dog & horse books: breeding, training, showing, judging, performance

Anyone who hangs around horses during the day knows that the clothes that you wear attract dirt like a magnet. This is especially true with English show attire, which is frequently beige, cream or white. You see the competitors riding in, looking immaculate, and wonder how they do it, especially in the afternoon or evening classes.
Here are some helpful hints that will keep you looking fresh before your class.
  • To pick up lint and dirt, use the commercial lint rollers or lint brush, or for a less expensive alternative buy a wide roll of masking tape. Wrap a piece around your hand, with your thumb out, and stick the two ends together on the back of your hand. The masking tape picks up the lint and dirt just as well as products that are specifically designed for it.
  • Put your stock tie or chocker on last to keep it clean.
  • If you decide to wear your breeches but are not scheduled to show until later, put a pair of loose-fitting jeans, sweats, skirt or skort over them. If you can find a pair of pants that snap all the way down the leg, these work well also, as they keep your breeches clean and are easy to remove.
  • If you wait until later to put on your breeches, but are having difficulty pulling them on because of the heat, sprinkle baby powder or after-shower powder on your legs and in the legs of the breeches before attempting to put them on.
  • Leave your boots for last if at all possible. If they are difficult to pull on later in the day, try using baby powder.
  • After you have mounted, have your helper run over your boots with a rag, or if you are by yourself, mount with a rag in hand, wipe off your boots and either toss the rag to your work area, or, if it’s small enough, tuck it into your breeches or coat.
  • The best thing to use on boots to remove the dust is the “Swiffer” product that is easily found in the cleaning section of the grocery store.
  • If you find you do need to walk in your boots, avoid mud and dust. Whenever possible, walk in the grass. If you do hit mud or dust, if you can walk in grass, especially wet grass, it will help clean off your boots for you, with the blades of grass acting like the bristles of a brush.
  • Do not put your gloves on until you are mounted. Do not adjust any tack or tighten the girth with your gloves on, as they will get dirty. Put them in your coat or breeches pocket so that you can pull them as the last thing to do before going in the ring.
Using these helpful hints should help you feel more confident, which easily translates into a better ride. Go out and have fun!
Streamline and polish your presentation, or learn the nuances of competition when crossing disciplines. This book is filled with competitors' secret formulas, tips, and techniques to help you look fresh and organized when exhibiting. Perfect for instructors and clubs as well as individual exhibitors. (Written by Jennifer Chong,TO THE NINES, A Practical Guide to Turnout for Dressage, Hunter-Jumper and Eventing)