Show Prep 101: Hunters & Dressage

We had a fun Show Prep Clinic at the barn this past weekend where I taught how to bathe, braid and clip for a horse show. We also covered what to wear for the Dressage ring and the Hunter ring, and some basic show etiquette rules.

The horses were wonderful sports about it (and boy did they look spiffy by the end of the day!), and the students picked up the techniques quickly.

There was a lot of info thrown at you guys all at once, so I thought it might be helpful if I shared some Youtube videos that I have referenced in the past when I needed to remind myself of certain braiding techniques, etc.

How to braid the mane and forelock for Hunters:

How to braid a tail for Hunters:

How to finish a tail braid:

How to braid the mane for Dressage:

How to braid a horse with a long mane for Dressage:

How to braid a long forelock for Dressage:

How to remove braids (same for Hunter and Dressage styles):

...This can also be done with a seam-ripper instead of scissors for a little more control. Go slow and be careful to only cut the thread or yard and not the braid itself! Removing braids takes time, but it's a good chance to relax and unwind after a show and to reflect on everything you learned. You don't ever want to turn your horse out with its braids still in because the horse will try to rub them loose and could lose a whole section of its mane (same goes for tail braids).

Youtube is a great resource for refreshing our memory on things that we only have to do a couple times a year, or learning new braiding styles and techniques altogether. But the only way to have really great looking braids at shows is to practice, practice, practice!