When owning, training, riding, and showing horses, there is a certain “look” to which one aspires. Often it is set by the horses seen on television, at special events, in public performances, and in top competition around the globe. World-class “turnout”—a horse in peak condition, perfectly coiffed and luminous with good health, outfitted with gleaming and well-fit tack appropriate for his sport—literally takes your breath away. And while it can certainly play a significant role in a competitive rider’s success, it is just as appealing to have any horse “groomed to the nines,” whether he’s headed for an afternoon lesson or just out on the trail.
But achieving this superior look is not just about clean tack, shiny brass, spotless stockings, or the perfect braids. The most important steps are found in the day-to-day, nitty-gritty of grooming and caring for the horse: noticing “something not-quite-right” about the way the horse looks or moves before it becomes “something wrong”; brushing and combing and trimming a little every day so the horse’s skin and coat remain healthy and he always has a neat appearance. It is knowing how to prepare a horse properly for training sessions on the flat or over fences, and cool him down appropriately afterward. It’s protecting his body from injury, whether at work or play, and treating it when necessary.
No one knows how to do all of this better than those working as “professional grooms” in the barns of the world’s top riders and trainers. It is the responsibility of these elite experts to keep their four-legged charges happy, healthy, and primed for peak performance—in body and mind. Now, two of the best professional grooms in the business share their trade secrets, with over 1200 color photographs demonstrating how to clean the horse from nose to tail; wrap, clip, braid, and ship him; prepare him for or present him in various English competitive scenarios; and care for him after work or showing so he is rested and ready to do it all again. This book is everything you need to know from the pros: The ultimate modern-day guide for all riders who want their horses to look and feel their best.