The equine industry is full of tips, tricks, and hacks when it comes to the care of our horses. But who better to learn these things from than the pros? While at the NRHA Derby this week, we caught up with professional reining groom Halley Guptil on some of her go-to products for show preparation. Halley is an experienced showman in the hunter ring but now works in a reining barn as a groom. This background gives her great insight into horse care across multiple disciplines, and we’re happy we could catch up with her!
Q: How do you prep your horse for hauling to and from shows?
“Before my horses get on the trailer, I clip them so they are clean and ready for the show. I check them over, and if they have any skin conditions like fungus or scratches, I make sure I apply medicine to protect them from worsening while in the trailer. That way when they get to the show, I know they will be in top condition. I also give electrolytes before the haul to help them stay hydrated throughout the travel.”
Halley has used many different brands of electrolytes but likes one that can be mixed in with their grain the best. Regain from Hygain is an easy-to-feed option that is perfect for pre-travel, throughout the show, or in hot weather.
If your horse does have any signs of fungus or skin conditions, a powder treatment such as the AgSilver Maximum Strength CleanTalc is a great option before getting on the trailer. It will help the affected areas stay clean and dry, both treating and preventing any microbial growth.
Q: What supplements are vital to your feeding program?
“For me, ulcer supplements are a must-have. These horses are under stress from training, showing, and traveling, and maintaining their gut health is important for the horse overall, and to keep them performing at their best. I also like an amino acid supplement for muscle recovery and topline support, healthy hair and hooves, and really for just overall health.”
A new gut supplement at FarmVet is G.U.T Powder from Uckele. This powder promotes not only a healthy stomach but also a healthy foregut and hindgut. It helps maintain a healthy stomach lining while also providing pre and probiotics for a healthy digestive tract.
Equinety is a well-rounded all-natural amino acid supplement that helps muscle and bone strength, an improved immune system, healthy hair maintenance, and improved energy and focus.
Q: What is something you can’t live without at a show?
“A shine spray – it does everything! It is a groom’s best friend. I use a shine spray to keep their mane and tail clean, soft, and conditioned, and obviously to clean them up for the show ring. It’s also the perfect clean-up for the good nappers that might need a little stain removal when they come out of their stall.”
Halley recommends avoiding silicone-based sprays for your daily grooming. She loves the EQyss line of products, such as the Avocado Mist for conditioning and detangling and the Marigold Spray for the added benefit of insect repellant.
Q: Walk us through your routine for night-before-showing care.
“The night before showing, I will feed a calming supplement, like Perfect Prep or Total Calm & Focus (from Ramard). I will also give them an icing session and then poultice their legs or any area that needs attention. Then on show day, I bathe them with a quality shampoo and conditioner. I condition more than just their mane and tail – I do their body too, such as their neck and hips, anywhere except the saddle area for extra shine. I then let them dry outside their stall and apply a shine spray so that any dust is easy to brush off once it’s time to tack up!”
For night-before therapy, consider these Ice Horse Ice Boots. With different boots available for any joints or body area, you can get the ones you need based on your horse’s problem areas.
Before tucking your horse in for the night, wrap them up with Animalintex Poultice pads for an easier clean-up on show day!
You can shop more show essentials and groom products available at FarmVet HERE. Or you can shop all our products at FarmVet.com 24/7. You can also call one of our friendly Sales Associates at 1-888-837-3626 or email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a deeper dive into keeping your horse feeling its best at the show, read our blog on how to Tackle Pain After/During the Show.
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