It’s no secret that the unsung heroes of this sport are the group of people who love these animals just as much and even more than the rest of us, the grooms. BUT there are some secrets they keep to themselves for those quiet and anticipating moments they spend with their ponies before heading to the ring! This week, we chatted with the best of the best to get an inside look at the secrets to success of keeping their ponies looking fresh both in and out of the ring!
Groom for Mattias Tromp at Beyaert Farm
“Arm breaking currying. Curry till your shoulder runs out of steam, and then some. I also like to add a dab of baby oil to my pre-show bath water with my usual soap to make them glisten just a bit! AND never forget a cookie at night check!”
Editors note: Live by Arianna’s currying moto. I’ve been fingernails deep in a scratchie sesh and still no dirt to be found!
Groom for Beat Mandli at Grant Road Partners
“One of my favorite grooming tools is a jelly face scrubber. They’re super soft and the horses love it! Lots of currying, rubber curry combs are your best friend! Also, I try to use as little shampoo as possible. Instead, I like to dilute apple cider vinegar and water. It helps to restore the horse’s pH balance and also makes their coats shiny. Another product I like to use is Elemental Equine’s Skin Salvation Spray. If one of my horses has some hives or skin fungus, I use this stuff a couple of times a day and it seems to be gone in 2–3 days!”
Barn Manager for Allison Robitaille at Newstead Farm
“My top tip is getting the horses feeling good and happy and being relaxed in order for the horses to perform at there best every time they come out! We use a beer blanket on our horses and also Haygain for their hay. Get to know your horses inside and out to give them the best chance for success!”