Every show team has a set of items which they swear by and routinely use throughout the season. Whether you’re trying to add some extra show ring sparkle while on a budget or you’re celebrating after a class win, there are some items in that show basket, which might not be so essential to the green observer.
If a non-horsey person was having a nose through your kit, what would they look twice at?
1. Baby oil
While most adults would either purchase this silky soft liquid for its intended use, moisturising baby skin, showing folk rely on this greasy bottle of goodness for giving the muzzle, eyes and general points of judge’s interest that all important extra gleam before the class. As with any oil-based product, it should be used with care to avoid any risk of burning the skin in the sunshine.
2. Plastic Prosecco glasses
At 9am, really? Yes, you’ve been up since four o’clock and your horse has just won so pass a celebratory tipple please. If you’re the lorry driver then you’ll have to do with some lemonade, but at least a glass makes it easier to pretend it’s something more exciting.
3. Mr Sheen
If you need to get a dull tail gleaming there are a wide range of shine-enhancing tail sprays on sale, designed specifically to do the job, but you may also find a can of furniture polish on hand for this purpose within some show baskets.
4. Ear plugs
Never have two small pieces of cotton been so essential and valuable to some horses’ success. While to the untrained eye they may appear to be nondescript pieces of matted tat ready for the rubbish bin, to the rider of the young, highly-strung riding horse who is about to launch herself into the evening performance, they are more precious than diamonds.
5. Hair spray/ VO5 Gel
For keeping the human bun and pony plaits neat and flyaway free.
6. Blue rinse
No, not for your grandmother’s perm, but instead for your skewbald or grey’s white tail. Who knows where or when he will choose to poo through his beautiful silvery tail hair.
7. Glitter spray
Don’t lie, somewhere at the bottom of your show bag will be a half empty bottle of silver, gold or even pink glitter spray you’ve been slightly over keen with prior to an evening performance. While you claim it’s ‘only for the kids’, we all know showing people of any age love the OTT feel a bit of glitter can bring to the party. While it’s all good fun, the major downside is that you will be picking sparkly bits off your show saddle for the next three seasons.
8. Leg bandages with sheep on
If you’re going to go to the effort of owning a pony with white legs, you might as well wrap them in something funky to keep them clean during the warm up.
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9. Oven gloves, tea towels or any other kitchen-based fabrics
A pair of oven gloves or a tea towel is great for a final rub over before the class. Ideal for wiping grease and lifting coats, or mopping up that unwanted bit slobber. Just remember to wash it before your other half picks it up to dry the dishes…
Don’t miss the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out now (dated 16 May), for all of the latest news and reports, plus a round-up of showing products you’ll want to get your hands on.