Over the winter 2010 I have been working hard with the horses to prepare for the next season. Having been in my new yard for nine months it has also been a great time to clear out the cupboards of half used bottles and replenishing everything for the new season. During this process, I have discovered a fabulous range of grooming products which has made all the difference to our stable management to date and will have the horses sparkling at their first competitions of 2011.
The products are from Farnam Grooming who are huge in the US are growing here in the UK. My favourite products are:
Over the winter months the horses feet get wet when they are out and then dry when they come in; absolutely the worst conditions for keeping healthy hooves. We started trialling Shur Hoof Dressing and Rain Maker (Triple Action Hoof Moisturiser and Conditioner) over the winter. We use the Shur Hoof every evening before we put the horses to bed to condition the feet. The dressing is very thick and can last for a good couple of days. We find it has helped with the texture of the hooves, especially for Fiddle who has had particularily crumbly feet. We use the Rain Maker on show days to condition and show off the hooves to their best. It is a clear oil and does what it says on the bottle ‘enhances colour and sheen’.
Unlike so many of the ‘hoof conditioners’ that I have used previously which appear to soften the hoof wall and make the hooves hard for the farrier to manage, this regime along with regular doses of Bio-Trition has produced lovely tough feet on all my horses, and not even a suspicion of thrush.
Team China Top Tip: Pick out your horse's feet and apply Shur Hoof to the sole and frog to condition the sole and help prevent thrush in the frog. Also, apply Rain Maker to your horse's hooves before you turn him out and you'll find mud doesn't stick to his feet.
We are using the following products and really like them:
Vetrolin Bath and Vetrolin Body Wash – we use this for regular bathing. It has a really nice menthol smell and leaves the coats nice and soft. The horses seem to love the relaxing and zingy sensation. It also has PABA sunscreen to protect the coat but we have not had much chance to test that out yet!
Team China Top Tip: Use Vetrolin Body Wash after galloping, jumping, cross country when they are really hot and sweaty to help the muscles relax and recover.For shows we use the Vetrolin White ‘N Brite which has optical brighteners which really brings out the brilliance in our greys - Maggie and Fiddle who are getting greyer by the month – while Chico is now pure grey. It also really brings out the highlights in the dark coats like Violet, Freddie and Wish. Wish just took part in a floodlit photoshoot and his dark coat looked absolutely stunning! (See picture on right)
We spray the horses tails after bathing with Laser Sheen which makes them more manageable and gloss without making the hair brittle. For shows we use it on their coats and manes as well leaving them beautifully sleek.
Team China Top Tip: Before a competition, don't, what ever you do, spray lazer sheen to your horse's mane as you will have an interesting time plaiting!
Vetrolin detangler A lovely conditioner that leaves the tail glossy, flowing and smelling nice!
Team China Top Tip: Apply generously to your horse's tail the night before a competition then use Lazer Sheen spray last minute before you brush through the tail as you get on.
Team China Top Tip: Don't be stingy when applying. Nice thick slabs will make sure that the clay will keep working for longer and will stay wet against the skin so it's easy to wash off the next morning. A wet sheet of A4 (old cross country numbers will do nicely) will stick to the appied clay and so you won't get your bandage pads dirty!
There are some other exciting new products coming along but I am sworn to secrecy.....so watch this space!!!