International event riders Emma and Kevin McNab share their event preparation tips.

April 12, 2021 9:52 am by
Posted in General, Kevin & Emma McNab, News, Riders

Why is it important for your horses to look good?

It is important to have your horses turned out to the highest standard and we take pride in them looking beautiful. In the dressage phase it is about how you and your horse perform but it is an advantage to have an immaculately turned-out horse.

What preparation do you do the day before an event?

The day before is always a big day at the salon for the horses. We make sure our horses are trimmed and tidy all over: pull their mane, pull/rake their tail, trim bridle paths, fetlocks, and the bottom of the tail. They are given an all over bath to deep clean their coats with ShowSheen 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner – the provitamins nourish the skin and coat and leave it looking great.

We try not to brush their tails too often to prevent breaking the hair so after they are washed, we spray them with ShowSheen Hair Polish and Detangler and brush them in preparation for the competition.

Usually, we will plait them the day before or, if we are competing late the following day we will wait until the day of the show.


What are your tips on the day of an event to keep the horses looking great?

Our horses always wear hoods the night before an event so on the day their plaits look just as good as the day before. There is nothing worse preparing beautiful plaits only to find that your horse has rubbed them out overnight!

Our head girl Lucy has her own special Competition Grooming kit full of all the essentials that are needed to turn out at the event. She always makes sure the brushes are washed and clean for every show.

If there are 2 products that everyone should have in their competition grooming kit it should be a ShowSheen Hair Polish and Detangler and Hooflex Liquid Conditioner.

ShowSheen is so versatile at events: tail shine/detangler, spray for quarter markings, all over coat shine and face make up for around the eyes and nose. It is the most useful, versatile product in our grooming kit.

We prefer using the Hooflex Liquid Conditioner for our horses’ feet because it creates a breathable moisture barrier and maintains a lasting moisture balance. However, if it’s dusty or wet we swap this for some SuperShine Hoof Polish and Sealer because it has a gloss finish but doesn’t let dust or dirt settle.


Why do you have quarter marks on your horses?

Quarter marks make a big difference to the overall turnout of our horses and we do them at all competitions. Not only do they show off the definition of the horses’ hind quarters they give a finishing touch to a beautifully turned-out horse.  There are many different patterns, but we do 3 vertical stripes on the top and then sharks teeth. Lucy will use either ShowSheen Hair Polish and Detangler or ShowSheen Finishing Mist to do them as this gives them great shine, highlights the coat colour and sets the hair better.