How Fancy Do I Need To Get?

Two weekends stand between me and the first horse show I have ever entered (I don’t count endurance rides as shows). As far as training preparation, we are where we are. I have one more lesson scheduled to fine tune some things and then that is that. We will enter at A, give it our best shot and see what happens.

Gear-wise I’m pretty good I believe. I ordered a 46″ jump girth from Riding Warehouse and then saw a nice white polo for only $30 so that ended up in my cart as well. In fact, I ordered a small and medium so I could just return the one that didn’t fit. The only thing left is to call the venue and see if my Road ID band is sufficient or if I need a medical armband.

I know it is “just” (wow do I hate that word) a schooling CT at the amoeba level and that it is low key and meant for people just like me who haven’t got a clue. However, I believe in dressing for success or as some say “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” My wardrobe is limited by my budget, so I will be in my field boots, white breeches for dressage and tan for jumping, black gloves, my black tipperary helmet and white polo shirt. Probably no belt unless I manage to find one between now and then that doesn’t cost my left kidney (seriously, why is a strip of leather 28″ long $50??)

What I can do though is spruce the mare up. I’m just not sure what all that really entails. She will get a bath full of shampoo and conditioner the day before we leave for the show (no clue as of right now when that is, depends on ride times) and will get her usual thorough grooming right before we tack up. She will be shiny and clean.

I am not 100% sure what to do about her mane. It is long and luxurious and I plan to keep it that way. No roaching, trimming or pulling for one show. She needs that mane for her every day, live outside life. Running braid? It looks easy enough to youtube and figure out but looks a bit tacky to me. Can you do button braids with a full mane? Will they look ok or just like super big gremlin fur balls down her neck? Suggestions?

Her tail is long and I do plan to cut that straight and shorter than touching the ground as it is now. Do I have to dye it? I’ve seen a lot of DIY tail dye posts on blogs. Is that needed? Do I have to cut around her butt? She is pretty bushy up there. I don’t like it when it is trimmed too much, but it would probably be better for her not to have a butt-stashe going on, right?

Her feathers, ear hair and whiskers are staying. I doubt I’ll get all the wax out of her ears as she hates her ears being messed with, but I will try to tidy them up and she will be in a bonnet so that should limit her exposure.

Anything I am missing? Do I need to learn how to do a quarter mark? I want her to look presentable and not have our turn out make a bad first impression.

Thanks for any suggestions!!!!



9 thoughts on “How Fancy Do I Need To Get?”

  1. You are definitely over-prepairing. Try to remember to have fun. That’s the important thing: fun.
    I find that running braids fall out really quickly. The running/button braid works much better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFgNcbJ-pNI
    For a really cool look, you can do a lattice braid: https://diyhorseownership.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/P1190685.jpg
    You don’t need to trim anything, just make sure she’s washed and clean.


  2. She just needs to be clean and presentable. The things I would suggest are the things you won’t do so I won’t suggest them haha! You definitely do not need to dye her tail. I’d just cut it so it doesn’t drag on the ground and it looks even. You can trim the dock of her tail too to give it a smoother look. A running braid is nice but if the braid looks janky after doing it (I’m sure if I braided it, it would look super janky), better just to let it flow free.


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