Turning out for dressage

Mary Poppins

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I have my first big dressage show at the weekend. This is why I got my lorry, I'm so excited.

My question is how well turned out are horses expected to be for dressage? My horse lives out overnight and has got 4 white legs. Will I be expected to wash them so they are spotless, or will everyone understand that it's winter?

What lengths do you go to turn your horses out for posh events? Obviously I will plait and clean my tack (and I suppose my boots as well). It is unaffiliated, but it's a big unaffiliated show (30 riders in each class!)
 

OwnedbyChanter

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Oh so excited for you can wait to hear how well you and Ben get on. What tests are you doing?

I have seen it all at this level but I always turn up with a clean, plaited horse and tack. I do not bath TBH in the winter but brushed and I do wash Gingers white stockings off and towel dry them before I put his travel kit on.

If the warm up is on that dark sand and it is wet they get crap up their legs anyway but I do like to give a good impression as we enter just before we screw it uo.

Good luck don't forget the camera
 

Rubic

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That is great! I hope you both enjoy it:biggrin:

Hmmm for dressage I always tried to look good whereas for clear round jumping I wasn't quite so concerned about how we looked!

Personally I would give his white legs a bit of a hose down and possibly a quick shampoo or if it will be too cold could you bring him in for a few hours before, long enough to dry the mud, and you could just brush the mud off? I wouldn't say he'd need to be spotless, I certainly wouldn't think his legs would need to be "Daz-white" but as long as you look to have made an effort I don't think anyone would be bothered. If it is a big competition I think people will be washing legs and keeping their horse in the night before etc.

Last year I washed Rubic's legs from just above the knees and hocks down, I also washed her tail too... in March just after the snow had cleared. I think my issue is that Rubic is mostly white so dirt is extremely noticable and I couldn't bring myself to go to the RC dressage with a horse that looked so muddy. It isn't quite so bad if you have a horse that is mostly dark with bits of white as no-one can tell if your horse is meant to have bits of white... does that make sense!? If you can get the mud dry enough to brush off I think that would be ok. I just couldn't turn up with a horse that was meant to be mostly white with bits of brown that actually looked to be various shades of brown all over!:giggle:
 

Mary Poppins

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We are doing prelim 7 and prelim 12. It's the first time I have done a test away from my very local riding school. We are certainly ready for it, I'm really looking forward to it.

It's about a 50 minute drive away, and we will have to leave at about 8am. I'm worried that even if I wash his legs at 6am, they won't be dry enough for his travel boots. I wouldn't want to put travel boots on wet legs and he has a fair amount of feather, but at the same time I really want him to look nice and when he has nice clean legs he looks stunning.
 

mystiquemalaika

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Give his legs a wash the day before and then be generous with baby oil before you put him out,an hour should be enough drying off time for you to brush the mud off in the morning and then add abit of chalk or talc :)
But most importantly have fun and enjoy yourselves :D oh and if at all possible,pictures,pretty pretty please ;)
 

Mary Poppins

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I thought about washing them the evening before. His field isn't that muddy so they hopefully won't get caked overnight.

I have a friend coming with me to take photos. I have no real idea of what to expect, I am trying to go with a calm and open mind. Ben and I have been having some lessons at a local indoor school to get him used to being shut in and out of sight of other horses. Initially he did not like being in an indoor school on his own, but after the lessons he is getting much calmer. I can feel a competitive spirit about it and would just love to get placed, but in reality I will just be pleased to complete the test in whatever shape or form.
 

joosie

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I couldn't bring myself to go to any competition with a dirty horse. I'm not talking spotless, but mud and dirt free, mane brushed through, and a washed and brushed tail. I would wash his legs TBH - I wouldn't worry about getting them Daz-white as Rubic put it, but I'd definitely want them cleaned up. There's nothing wrong with putting travel boots on wet legs - but personally I would travel him without boots anyway, I don't see the point when the horse has nice hairy legs as they have plenty of natural protection already.
 

Rubic

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I have to say, I used to wash Rubic's legs, give them a towel dry, then put her travel boots on over the top and by the time we got to the show I had clean legs and I could put a bit of chalk on them when we got there.:redface: However I have the very old poly pad boots and they were great at wicking away the wet although I've known people to do the same with the newer boots. My only other suggestion would be, if you still bring him in during the day, to wash them when he comes in for some hay and let them dry during the day (or if you can't wash then brush off as best you can when the mud is dry) then coat them in pig oil, hopefully his legs shouldn't get as muddy and perhaps be easier to deal with the next day? Chalk is your friend!!!:wink:
 

Mary Poppins

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but personally I would travel him without boots anyway, I don't see the point when the horse has nice hairy legs as they have plenty of natural protection already.

Would you really? Not many people use travel boots on my yard at all but I always have. I'm not sure why, I just do.

I need to get a tail guard for him as well. Ben likes to poo in the lorry and I can do without brushing poo out of his tail while I am getting him tacked up. Only problem is that his tail so mega thick, it's hard to find one to fit him. Might have to use a good old fashioned bandage.
 

Rubic

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I couldn't bring myself to go to any competition with a dirty horse. I'm not talking spotless, but mud and dirt free, mane brushed through, and a washed and brushed tail. I would wash his legs TBH - I wouldn't worry about getting them Daz-white as Rubic put it, but I'd definitely want them cleaned up. There's nothing wrong with putting travel boots on wet legs - but personally I would travel him without boots anyway, I don't see the point when the horse has nice hairy legs as they have plenty of natural protection already.

I often travelled Rubic without boots for short journeys (or just brushing boots and overreachers if we were going jumping) but I realised that the travel boots stopped the poo stains!!!!
 

mystiquemalaika

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I don't use travel boots either I think they a rather big clumsy things for a horse to contend with,the new ones more so.mystique travelled 350miles twice without any and was fine,the point2pointers only used to have a set of brushing boots on when I worked there.but nothing wrong in using them either and no harm.popping them.on when legs are damp :)
Eta Neala travelled 250 miles without them too,forget how far she came from sometimes!
 

Mary Poppins

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coat them in pig oil, hopefully his legs shouldn't get as muddy and perhaps be easier to deal with the next day? Chalk is your friend!!!:wink:

I use pig oil on a regular basis (last application was about a month ago). The problem is that for the first couple of days it makes his legs look really greasy and even more dirty. After a couple of days the greasiness goes and the legs look shiny. I could do with putting pig oil on tomorrow really so the greasiness is gone by Sunday, but the farrier is coming this week and I don't like his legs greasy for the farrier.
 

Rubic

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Would you really? Not many people use travel boots on my yard at all but I always have. I'm not sure why, I just do.

I need to get a tail guard for him as well. Ben likes to poo in the lorry and I can do without brushing poo out of his tail while I am getting him tacked up. Only problem is that his tail so mega thick, it's hard to find one to fit him. Might have to use a good old fashioned bandage.

Bandage and some old tights :wink: If you plait the length of his tail (not a tight one, keep it fairly loose) then pop it into the leg of a pair of tights and bandage the top (use the bandage to help keep the tights up) then all you'll need to do is remove the bandage, tights and take the band off the bottom of the plait and you are sorted!
 

Mary Poppins

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Bandage and some old tights :wink: If you plait the length of his tail (not a tight one, keep if fairly loose) then pop it into the leg of a pair of tights and bandage the top (use the bandage to help keep the tights up) then all you'll need to do is remove the banage tights and take the band off the bottom of the plait and you are sorted!

I don't own a new pair of tights, yet alone an old pair. I haven't worn tights for the last 20 years!
 
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