Preparing a horse for vet check or showing - blog by international eventing groom Emma Stewart

This month i wanted to write a blog on preparing a horse for vet check at competitions. 

This is basically bringing my last three blogs together with a few extras added in to create the overall finish. 
First, it is good to start with a clean shampooed horse. I usually do this directly after my rider has ridden in the morning. And when the horse is dry I brush with my Eqclusive packs and HAAS brushes to create a great shine. 
I start by plaiting the tail and putting on a bandage . Follow this by plaiting the mane.
Then I take a sponge and clean totally the nose and the eyes. When it is dry I use baby oil around the muzzle and nostrils and then i wipe it over the top of the eyes (not too much so it goes inside the eye). I also but baby oil on the hocks and knees of a horse with black legs. 
If my horse has some white on his legs I then take a chalk block or some chalk powder and rub it all over the white. I leave this for 5/10minutes and then i use a hard brush to take away the excess chalk. Use some baby wipes or a wet sponge to clean the darker hairs above the white from dust.
Next, I make the quarter marks. Then take off the tail bandage. I always put on hoof oil when I'm making the horse ready and again they should have it just before trotting. 
Final thing i use a sheepskin mit to 'dust' the horse (Diva brush) and leave a nice shine.
Before leaving I put on the bridle and polish it a bit on the horse - add the head number (always on the left side!) white boots on the front legs and ready to go .
Usually, I take a bucket or a backpack with me. Inside I take a towel, hoof oil, tail brush, body brush, shoe shine (for the riders boots and the bridle), some plaiting bands and a sponge. If it is really summer and the flies are bad then I take also fly spray. 
For the ones who don't ride at international competitions, this routine can also work well at showing shows for in hand classes! (or ridden, just remember the saddle!) 
Next time I will write a blog when I will be packing for the Olympics - till then!

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