Tips from four champion trainers to make your horse’s coat glow in the show ring. From Horse & Rider magazine.

Go to a top-level show anywhere, and you’ll be struck by the way the horses’ haircoats gleam. How do they get that horse-show glow? Here, four champion trainers share the behind-the-scenes secrets of coat care and pre-show preparation that produce a winning look.

Each trainer has his or her own system, but you’ll find agreement on three key points:

  • Keep that healthy glow. Health and nutrition are the basis of a good haircoat. There’s no way your horse can grow a shiny coat if he’s missing essential nutrients or isn’t dewormed regularly. Halter trainer Mike McMillian puts it this way: “Groom from the inside out.”
  • No cutting corners. Elbow grease is the magic ingredient that brings up the shine. When you care for your horse’s coat every day, pre-show prep is a snap. (Top halter horses are groomed up to three times a day.)
  • Turn off the tap. Keep baths to a minimum. Lots of soapy baths will dry and dull your horse’s coat. Brushing and vacuuming remove dirt while stimulating the skin.Following are the details of each trainer’s program. Armed with this information, you can develop a grooming program to suit your own horse’s needs.

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