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12 Tips for Winter Grooming

Vicky Goody

Grooming the horse in winter

 

There is always so much more work to do in the winter when looking after horses, whether they are clipped or unclipped, living indoors or outdoors.  If its not mud to deal with its going to be hair.  Hair when clipping and hair when grooming.  There is no getting away from the fact that your horse or pony will need more attention in the grooming department during the winter months.

What’s in your winter grooming kit?  You may need a few extras to help so here are a few ideas to help.

1.    You will need a couple stiff and medium bristled brushes for grooming the thicker winter coats. The resistance of the harder bristles are needed to get into the thick coats and to use on areas of the body and legs where dry mud may be left.

 

2.    We favour the natural bristled Borstiq brushes which give resistance without being too hard and uncomfortable.  The traditional Dandy brush was always the starter brush for grooming and made of a bassine, which is the leaf fibre of the Palmyra Palm.  This is a coarse bristle, but not as harsh to use on the body as you would think.  It is great to use on thick unclipped coats and on legs for removing dried mud as it gives stiffness and resistance which is necessary in tougher conditions.

 

 

3.    A medium brush such as the Arenga, again made from a natural plant bristle, is perfect on clipped or finer coated horses and ponies, and really gets into the hair without causing discomfort. 

4.    If the horse is clipped or is sensitive in any areas, it can be difficult to get thick mud removed, as harder bristles can be very uncomfortable for them.  This is where the Super Groomer comes in handy.  Made from reconstituted plastic, its soft but moulds to all areas of the body and head.  It makes caked mud removal so easy – one to try and can be used for massaging, or with water when washing.  Just apply shampoo directly on to it and then massage in for an invigorating and thorough body wash.

5.    Make sure hooves are picked out every day and before riding, to make sure the hoof, frog and sole are in good condition.  Apply a hoof oil or conditioner as needed and try to ensure the horse has access to a dry area to stand in for part of the day. 

 

6.    Wet and mud provide challenging times for horses that are susceptible to mud fever.  This condition can prove very difficult to manage once it has started and needs careful monitoring.  There are many thoughts on how to treat and your vet is the best person for advice. However, we suggest spraying with a coat sheen type spray each day before turning out, this will give some protection and will make brushing off very easy too.  We also suggest using it on all body areas for repelling as well as making it far easier to brush through and for spraying prior to clipping to help blades glide through the coat more easily. This also helps to keep the edge on blades and stops them going blunt so quickly.

7.    Grooming gloves are an amazing grooming accessory and help with stubborn mud and grease.  Fabulous for giving the horse a good all over massage and to check for any nicks and lumps and great in the shedding season to get rid of moulting hair and let your fingers do the grooming!

 

8.    Clipping and trimming are a great way to keep the coat looking tidy and manageable, and certainly helps after exercise for washing off and drying very quickly. Clipping legs is open to discussion.  Hair helps with protection, but also if trimmed or clipped, makes it easy to see if there is a problem and for treating if needed.  Cobs are often clipped out all year round, as they tend to grow so much thick coat even through the summer and often need treating for mites, so keeping the hair short is the only option for successful treatment.

 

9.    For cobs and other heavy types that are kept with all their beautiful long manes and tails and feather, they require regular and careful maintenance.  Some feathers can even be plaited down to keep them out of the mud.  Tails and manes are often plaited over too, to help keep them from becoming entangled.  We recommend a slightly heavier duty lotion to apply to the very hairy areas – our Super Shine lotion is perfect for this purpose and will help to keep the hair in condition and easy to brush through.

 

10.  Learn how to hot towel.  This is great for clipped coats,and can be used for removing grease and hair after clipping, with a touch of vinegar, soap flakes or a preparation like Lavender wash, giving a relaxing and refreshing wash.  Hot towelling can also be used with our Super Shine lotion to increase the shine, and again a small amount mixed with hot water and applied with a flannel all over will give a great shine.  This can be applied all over, then allowed to dry.  It won’t attract dust or dirt and the saddle won’t slide either!  A perfect finish – a great spa treatment.

 

11.  For stubborn stable and grass stains, keep a bottle of stain remover handy. Polar White spray not only doubles as an instant stain remover, but also a spray and wash shampoo great for regaining the whiteness after a days hunting or a week’s worth of mud.  A quick fix to whiten and brighten.

 

12.  Don’t forget to not only look after your horse but also your grooming kit too.  Clean your brushes by dipping in a warm solution of disinfectant and water on a regular basis, and dry naturally, especially if the bristles are a natural product.  To prevent cross infection its advisable to keep a basic grooming kit for each horse.

 

Time spent grooming your horse in the winter months, will pay dividends.  Producing a well groomed and turned out horse is a reflection on the owner’s stable management.  There is nothing more satisfying then riding out on a well turned out horse.  You will be noticed whether out hunting, hacking or at an event, and possibly even more noticed for the wrong reason if the end result is not well groomed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Official UK Brand Ambassador application details

Vicky Goody

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS

Do you have what it takes to be a UK Brand Ambassador for Smart Grooming?

We are recruiting for 2019 and we are looking for exceptional individuals who are passionate about riding, grooming and turning both themselves and their horses’ or ponies’ out to a very high standard; as well as being able to present well on social media channels, both written and in video format and representing the brand in a fun, informative and friendly manner.

In return you will have the backing of a professional brand for both information and knowledge of products and to have a company name associated and backing you in the equestrian world.  We offer our Brand Ambassadors 20% discount on all Smart Grooming products as well as access to a range of branded clothing and saddle cloths available to ambassadors only.  These are offered to you at a trade price as well as complimentary embroidery including your name or team name, free of charge.

We also offer opportunities to compile videos and write ups on products from a tried and tested angle with product bonuses for ambassadors that contribute on a very regular basis to advertise our brand. There will also be other opportunities to attend and help at show prep clinics (dates to be confirmed) and to meet up at events that we may be at, which will include Your Horse Live in November.

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO…

In order to progress your Ambassador Application you will need to do the following: (it is in your interest to do this accurately and to follow the procedure in order for the application to be considered).

1.       Include your full name, your social media account names, and social media accounts that you would use to promote Smart Grooming in any way.

2.       Postal and email address

3.       Permission from your parent/guardian if you are under 18 years old, that they are happy for you to represent us. This can be a paragraph written by them at the end of your email and to include their email address for us to verify with them if you are selected.

4.       Highlight any past social content that you have created that you feel might show us how you could represent us.  For example, this could be a tried and tested review, a video on a product that you have been pleased with, or feedback on a competition day.

5.       If you are already familiar with our brand and have used our products, please let us know what products you are using and how you found us.

6.       We like interaction with our ambassadors – are you good at keeping in touch? We don’t mean just tagging us in what you are doing!

7.       Do you have your own ideas on promotion?  We are always looking for a fresh approach, you may have the idea that could really work for a brand like ours!

8.       Which social media channels to you regularly use?

9.       Do you have a You Tube Channel and are you comfortable with making short videos, confident to give practical advice and be able to demo our products if asked?

10.   Most importantly, why do you want to be a Brand Ambassador for Smart Grooming?

11.   Lastly, don’t forget to mention us on one or more of your social channels and tag us to show us that you really do want to be part of our team.  Use some initiative on this one!

 

Applications including no more than 3 photos must be sent by email to: sales@smartgrooming.co.uk  If you are sending multiple or large files then add a WeTransfer link or attach a zipped file. Closing date is at MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY 25TH JANUARY 2019. 

 

GOOD LUCK!  We will only be in direct touch with applications that we are accepting.  If you have not been contacted by 8th February, this will mean you haven’t been accepted for 2019, but there is always another chance next year!

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to get the professional show ring finish we all dream of!

Vicky Goody

These are the questions we are often asked:

How do we, the customer/groom/competitor, achieve the show ring finish that the professional producers create so easily using the Smart Grooming products? 

Which ones should we choose? and in what order should we use them?

Our step by step guide below will help you get the super shiny results and with a bit of practice, will give you the professional edge.  The products are for the final finish, good feeding, management and grooming are also required to ensure the horse is kept in the best condition, ensuring healthy coat, and skin.  Good trimming and tidying will also ensure easier plaiting and turnout on a show day.

  • Bath a day or so before your competition, if you are able, alternatively if the horse is kept predominately stabled, with a regular daily grooming programme, a bath may not be necessary.

On the day:

  •  First give your horse a good body brush and massage to get the blood circulation going.

  • Then spray Smart Grooming Coat Sheen from the top of the neck downwards.  We find it easier to spray a small area. Then use a soft fleece mitt to polish and buff and then spray again, working your way down each side of the horse until all body areas are done.  A soft goat hair brush is also suitable. This finish will give you a super shiny result, perfect for general competition.

  • If requiring a show ring finish, after applying Coat Sheen all over as above, move on to the Smart Grooming Super Shine lotion. Pour a small amount into a bucket with an inch of hot water in the bottom. Get a cloth, dunk in and squeeze out then literally apply from face downwards in circles.

  • Allow to dry and brush lightly over with a soft goat hair brush. This will give the whole of the body extra gleam and shine.

  • For natural manes and tails – use Tame the Mane and for final shine, squeeze Super Shine onto hands and work through tails and manes before brushing through for a final finish.

  • For plaited classes apply Perfect Plaits to manes before and after plaiting this has a setting lotion and citronella in to help with flies in summer.  For a top up shine use Gloss n Go spray to give extra shine on plaits and to high light the darker points as needed.

  • For marking up and applying quarter marks/shark’s teeth/squares. Use the hot cloth method with Super Shine but make sure the quarters are very damp. Apply a good spray over of Quarter Mark spray and apply marks as needed. Use a finely spaced comb to get good hunter marks, a good stiff, densely packed body brush to get crisp shark’s teeth and our new combs with varying width sizes to give the correct size squares for hacks, show ponies and riding horses.  Spray over again and allow a couple of minutes to dry.  Rug up as needed. The spray will keep the markings perfect all day even with rugs on and off. 

  • Apply make up around the muzzle and to cover any scars or to blend in leg colour.

  • Enhancing gloss is the top up to use to give final shine over make up and around eyes and muzzle, this can be used on its own for a more natural finish and colour or on top of already applied make up colour.

  • Apply hoof paint, or oil as required.

Done!  Our products do not attract dust and leave no residue.  When you run your hand over the coat when its dry, you will not get any oil on them.  If a judge does happen to touch your horse, there will be no trace of oil on their hands once dry.