Tips from Becka James Equestrian for prepping a horse for their photo shoot!
Bathing - whether you are going for a show or having a photoshoot or just want your equine to look lovely, weather permitting I love giving my horses a bath! It gets all the scurf and dirt out of their coat and also leaves them smelling lovely(depending on the shampoo!) Bathing can be a real pain for some especially if you own a grey which are super for showing us owners that they would love to be a bay with annoying poo stains!!
We all know any horse is hard to keep clean, but grey horses seem to be particularly attracted to mud!
A few tips for getting grey ponies/white patches really clean:
Use warm water to initially wet & wash
I use two shampoos, 1- any normal shampoo will do 2- "Gallop" brand of shampoo especially for colour enhancing (it's a blue colour which really helps to bring out the brightness of the white fur) which you want to wash out with warm water.
Pat dry with a towel
I use a product called "Snow White paste," with a sponge simply wipe onto the areas that you want to look super sparkling white and it works wonders! I also use soft chalk which can be brought at most tack shops!
Brushing - after your equine has dried from their bath, brushing is a good way to get their coat laying the way it should ready for their shoot including their mane and tails!
Mane & tail - to get your equine looking even smarter a nice way is to just give their mane and tail a pull or trim, or if you are super organised, do it a few days in advance of your shoot in order to allow for a little growth to give a really natural shape. And if you really fancy it, plait up your mane and tail! If you are going to plait your horse make sure the bands are the same colour as the horses mane. Additionally, native ponies can look fab with a running plait or even a small plait behind their ear to help define their face.
Clipping- I would recommend if you feel your equine is in need of a clip before your shoot to do it a week or more in advance so the coat has a chance to grow slightly in order to get a less harsh look that can sometimes happen. Then once I have clipped I always use warm water mixed with a splash of baby oil and wipe over my horses body with a baby wipe to give it a good shine and it also moisturises their newly clipped body!
Final touches - I always put on a bit of hoof oil and I use a baby wipe to wipe over my horses faces to make them look even cleaner especially if you want lots of head shots (which Rose is superb at!)
Thank you Becka for those tips! If you’d like any more information about preparing your horse for a shoot, Becka is a local freelance groom and would be happy to answer your questions. I also highly recommend her services if you fancy treating your horse to a makeover before their shoot!
If you think your horse is going to be a little excited before heading off to your chosen location for a shoot, give them a light lunge. However try to avoid letting them get worked up and sweaty! Try to avoid riding (unless it’s a good few hours before your shoot) so that there isn’t a saddle sweat mark left on their back!
Our next post about preparing your horse for a photoshoot in terms of tack!