You only have to look around the show ring to see an enormous amount of makeup. No, not on the riders; on the horses. I’m not sure when this sort of “enhancement” began but, as anyone who has ever judged a show pony class will tell you, it’s a nightmare. No matter how many times you mentally remind yourself “don’t pat the ponies”, you always, but always, do. And end up covered in baby oil and enough black paint to put Claudia Winkleman to shame.
But if we use baby oil on our horses, what products could our horses share with us?
The original Mane ’n Tail horse shampoo and conditioner was perhaps the first ‘horse to man’ (or rather woman) crossover product, with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston singing its praises. Other users, however, say it smells like carpet shampoo.
Show Sheen is said to make long hair super-shiny (although if you have fine hair, it might make it greasy), and Cowboy Magic will swish through any tangles in an instant. But be warned: the latter does have a distinctive smell, so other horsey folk will guess your secret.
EQyss products are also gaining popularity for horses, humans … and the dog. And on the basis that a crossover product is a two-way street, some swear by Head & Shoulders for their ponies’ manes if they’re looking a bit scurfy.
Any horse-owner is familiar with vet wrap, that self-adhesive wonder-fabric, and it’s genius for bangs and sprains on humans, too.
Ice Blue Leg Cooler will take heat out of your own legs and is heaven if the darned horse dumps you in a patch of stinging nettles.
Purple Spray is great for healing small cuts and grazes, AluSpray is a grand quick fix, and Animalintex can encourage thorns out of your skin. An Equilibrium massage pad works wonders on sore backs while Back on Track heat-generating saddle pads can ease your own aches and pains.
Wondergel is said to be excellent for eczema and sunburn, and Power Phaser will keep the bugs off you as well as your horse. Horseman’s One Step doubles as a conditioning hand cream, while Bit Butter is wonderful for chapped lips, and smells gorgeous.
Bits of kit can double up, too. Plaiting bands are just as good as covered bands for your own hair and a fraction of the price. Many a lead rope has been used to hold on a broken exhaust pipe or hold a car door closes, and there must be all sorts of uses for a whip, though perhaps we won’t discuss them here.
Many riders admit to nibbling on Likits and fibre nuggets when peckish, with one rider describing the latter as “quite sweet and tastes like grass”. Who knew? However, if you suddenly get the urge to neigh and gallop about, it may be time to stop.
Image: Spanish horse by Yeguada Algaida via Flickr, public domain