Lydia's top 10 grooming tips for eventing

Freelance groom Lydia Beales has worked for top eventing riders at major competitions around the world – here she shares some of her top tips to help your horse look fabulous throughout the season



1.  I love to wash with Iodine throughout the event (not for greys though!) It gives the coat a lovely rich colour and shine and is an antifungal, so will help fight any irritations or rashes.

2.  Wash your horse’s legs close to the time of presentation as they tend not to stay clean. I like to touch up unwanted white hairs by dying them black with human hair dye. Use purple shampoo on the white socks and if applying chalk, always rub in well to give a more natural look.

3.  Use mini clippers or scissors to tidy up bridle paths, ears, chin, excess hair around the fetlocks and give a straight edge around the coronet band on the hoof.


4.  Plaiting with thread is by far the best option and is not hard. Event horses are not known for having big 'cresty' necks so nice big plaits with even sizing will add more top-line. With thinning the mane at the bottom, you can add a few false plaits by saving the mane from 'pulling' and adding it into the bottom plaits. Spray the plaits with a silicone finishing spray such as Ultra to really make them shine.

5.  Use baby oil or a gloss around the eyes and muzzle and under the tail to add shine and finish off the look. I like to enhance a small star on a horse by using a Liquid Chalk Pen.

6. If your horse has a thin tail, consider adding a false tail to finish off a look. Plait a small section of tail 8cm long at the tip of the dock and add in the false tail; getting it the right length can take a bit of practise so make sure you have a few trials. Once the tail is in place, spray with a shining spray and put a tail bandage on to lay the top of the tail flat. Dying a dark tail black will really give a 'stand out' look also.



7.  Quarter-markers can really make your horse stand out. A fabulous clean shiny coat will gain the best results. Keep the coat lying flat prior to doing the quarter-markers. Add a little water to the coat using a body brush. Be careful not to saturate the coat. Finishing sprays or Quarter-marking sprays are great for getting good definition (avoid using sprays on cross country day as it will clog pores and may make the horse over heat) and free-hand work always looks the best. I keep a range of different type fine-tooth combs, but my favourite is a nit comb. I like to use a fairly firm small body brush to do three sharks teeth and a nice curved brush stroke either side of the horses tail to enhance the hind end.

8.  Find a nice good quality leather balm to go over the tack once it is on the horse to give a super finish. Also Brasso or Silvo is great for polishing up buckles and brow bands.

9.  I always carry a microfiber cloth or shining mitt to pick up any dust from the horse’s coat as a last minute touch-up.

10.  I think one of my most useful tools has to be my 'Quick Un-pick' for removing plaits. You can buy them in sewing shops and, after hosing the mane down after cutting the thread, the plaits simply start unravelling. Easy!




Hey supergroom, I need some help with buying a horse capable of jumping 2metres all day everyday. Particularly deer fences.
Love mike