Preparing for your photoshoot pt1.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PHOTOSHOOT IF YOU CANT GIVE YOUR HORSE A BATH.

Don't have access to water, dont have time, or have a fidgetty horse? Dont worry, I have put together this blog with some super simple, quick grooming tips to get your horse shining bright like a diamond without a bath.

1. Shine comes from the inside, so its very important to make sure your horse is fed a good diet, ideally forage based. Linseed is a great addition to your feed if your horses skin and coat could do with a bit of extra wow factor.

2. Start by getting all the dust, scurf and loose hair off your horse. Maxi gets a groom daily (albite quick) but you can see from these images how quickly dust and loose hair can build up. Especially in the summer when your horse is rolling naked.

I use a combination of a rubber curry comb (or similar) with this metal shedding tool.

Dont panic, your horse will look even dirtier than they did at the beginning at this point, that's because the shedding brushes will bring all the dirt and loose hair to the surface.

3. Use a 'flick' (is that a technical term?) brush, with long flexible bristles to get rid of everything that has come to the top. Repeat steps 2 and 3 again.

4. Use a shine spray (NOT IF YOU ARE BAREBACKING) with a goat hair brush to really get some shine. I use NAF Razzle Dazzle and a Salmon Goat hair brush. I would say that in the summer months, my goat hair brush is probably the one brush I cant live without!

5. Go absolutely crazy with mane and tail spray (furnature polish works just as well). I like my tail to be wet to the touch and almost at the point of dripping, this makes sure that its as conditioned as possible and you reduce the risk of breaking any hair. I then section the tail off and brush it out, starting at the bottom working upwards, holding the tail so it doesnt pull. I would avoid cutting your horses tail the day of the shoot as it can look harsh for a day or two, especially if their tail is thick.

I dont like to spray my mane as much, I usually use the resadue on the brush from the tail, otherwise it can look very wet and mark the neck below with drip marks.

TOP TIP: If your horse is prone to rubbing, put E45 cream in the places they rub the night before. This will soothe the area and make sure on the day of your shoot you dont have a messy tail or mane. E45 will be completely absorbed over night and wont leave any residue.

6. Power Phaser fly spray is a great fly spray to apply before your shoot, it will keep your horse from getting frustrated. Avoid fly gel, unless your horse needs a gel, as it can leave a residue.

SHOULD I PLAIT?: Plaiting completely depends on what style you want your shoot to be, your horses neck and or mane, and whether you like plaiting! Horses with long flowing manes in my opinion should be left natural. Horses with weak necks can often look better with their mane down depending on its condition. Sports horses with defined necks look stunning plaited. It also depends if you are going for natural images or not. If you are good at plaiting then great! If you hate it and really cant be bothered thats totally cool too.

7. Baby Oil can help bring out the nose and eyes of short haired horses. Use on a cloth and wipe over the eyes, nose and mouth. Be careful if the sun is out in full force, especially with grey horses.

HOOF OIL: Hoof oil again depends on what images you want. If you want images where nicely oiled feet are the centre of the image let me know and we can either do it first or we can apply hoof oil at the end. Whilst it looks lovely for around 2 seconds, grass, dust, shavings and literally anything within a 5 mile radius will stick to it.

And BAM your horse is ready for his or her photos! Look out for part 2 which will be all about Tack!

Emily x

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