This topic is about after the horse is clipped, bathed, clean and at the showgrounds when you're getting ready to enter the ring. For the sake of conversation, we have unloaded the horses off the trailer, pulled sheets or blankets and are in the process of grooming.
I have a great many things on my list of "gotta have's" for show ring finishing touches. One of them is Absorbine Super Shine hoof polish, used after cleaning with a damp rag and buffing, followed by using Ultra Hoof Enhancer spray.
Next I'll follow up a good, healthy brushing with a light spray of Ultra, Pepi or Grand Champion. These oil based sprays are NOT recommended for dusty showgrounds where the wind blows consistently, or for daylong shows where you're unable to wash the horse off between classes, because they attract dirt like mad.
Mane care depends on the horse, with Hunter seat English horses being braided, and stock breed horses being banded (which I'll do at home after preliminary pulling, followed up by trimming once the mane is banded). Pretty much the same goes for tails, minus the banding. Our Arabians (aside from those braided by necessity for the Hunter, Dressage and Sport Horse divisions) are mandated to have long, natural manes and tails. Sometimes a light spraying of Grand Champion, but again, like the coat, manes and tails will get full of dirt quickly, so it's best to avoid these products unless you have a means to wash the horse every so often throughout the day. ;)
Other than the actual braiding and banding itself, that's pretty much it. In future installments, I'll cover those topics as well. Happy showing!!