Shiny hooves that will last a week or more of shows with very little touch up. In these pics you can see the vertical lines in the hoof and discolouration from shoeing and the goal is to rid the hoof of these.
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Step 1: Start With a Clean Dry Hoof, Shoes Are Optional. Make Sure the Hoof Is Dry to the Touch in the Soft Areas Like the Coronet Band and Heel.
First shave or trim all hair above coronet band. The goal will be to smooth out the hoof and get rid of the imperfections in color and have an award winning look for the show ring.
Step 2: Getting the Hoof Sanded.
There are several ways to achieve the desired look. You can use a Rough sand paper to start and then give it finishing touches with a fine grit paper. I prefer this method to ensure you don't over sand and it doesn't heat up the hoof. Anotger way is to use a dremel or and Oster with a sander head. Be careful when using power tools for sanding. The hoof wall can handle enough sanding for a smooth feel but with power tools you can go to much and burn through the hoof wall or concave it. Plus power tools heat up the hoof so you have to be quick or take breaks so the hoof stays cool.
Step 3: Steel Wool and Shoe Polish
Once you have smoothed out the horse's hoof with sanding you will want to smooth it a tad more using a very fine steel wool pad. Then you will want to rub in shoe polish (I found Kiwi to be the best). Black for dark hooves, clear for white. You will rub the polish into the hoof and let set 5 minutes and then wipe with clean rag like an old t shirt or a soft cloth as long as it is free from debris like lint. You will do this 6 times per hoof
Step 4: Ensuring Polish Stays
Once you have sanded and added and buffed shoe polish then it's time to add your coloring/polish depending on hoof color. Remember if you show your horse the hoof color must remain 'pure' I.e hoof has to stay color that horse was born with. You will want to add your polish 1 coat at a time. This takes patience. If you want to do as little as possible at a show you will need to add 4 to 8 layers of the supershine color or nude. It's very important to let each layer dry completely between applications and be sure to give a light 'buff' of the steel wool during the first 4 applications. I know it seems like a lot but a horse can have all 4 hooves done in about an 1 or 2 depending on how much sanding you did. Your on the home stretch. To make it move along faster use a box fan on hooves but not so close horse can step or kick it. MAKE SURE EACH COAT IS DRY COMPLETELY BEFORE ADDING A NEW COAT.
Step 5: Final Touch
Once you are sure the hooves are dry from the hoof polish (literally no tackiness) then it's time to add your 'lacquer'. Ultra hoof polish seems to be the best choice. Use it just as if you were spray painting, it can drip. Spray the hooves with light coates making sure they are dry to the touch before each spray. Try not to spray the coronet band. I use a box fan again for drying. I find it best to let each coat dry at least 10 minutes and I usually do 5 to 8 coates. For a week long show use 6 to 8 layers of the Ultra hoof polish. Once you are at the show lightly touch up with the colored hoof polish and the Ultra spray between classes, but you should get by with 4 to 6 classes without touch ups. I won best groom 6 years straight with this method. Doing this 'homework' prior to leaving for the show will be worth it since there is so many things to do. Your horses hooves will be the envy of your competitors.