Professionals’ top turnout tips

  • Michelle Tipper, head girl for dressage rider Nicky Barrett suggests using a homemade saddle soap for tack that really gleams.

    “Melt down two bars of glycerine saddle soap, add 1?2pt of milk and leave the mixture to set. Use like normal saddle soap, and the milk helps to condition the tack.

    “Once tack has been cleaned, spray on hairspray and leave to dry overnight. The tack keeps its shine and this prevents a heavy build-up of dirt.

    Michelle also has her own way of making sure nothing is left behind when going to a show.

    “Type up a comprehensive list of the things needed when competing away (this can get quite long). Laminate the document and hang it in the lorry. Items can then be ticked off using a white board marker and the list wiped clean on returning to the yard.”

    Michelle always takes water from home when competing which she then mixes with the local water. “Putting apples in the water will encourage fussy horses to drink,” she says.

    Helen Adams, head groom for young show jumping rider Jackson Reed-Stephensonsays: “Tail pulling can be made easier by wearing a pair of thin surgical gloves or disposable vinyl gloves. These give an excellent grip on the hair.

    “Keep tails clean while travelling to shows by placing the full length in a pair of tightssecured by a bandage at the dock.”

    Mandy Yorke, groom for dressage rider Richard Davison, prefers to use rugs that are easy to remove when at shows.

    “A rug with leg straps and a filet string can put you in a dangerous position if you try to remove it in the confines of the horse box,” she explains.

    “If you have a horse that persistently kicks the side of the horse box, covering boots can prevent the horse from damaging itself or the lorry.”

    To avoid spoilingwhite saddle squares, Mandy advises using neutral polish on the tops of boots and sewing rather than pining on numbers.

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