Grooming for a show horse shine.

This is how I groom my horse before fair or any horse show, plus some tips on how professionals do it.

First, start with a good currying to get rid of any hair and loosen up dirt.


curry comb

Brush the horse thoroughly in a circular motion over the body and neck. I don’t curry the legs or head unless there is lots of mud.

Then, get out your dandy brush and go over the whole horse. Get rid of all dust and debris kicked up from the curry comb.


dandy brush
Clean your horse’s hooves with a hoof pick.


this is the kind I use
Once your horse is clean, it’s time to bathe him. Use either horse shampoo or a very mind soap like IVORY. Here are some different brands you could use.


MANE N’ TAIL shampoo works well on all colors of horse.


QUIC SILVER shampoo works well on light colored horses especially.


Herdz – Blackening Horse Shampoo – Equinade


GLO-BLACK –for black horses only.



IVORY is the only non-horse soap i would recommend using on a horse. If you can find IVORY for sensitive skin, that would be even better.


Whatever soap you use, clean your horse well. Use a curry comb to scrub your horse.

EXPERTS TIP: For extra chrome on white manes and tails, rinse with white vinegar.

Be sure to rinse all soap and cleaners out, otherwise  the could irritate the skin. Walk your horse in the shade until he is dry. If you walk in the sun, it will curl and ruin his nicely washed hair.

Once he’s dry, comb though his mane and tail. Use a detangler/shine product.

Image result for horse comb

Use a metal comb or a mane brush.


I don’t clip my horses, but I’m hoping to learn how soon. If you want some info on it, here is a website. How to clip a horse.

If you show in a local, 4-H, or Quarter horse show, you’ll want to band your horses mane.

Horse Mane and Tail Braiding Rubber Bands |

First cut it about three inches long. (above)


Start from the top of your horse’s neck and work downward. Use rubber bands that are the same color as your horse’s mane. (Rubber bands designed for mane and tail grooming are sold at tack stores.)
Western Horse Mane Banding Step 3 Secure the rubber bands at the base of your horse’s neck.

Finished look.

You’ll also want to trim your horse’s tail.

EXPERTS TIP: To brighten up white socks and markings after bathing and clipping, rub some baby powder on the markings. But remember, some breed organizations forbid this. Always check the rule book. But for most organizations you can enhance, but not alter, a horse’s markings.

Right before you go into the show ring, polish your horse’s hooves.


SuperShine Hoof Polish – SmartPak Equine

Start from the coronary band and fill in the hoof with nice even strokes. For black hooves, use black polish, for white hooves use neutral polish. Wear old clothes! Hoof polish will not come out of expensive show clothes.

Then, spray your horse with a shine product to spiff up his clean coat.



Absorbine ShowSheen Original Horse Coat Sheen

After he’s nice and shiny, apply face highlighting gel. use black based or neutral depending on your horses color of skin. Some people use baby oil, but it drys out the hair and skin.


There, your done! Now go out and show your now groomed horse! Have fun!




6 thoughts on “Grooming for a show horse shine.

  1. Cool!! 🙂 We just do the first two steps for our horses, since they’re not show horses!! 🙂 We have to Curry and Brush them before we gather cattle! 😀 It’s fun!! Sort of.. 😀 XD hehe!! 🙂 Great post! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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