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Over the years I have spent many years competing my horses and although the actual show takes only a few minutes (I compete in dressage) the preparation can take hours and it is amazing how many different products there are out there for show prep. Some people do take it incredibly seriously especially if you show the horses at competitions but for me as much as I do take it seriously I still see it as a hobby but I do try and make sure my horses are all well turned out as judges love to see an impressive looking horse.
I don't normally buy products which are specifically designed for "showing" as I feel that even the most average horse shampoo can get a horse clean and shiny! However, the one thing I hate doing which I find a horrible job is plaiting the mane even though I can do it I never have an easy time doing it and I find it a bit of a struggle especially if I am on my own as my horses are so tall it means me standing on a box and because their manes tend to be incredibly soft (due to washing and plenty of grooming) trying to plait a mane becomes near impossible! One product which I bought was from a brand called Supreme Products and they do a spray called Easy Plait.
Supreme Products have a range of items specifically designed for show prep and the Easy Plait spray is just one of them. It comes in a clear spray type bottle and the liquid is crystal clear, it has a fragrance which reminds me of hair spray but not so strong and throat choking! Easy Plait spray is designed to make plaiting a mane more manageable by enabling the little hairs to stay neat and help keep the plait in place once it has been done. Supreme Products even claim that it will help keep the plaits in place even if they have been done the night before.
But would it actually work?! I always do the plaits first thing in the morning even if it means me getting up incredibly early. After grooming the horse and putting my stepping box in place I used the spray over the entire mane and brushed it through before parting the mane into sections. I noticed that the mane wasn't as soft as it was before which hopefully meant it would work! Applying the spray is easy, you just simply spray directly onto the mane. Plaiting was fine and then actually rolling up the plaits before sowing them tight I found that because the mane was less soft it was far more manageable and almost a bit sticky. After completing the last plait I noticed that as usual the little hairs were sprouting from the base of the mane, I simply sprayed the spray on these stray hairs and after stroking them down they managed to stay in place. Once at the event I did re-spray the plaits which now felt a little hard but certainly didn't have any residue left from the spray everything was in place!
Despite headshaking due to the warm weather and flies and after riding two dressage tests all the plaits managed to remain perfectly in place which is just what I wanted! It would also work on plaiting the tail but this is something I never do. The spray doesn't leave an aroma either which is nice as I was a bit concerned my horse would smell like he had just come out of the hairdressers due to the hairspray type scent!
Supreme Products Easy Spray is available readily online and in store and costs around £11.00 for a 500ml bottle (it is the only size they do).
So would I recommend this product? Well yes and no. I would recommend it because I found it worked well for me but my horses only do dressage which is pretty easy going compared to a horse doing cross country or show jumping meaning they don't go through major rigorous activity so I don't know how it would fair on a horse going round a cross country course at high speed! But I wouldn't recommend it because of the price, I think hairspray would do the job probably just as well and even though I wouldn't want my horse smelling of hairspray it is a much cheaper option as £11.00 is quite a high price to pay when a £2.00 can of hairspray would do the job just as well. I still have my bottle of Easy Plait as I didn't have to use a lot all at once so I'm getting my monies worth but I don't think I will be replacing it.