Shiny, shinier, your horse at your next photo session!

While true beauty comes from within, and I do enjoy taking pictures of horses in a more natural setting, it may be your wish to have the more glamour-ish version of horse pictures. And I do understand that! To reach this look, a good groom before the photo shooting is essential. To be honest - I am more of the team "clean where the saddle lays and the hooves. The rest can be done tomorrow... maybe", so I knew I can't be of big help in this case. But I luckily know just the person!

Jeanne Olsen

As a professional show horse breeder and trainer, Jeanne Olsen from Dream Performance Horses knows all the tricks on how to get a horse all shiny and neat.

Jeanne has been riding her whole life and started with western riding 25 years ago. She breeds high-level Paint & Quarter Horses, competes at horse shows, is a horse trainer, and works as the President of Paint Horse Club Denmark.

Jeanne fell immediately in love with western riding, the mind of the horses, and for sure, also the fact that appearance is essential too. Over the years, she has learned many good tips & tricks on how to make your horse look at its best, and she is sharing her best tips with you:

It's bathtime!

You can do a lot to make your horse look its very best. 

First, I will give a full body wash to my horse before any given photoshoot or competition. 

On dark horses, I will use a regular shampoo for horses, but for horses with white markings, I will instead use a shampoo with whitening. You can recognize the whitening shampoo by its purple color. 

I will add a whole lot of the whiting shampoo, don’t save on it, and really scrub it in. When you wash the shampoo off the horse again, make sure to use high-pressure water - that will help to get all the dirt out of the coat.

No bad hair day

I like to brush the mane and tail while my horses dry up. Here I use a dry conditioner, which is key, I think. You can also start to braid while the mane & tail is moist, making it look even more neat. 

Even more, I like a big tail - if you feel the same, brush through all the hairs and collect the hair by the root of the tail to make it look even bigger.

Shine it up

When your horse is dry, you can add show shine to your horse. I recommended you add the show shine on your horse right before your photo shoot or before going into the arena at the horseshow. The reason for that is that show shine attracts a bit of dirt. I wipe my horse with a towel after adding the show shine since that will remove any dirt leftovers in the coat.

From head to toe...

For the hoof, you can make them look extra pretty by using a shine specific for hoofs. These products you can get either Black or Clear. I only use the hoof shine products from Absorbing because, in my opinion, they are the best. 

If my horse has black hoofs, I will use the Black Shine, and if the horse hoofs are white, I will use the Clear. If the horse has both black and white hoofs, I would personally go for the black shine on all four hoofs, but it’s optional and a matter of taste.

Pretty in white

Maybe you have a white horse? I think there is nothing more beautiful than a completely white horse. But white horses during the summertime can tend to look a bit pink. Here you can use a white powder to make it look completely white. There are many products on the market, but I like to use potato flour, it’s both good and cheap. Scrub it in, and brush lightly after. 

The final touch

Last but not least: It looks so pretty to use oil around the eyes and the mouth on dark horses or dark areas. Use a lot, and it will look really lovely. If you have a white face horse with a black line around the eye or a few black spots on the white mouth, use the oil here. It will make the contrast look even more vital and very pretty. 

Time to shine

Now you are ready for your photo session! Enjoy the time - knowing your horse is looking its best!

You want to learn more about how to prepare for your photo session? Read more about it in the article: "how to get ready for your shooting"! 

A note from your photographer

It is absolutely up to you how shiny your horse should be in your pictures. If you are going for a more natural approach or want the full show horse style - we will create great pictures either way. Make sure to start early enough with grooming so that you can enjoy the day and the experience of having your photo shoot without any stress.

More tips and tricks for you!
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