Since the breed shows in our area are off to a bold start, I figured now was a great time to talk about all of this. With the Scottsdale show looming, the Arab industry is abuzz. Paint-O-Rama held in Tuscon had the Paint horse folks busy and the upcoming Sun Circuit Show has the Quarter Horse folks hopping' and bopping' at the moment. Grooms are making their lists and checking them twice to make sure they have everything needed to get their horses ready for what is, in their world another career defining moment. A few weeks before the show is the time to buy what you will need and make sure it is all packed.
They are also scheduling days for body clipping and planning the horses workouts around them. Clippers are hitting the shop for a 'once over', cans of coolants, lubricants and blade wash are flying off the shelves and the blades have all been sharpened... Farriers scheduled for one last shoeing, hooves are being sanded, tails blocked, joints injected, saddles cleaned, silver polished, new outfits ordered- it's chaos I tell ya!
But slow down a minute there. For the people showing on a budget, without the bottomless checkbooks, Big Name Trainers and entourage to do it all- what do you do? We aren't all made of money, and the funny thing about it- it really doesn't cost that much to do it yourself. It is also not that difficult to do it right. The resulting sense of accomplishment can be a gratifying 'high' itself.
Less is more...
If the horse is that great to begin with, there really isn't much you can, let alone need to do, to accentuate or improve on perfection. Your job is only adding the highlights.
If the breeder has done their job of producing a quality horse with good conformation, built to do the job and hardy enough to stand up to the daily work involved known as training, you're already well on your way.
With the basic diet of quality feed, the horses will have a 'glow' about them and their coat will naturally shine reflecting their good health. Proper diet will also help their hoof growth and a good farrier or trim specialist will again, only enhance that which is already there.
Even the horses promoted as Champions that you may see in the ring have their flaws. No horse out there is perfect. They may have their titles, but keep in mind, they were the horse that the judge(s) felt, was the best horse in the ring on that particular day, at that particular show. The judges job is not always an easy one either.