Trivia Challenge: Are You a Good Groom?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and educational information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. True or false: For best stain removal on a white mane or tail, provide a final rinse of household white vinegar.

T / F

2. Enhancing your horse’s black points is permissible at most sanctioned events, but it’s illegal to

A) use hoof black or other stains to darken the color of his hooves.

B) alter his color by covering up a coronet band or white sock.

C) alter his color by using baby oil to darken areas on his face.

3. Which of these can become a nifty leg-cleaner?

A) a steel wool pad

B) a plastic dish brush

C) a metal curry comb

4. For the very best show-ring super-shine, your horse needs

A) thorough grooming, bathing right before the show.

B) proper nutrition that nourishes hooves and haircoat.

C) regular, vigorous grooming on a schedule well before the event.

D) all of the above, of course!

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. F is correct. For extra cleaning, you want to apply the vinegar before you wash, not after. A pre-rinse with straight vinegar helps loosen dirt and stains, allowing shampoo to work more effectively. Good to know! (Learn more about caring for your horse’s white markings.)

2. B is correct. Enhancing color is OK, but outright changing a color is typically illegal. And, although beautifying your horse’s black stockings doesn’t necessarily earn you extra points with the judge, it does demonstrate you’ve made extra effort to give the best presentation possible. (More on enhancing your horse’s black legs.)

3. B is correct. Steel wool and metal curries are definitely out (too abrasive), but one of those handy dish brushes with the attached soap dispenser can be way, way in. Simply pour whitening shampoo in the soap compartment for an easy way to scrub out stains and make the white gleam. (See for yourself how to use a plastic dish brush to clean your horse’s legs.)

4. D is correct, but you knew that! Good nutrition, maintenance grooming, pre-show preparation–all are needed for a terrific haircoat. (Find lots more about grooming your horse for the show pen.)

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