Ask a Pro Sam Burton Henley Q1: Horse Care Grooming Tips

We asked our features professional Sam, master groom, instructor and Equine Business Management Training Center program administrator, how she streamlines clipping her horses', how to keep tails untangled, and keeping dusty off your horses' coats.

Admit it…you’ve been envious of another horse’s glistening coat. Achieving that high-gloss shine takes time, elbow grease, and a few tricks of the trade. Professional groom Samantha Burton Henley says there is no substitute for a good grooming, ideally a twice a day curry—but specific techniques can make the job easier while creating a polished look. Here’s her advice for achieving a finished look that will make other riders stop and take notice.

Q: Hey Samantha, how do you clip a horse without leaving tracks?

Clipping isn’t hard, but it does take skill, technique, and practice. The biggest mistake Henley says riders make in clipping is starting on a dirty horse. Many people pull their horses out of the field, knock the dust off with a brush and fire up the clippers. Bathing the horse first translates into a smoother, invisible lines. After the horses are clean, she sprays Abosrbine ShowSheen® on the horse’s entire coat before trimming begins.

“When you cover them in ShowSheen they clip out so much easier and cleaner,” she says.

Q: Your horses’ tails are never tangled or knotted! How do you detangle your horses’ tails?

Horse owners are divided on tail care. Some prefer never touching one until right before a show. Others, comb and condition tails daily. This is the approach Henley follows. She works through the horse’s tail every time it comes out of its stall. The frequent attention means there is never a snarl.

“Nothing makes me cringe more than watching someone grab a tail brush, going to town and ripping out pieces of the tail,” she says.

Absorbine ShowSheen

Picking the right detangler is as much a part of her routine. For as long as Henley can remember Absorbine ShowSheen® has been her go-to product. Not only do knots slip right out of the hair, the conditioner reduces hair breakage for fuller, longer manes and tails.

For an extra shine, she applies ShowSheen® Detangler Gel made with Argan oil of Morocco.

ShowSheen Detangler Gel

“I am obsessed with it. After a bath I put the oil in because it makes the tail look shiny,” she says. “I’ll also put the oil in dry tails when they come out of stall. Right before the ring I use it for a little extra shine.”

Q: Horse shows are dusty, how do you keep it from sticking to your horses?

Dust, grit, and grime are part of every horse show but it doesn’t have to dull a shiny coat. Henley relies on ShowSheen to repel dust and uses the spray as a touch-up throughout the day.

She sprays ShowSheen onto a rag and wipes it over the horse’s coat. This removes loose dirt and debris creating a finished look. She also keeps a bottle of Miracle Groom Bath in a Bottle and ShowSheen® Stain Remover & Whitener.

“I’ll spray that on a towel and use it on the horse to remove any dust, poop, or debris that should be there,” she said. “It creates so much shine too and all the products smell so good.”

Check out more professional tips and trick from Sam here

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