From Endurance to Dressage
We all know that I am not much into grooming and hair products, but I do enjoy seeing my horses look good. I must be doing something at least partially right because both of my horses have lovely coats, beautiful, barefoot hooves, and healthy manes and tails.
It's more likely that I've just been blessed with horses who posses good hair and hoof genes.
Manes, and to a lesser extent, tails are my least favorite parts of the body to address. I enjoy a thick mane and tail which means I use a fair amount of detangler, but I only comb them out once or twice a month. Frequent combing thins the tail and shortens long mane hairs. This has been a great strategy for Speedy because Arabians are "permitted" to have a running braid while showing. Other breeds can as well, but it's not as traditional.
Izzy's mane is a hot mess. Number one, it wants to hang on the "wrong" side, and even worse, it splits down the middle where it can't decide what it wants to do. Enter the amazing Smart Tails Professional Mane & Tail Thinning Comb By Smart Grooming. I ordered mine via Amazon for $32.89 plus $6.82 for shipping and handling. It came all the way from Germany and was supposed to take a month to arrive, but it was at my door within about a week and a half.
A friend of mine shared this mane and tail thinner on Facebook, and I was immediately intrigued. She shows regularly, so I knew that I could trust her recommendation. The tool is beyond simple to use. You simply start at the base of the mane or tail and gently drag it through the hair. Within just a stroke or two, an entire section of mane can be thinned.
The comb is quite sturdy, and the blades are sharp. It comes in three blade types; coarse, medium (which I ordered), and Fine & Superfine.
I still need to do some more work on Izzy's mane, but already, it is starting to lay on the correct side, and it's half as thick as it was.
When I saw how easily it worked on his mane, I decided to clean up the bushy hairs from around his tail head. If I don't want to pull his mane, you can bet that there is no way I am pulling tail hairs. With this trimmer, I had his tail looking quite tidy in less than a minute. I even did Speedy's!
As I continue to shape and thin his mane, I am certain that braiding will get easier and easier. The only trouble with this thinner is how easy it is to get carried away. It combs the thickness out so easily that before you know it, you'll have no mane to thin!
You've been warned!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read