Show Ring Presentation Tips with Dale Plumb (video)
|Show Ring Presentation Tips with Dale Plumb brought to you by Vetsense - 31st Mar 2016|
As seen on pages 110 & 111 of the current April Issue of Horse Deals Magazine.
Dale Plumb needs no introduction in the Showing world; his legendary status is derived from his production of a great many Champion horses and ponies. Presentation is a huge part of Showing and we visited Dale at his Cardinia property to understand this refining process more or less from bringing the pony in from the paddock to its presentation at the show ring gate.
Start with a clean pony: Before any trimming process, the pony must be clean as a dirty pony will impede clipping and blunt clipper blades. The successful DP Gigolo was our show pony model and first up he was washed. Dale likes using the Vetsense Equigloss 2 in 1 Shampoo because it is both a shampoo and conditioner combined (one that works). You actually save time and water and the pony does not have to be rinsed off twice, first for the shampoo and secondly for the conditioner. Also, because Equigloss 2 in 1 Shampoo contains no soap and sulphates but does contain oat extract, lavender oil and aloe vera, it does not deplete the horse's coat of its protective natural oils.
Then Dale applies Vetsense Eliminots, a detangler and shine gel for manes and tails that is deep conditioning and contains silk protein, lavender oil and vitamin E. Importantly, Eliminots does not dry and leave the tail brittle, nor does it attract the dust; it leaves a silky clean and untangled tail.
Dale then sprays the wet pony with Vetsense Equigloss 5 in 1 Spray (detangling, deodorising, conditioning, shine enhancing and, importantly, with a UV filter).
Trimming: When the pony is dry, Dale trims the leg feathers and trims the ears. "Ideally, I try not to clip the ponies out and I only trim the feathers, whiskers and ears when they are going to a big show. I never clip white socks out close because in summer they get sunburnt and in winter there is the possibility of mud fever. The show ponies get trimmed etc. during the show season when they are boxed. When they do go out during the day we make sure we compensate for removing their natural protection by rugging and covering ears. You should never wash and trim a pony for a show and then just throw it out in the paddock with no protection," advises Dale.
Tail length: "This too depends on how your horse or pony carries its tail and the shape of its rump. The lower the tail is carried, the shorter it can be. There is no way I would go shorter than the point of its hock. My rule of thumb is to hold the tail straight down and hold my fist on the top of the chestnut and cut the tail at the bottom of my fist. It depends on the overall picture and it is a bit of trial and error as to what looks the best, but remember that once it is cut off, you can't glue it back on. I prefer a tail to be a little too long than too short."
Plaiting: "I prefer a plaited tail and the number and type of neck plaits depends on the horse. If you need to enhance their necks and give them more topline, you start plaiting loosely to get a sort of butterfly effect on top of the neck to give the look of more crest. You start loose and then get tighter as you go. If your horse has a bit of a crest, you plait them down on the side of the neck. The plaits are always sewn, I never use rubber bands."
Rump patterns: Dale then puts some Eliminots on his hands and wipes the pony's quarters where the conformation enhancing checkers and sharks teeth are to be applied. This highlights the contrast in the fall of the hair. "What checkers you use depends on your pony and the time you have. If I don't have much time I will use big checks, if I have more time I will go for smaller checks. Also it is a matter of what looks best on your horse."
Finishing touches: The presentation of Gigolo continues down to his chestnuts being oiled and eye makeup and gloss being applied. "The idea of the makeup is to enhance the pony's features and it is important not to overdo it," explains Dale. Gigolo's ears are wiped out with
Eliminots. The hoof black is applied and finally Gigolo is sprayed with Vetsense Equigloss 5 in 1 Spray before he heads off into the ring."
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