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Sponsorship with top show team Jerram-Hunnable

Vicky Goody

Smart Grooming announce sponsorship with Katie & Chris Jerram-Hunnable and Team.

 

Smart Grooming is delighted to announce the sponsorship of Katie & Chris Jerram-Hunnable and their team to represent their range of dedicated show and grooming products.

Katie is the doyenne of the showing world, hugely respected, and known for her exceptional turnout skills and attention to detail.   “For us as a brand, both Katie, Chris and her family were our only choice when it came to selecting a suitable team to represent us within the showing world” comments Vicky Goody, Sales Director.

Smart Grooming was established in 2006, concentrating on equestrian grooming products of exceptional quality and value that give outstanding results.  They present a brand that promotes good stable management, knowledgeable advice and long-term commitment within the equestrian industry.  They were one of the first companies to offer a Brand Ambassador scheme for amateur owner/riders as well as being involved with other associations including RoR and TSR, where correct training and management are part of their key elements within their associations.

These core values are mirrored closely with how Katie and her team have worked for many years and along with attention to detail in all aspects of Katie’s equestrian career, together with Smart Grooming’s philosophy of bringing products of excellence to the forefront for grooming, the team and brand partnership is set to become a strong partnership.

Based from the Jerram’s family farm in Essex, both Katie and Chris have years of experience in all aspects of equestrianism, which has included coming up through the Pony Club ranks, hunting, point to pointing, eventing as well as producing young horses for all disciplines as well as in the show ring.

Katie’s first visit to HOYS was at 10 years old, and since then she has gone on to produce, qualify and win at HOYS on countless occasions as well as taking many supreme titles including Hacks, Ladies Hunters (side-saddle), Small Hunters, Riding Horses and Coloured Horses – both hogged and plaited.

She has been extremely honoured to ride and produce for HM the Queen and has a selection of Her Majesty’s young horses as well as the re-training of Barber Shop and this year, Cue Card for in hand and ridden classes within the RoR scheme.

Katie is in high demand as a judge, both in the UK and internationally; she has been on the English panels from the age of 21, as well as being an Accredited Trainer with the BSPS, BHS and PUK, and regularly gives lectures, demonstrations and clinics throughout the UK.

Featuring in many equestrian publications, she is also a regular columnist for Horse and Hound, and has become a legendary and much admired figure within the Showing community.  She is known for her generosity in imparting her knowledge, techniques and training and is hugely supportive to anyone seeking help and advice.

Vicky comments that Smart Grooming is privileged to have Katie & Chris’ support, and very much look forward to working with her team and family.

Clipping prior to HOYS - Tips to get a fabulous finish!

Vicky Goody

Clipping for HOYS?

If you are lucky enough to have qualified and are competing at HOYS this year, and particularly if it’s your first time there, you may be worrying about how to keep your horse’s coat in tip top condition and from growing too long too quickly.

With natives and heavier breeds, the coats have already been on the change and you may already have clipped, it’s then a case of timing your next clip or first clip so that the coat looks like a summer coat and no evidence of the coat having been clipped.

Not an easy one to balance, but here are a few tips to help you keep the summer coat “look” that you will need under the spotlight to really shine on your big day.

1.        If you have been before and are taking a horse that you are familiar with it is easier as you will already know how quickly and when the coat is changing and timings can be more accurate.   However, we will base it on a horse that we have here that’s a heavyweight cob, and we would allow 7 -10 days after the clip to give the best finish and allow time enough for the coat to grow through to regain a shorter summer coat and original colour.

2.       As well as timing the clip, you will also have to consider the type/grade of blade to use to get the optimum finish.

3.       Generally speaking, a medium blade is the best choice at this time of year, and is the grade to choose when clipping greys, coloureds and any light-coloured animals at any time of year as teeth marks tend to show up more with fine blades.

4.       If you have a Lister clipper, there is a specialist blade called a Covercote, this cuts to 5mm and has wider spaced teeth allowing more hair through.  It skims over the coat just taking the upper hair off and leaving the shorter haired coat showing through below.  This is perfect for using at this time of year as it leaves absolutely no marks giving a summer coat finish.

5.       If you do clip, then you will need to clip the horse out completely, avoiding any lines, or if you have a traditional or native which will need all leg hair left on, then blending techniques will need to be used to blend in the clipped length to where the leg hair starts.

6.       Blending can be done in many ways, but we find the easiest and most accurate way is to use a light duty clipper with the snap on wide blade (medium grade).  Instead of clipping against the coat, turn the clipper over and use the blade in a gentle brushing action going down with the hair.  Do this very carefully, you may not need to do very much, but it will make all the difference to the finished look.  This is by far the most accurate and neatest way, otherwise you can use the plastic add on graders which will help to grade in.

7.       To maintain the coat and give it extra shine, rug up using thin liners or lightweight rug which can be washed regularly.  This will keep the coat clean, laying well, and help with maintaining a good glossy shiny.

8.       After exercise, wash off carefully, and ensure there are no sweaty areas.  Smart Grooming’s Lavender Splosh Wash is a great after exercise cleaner and soother.  It is mild on the skin but lifts excess grease more quickly and effectively than shampoo. A little goes a long way and can be used diluted with no rinse off needed after.

9.       After clipping, wash off excess grease with hot water and Splosh Wash and then finish by hot clothing with a dilution of hot water and Smart Grooming’s Super Shine Lotion, leave to dry before wiping over with a fleece mitt for a final polish before rugging up.

 

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Perfect Plaits - how to get started

Vicky Goody

Perfect Plaits – How to get started:

There are so many ways to plait a mane and tail, but to get the best results, practice and more practice is the only way to a really neat, uniform finish. Products designed specifically for plaiting and braiding will help achieve the desired look, but it still comes down to preparation and practice.

Conventional ‘golf ball’ plaits are achieved by dividing the mane evenly all the way down, plaiting down and rolling up each section and either securing by bands or sewing in with thread. Thicker mane will mean either larger plaits, or putting in more plaits to give smaller plaits. If your horse has a thin mane you will need to use more mane for bigger but less plaits, or less mane for lots of small plaits. 

Take a good look at your horse and decide what will suit, and the type of classes or competitions you are entering.  In the UK, the show ring “look” will be different to other countries, so research beforehand to ensure you get the right “look” for the event that you are participating in.

For perfect plaits you will need:

Pre-washed mane and tail

Mane comb for dividing up the mane

Bands or Thread

Blunt ended needle

Unpicker

Plaiting Wax

Plaiting Gel

Perfect Plaits Hold and Shine spray

Small scissors

Hair clip

 

Choose either bands or thread, and the colour that will blend into the hair that you are going to be plaiting.

 

Step 1. Divide up the mane using the mane comb. This is done by putting the comb through the mane to make a hair parting. If you have done this correctly you will see a nice straight parting between each bunch. Each bunch should be of even thickness to ensure the plaits are all the same size.

Step 2. Start plaiting the divided bunches at the poll and work down. Use the Plaiting Wax on the top of the mane before plaiting, this will help smooth the hairs down,  then squeeze a small amount on Plaiting Gel onto fingers and work into the mane  and plait down. 

Step 3. (bands). If you are using bands, plait down and secure each plait/braid with a band at the end.

Step 3. (thread) If you are using thread you can also do it this way and then attach the thread to the bottom of the plait or plait one down at a time and secure the end with thread.

Step 4. (bands) Once you are at the bottom of the plait with bands you can roll up and then secure around the top with a second band.

Step 4. (thread) With thread, poke the needle up from the bottom of the plait into the bottom of the mane and pull through the middle of the plait, then carefully sew backwards and forwards with small stitches so that they are not visible.  Finish the last stitch so that the thread comes down through the plait and cut the thread close and under the plait so that no loose ends show.

Step 5. Repeat the process until all the mane is finished. Once all the plaits are all rolled up and secure, spray over the entire row of plaits with Perfect Plaits, this will hold and shine, and keep them in place all day.

When you are ready to take out the plaits/braids, do this carefully to avoid cutting any mane.  We recommend using the Quick Unpicker, rather than scissors, this has a little blade on the edge and can be accurately used against the thread or bands to cut without touching the mane.

Enjoy the journey, plaiting is a real art, and many styles can be used to enhance the neck and outline of the horse.

 

Watch our You Tube channel or on our Instagram or Facebook pages for plaiting tips using our products.