)
  8. AFTER you have washed the body, apply conditioner and with a wide tooth comb, gently comb all the knots out being VERY careful not to pull out half the tail.

Some people prefer to use shampoos with dyes in them, to highlight their horse's colour.
Now for washing the horse's body........

  1. If you are using a hose, or a bucket filled with water, wet the horse thoroughly all over with fresh water
  2. Either use another bucket, mixed with water and shampoo, and pour it over the horse, or put shampoo over different parts of the horse
  3. Rub the shampoo into a rich lather, making sure you wash into the roots of the mane
  4. Now, either hose the horse to get the shampoo off, or pour a bucket of fresh water over him. PLEASE make sure you rinse the horse thoroughly, as this could irritate the skin, to test that you have rinsed properly, wipe your hand (while the horse's coat is still wet) in the opposite direction that the coat lies in. If it is not rinsed properly, little bubble and foam will still be seen, if it is done properly, nothing but fur can be seen.
  5. Dry the horse firstly with a sweat-scraper, then towel dry the coat, and legs.




You will need for plaiting: a stool (or something to stand on), needle and thread; or rubber bands, a comb, a bucket and a sponge or spray bottle of water, a brush and scissors. 

To plait a mane takes time and a lot of practise to do it well.

  1. Divide the mane into a certain amount, securing each even bit with a rubber band. (the amount of plaits may be determined by the thickness of your horse's neck. eg: A horse with a thin neck would look silly with many tiny plaits, in this case, thicker, bigger plaits would look better) There should be an uneven number of divided bits.
  2. Dampen the bit you will plait first with either a sponge or spray bottle
  3. Take away the rubber band of the bit you are doing, and with the comb, make sure the part between the two bits of mane is straight
  4. Plait a firm plait, securing the end with a rubber band.
  5. Continue to do this with all the bits of mane

To rosette with rubber bands.....

  1. Make a little gap with your finger at the base of the plait (at the crest) and bring the tip of the plait through the gap
  2. Bring it the whole way through
  3. wrap the remaining bit of the plait around the knob at the base.
  4. secure it with a rubber band or two

To rosette with needle and thread, is exactly the same as with rubber bands, but you have to use thread

  1. get a piece of proper plaiting thread about an arms length long and double it over
  2. thread it through the needle
  3. poke the needle through the rubber band at the end of the plait and wrap it around a few times.
  4. Bring the plait through a gap at the base, like explained in the rubber bands method.
  5. Again, wrap the end of the plait around the knob
  6. Sew around the plait and through it, etc. many times so that it feels very secure
  7. cut the remaining thread off, and repeat the same method all the way down the mane

make sure the mane is 
of an even thickness and Length.




 To plait the forelock.......

  1. dampen the forelock
  2. do a braid from the top of it and bring it down into a plait
  3. secure the bottom, the same way as you would do with the rubber band rosette.

Finishing touches.....

  1. spray the mane with hair spray and gel down any bits that may stick up. DO NOT CUT THEM OFF!!!
  2. Cover the mane with a skinny hood for the night


Final Touch ups on the day

After arriving at the competition grounds, on the morning of the competition, and after you have settled your horse, it is time to do the few final touch ups before you enter the ring (dressage area, jumping ring etc). That includes putting on hoof black, putting on make-up and quarter marks. 

Good luck and have loads of fun






  • Av: rebecca

    Datum för publicering

    • 2005-09-08