The Colt for A Show
||Bathe the Colt:
- Keep water out of ears
- Run water slowly on face.
- After a good scrubbing with soap and
water, pressure all the soap out of the coat, the mane and
- Use a sweat scraper to remove excess
- Spray on Showsheen or any coat
conditioner on the coat and in the mane and tail.
||Make sure the colt’s mane
falls on the right side of the horse. A horse can be
disqualified if it falls on the left side of the body. This
needs to be trained from the time the colt is born, if
||Teach the colt to stand
quietly on cross-ties. That is a great place to work on a
horse as you can work all around their body and the colt
cannot go anywhere. When you are first teaching a colt to
stand on cross-ties, use a quick-release snap on the
cross-ties or just use a lead rope on one side with a quick
release knot. At first a colt may try to run or may rear up
and fall down. Let them do that, but don’t let the colt get
loose. Just release one side of the cross-tie, get the colt up
and do it again, with a quick release. Once a horse figures he
cannot get free on cross-ties, he’ll never try again.
||Hopefully, you will not need
to body clip your colt. Although if you live in a cold climate
or if your colt has not been wormed properly and has not lost
its baby hair, then you may have to body clip. That is a last
||To give a regular hair cut,
do the following:
- Give your horse a bridle path. It
should be the length of the horse’s ear. It
should start at the poll (right between the ears and go back
about the length of the ear.
- If you have a lot of forelock, you
will need to clip a portion of it. Raise
the forelock and start clipping from the bottom upward
toward the ears, leaving a small amount of forelock. It is
important that the horse be able to be braided and look
- Trim the hair at the hoof-line – I
usually turn the clippers sideways and run it around the
coronary band, trying not to clip any of the short hair in
the pastern area – just the hair hanging over the hoof
- Trim the ears. Leave a sharp point at
the top. You may have to twitch the colt to do this or
sometimes people “ear” a colt – twist one ear while you are
working on the other. There’s always a possibility you could
make the horse ear-shy, but most of the time it does not.
- Trim the long hairs above and below
the eyes, but not the actual eyelashes.
- Trim all the whiskers on the muzzle.
- Trim all long hair under the jaw
- Trim the fetlocks (long hair on the
back of the ankle)
- Trim any other long or unsightly hair.
- Trim hooves
- If you are showing a yearling, have a
pad and shoe put on.
- Hoof-black all four hooves. You can
use clear hoof shine if hooves are white, or you can
- Between shows, Hooflex hooves to make
them strong and healthy – work in good around the coronary
||Brush coat and braid mane
- 1. Prepare your braids by cutting 3
ribbons for each braid – there will be 2 braids per horse.
You can choose any color combination you wish. The length
depends on the size of the horse you are braiding. For a
colt, you would probably need about 18 inches for each of
the 3 ribbons. By the way, you need ribbon like that sold at
the major horse supply shops. Ribbon that you buy in local
stores is not appropriate.
- Lay the 3 ribbons one on top of
another and in one end twist a knot. Then take a scissors
and cut a “V” in the portion that is sticking up.
- Have a person help you. In doing the
forelock first, place the ribbon at the top of the forelock
and have your helper put one finger on the ribbon, pressing
hard against the horse’s head. Then split the forelock, lay
one piece of ribbon over each of the two sides of the
forelock and braid tightly. The forelock ribbon should be as
long as the horse’s head. As you braid down the horse’s
head, when you get to the top of the nose, take one piece of
the ribbon, twist it around the other two and drop it down
through the loop. Clip the ends in a “V”. Then pull the
ribbon to the side and put it behind the colt’s halter on
the right side so the colt does not “eat” it. Also, while
you are braiding have your helper keep the unbraided ribbon
out of the horse’s mouth – a lot of colts will try to “eat”
it while you are braiding and it makes for a soggy braid.
- Now you are ready to braid the side.
Select a small amount of mane right at the beginning of the
mane next to the bridle path. Place your ribbon at the top
of the first strands of mane and have your helper put one
finger on the top of the braid with the “V” in it. Then
braid the mane into the ribbons. That mane braid should be
the length of the mane. If the mane is unusually short, you
can make it a little longer than the mane. Tie it off at the
bottom by twisting one strand of ribbon around the braid and
dropping the end down through the twist. Cut a “V” in all
three strands of ribbon. Make sure the three strands of
ribbon at the top of the braid are separated so the three
“V”s are visible.
||Show Halter :
- Choose a brown or black leather show
halter with a colored brow band. You can choose any color
combination. Your ribbons should match your headband and
your clothing should be compatible to those colors also.
- Make sure your forelock ribbon
runs to the right side under the browband and behind the
- Your show halter should fit your colt
well and should have a matching leather lead with a chain on
- 1. Wear a riding habit if possible –
any color is O.K., but basic black works well with a tie
that matches the show halter and ribbons.
- If you do not have a riding habit,
wear nice black slacks with a white blouse or shirt and
black boots. (If you do not have Jodhpur boots, Justin roper
boots will work.) A vest works well also and can look just
about as good as the full riding habit.
- Try to dress so you are cool as it is
frequently hot when showing and there is a lot of walking
- No stable names are allowed on apparel
- You may carry a quirt – preferably
black. Sometimes if you wave the quirt in front of the horse
when he is parked out and the judge is looking at him, it
makes you look professional and may make the colt look