World of Showjumping

This week

Coming weeks

CSI4*/CSI2* Wellington

CSI4*-W/CSI2* Al Shira'aa ...
United Arab Emirates

CSI3* Oliva

CSI3* Thermal

CSI3* Vilamoura

CSI2* Villeneuve-Loubet

CSI2* Villeneuve-Loubet

CSI2* Exloo
The Netherlands

CSI2* Sentower Park

CSI2* Kuwait

CSI2* Vejer de la Frontera

CSI2* Sarasota-Myakka ...

Show Trunk Secrets – with Anu Harrila

Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Show Trunk Secrets

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. Anu Harrila. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

World of Showjumping’s Show Trunk Secrets-series continues, and this time around we make one of the real veterans of the game reveal her very best grooming tricks.

In this next part of our series, Anu Harrila – who has worked for Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum for the past 18 years – says: “My tip for everyone would be to keep an eye on what the others are doing, and try to copy them. You will never be ‘ready’ in this sport and there is always something new to learn.”


“Depending on the horse, I travel them in either four bandages or only two. All of them get bell boots in front, and also depending on the horse some of them get travel boots on top of the bandages on the hind legs.

I usually like to have a blanket on, even a thin one if it is hot, because I like to keep their backs warm. I would rather have more blankets on and have the air fresh in the truck, than the other way around.

In the plane I want my horses to have their own hay nets so that if they get greedy there won’ be a fight. I also like to use the head-board between the horses so that they have some peace. I normally send with them a cooler and a thin woollen blanket in the flight bag. I also pack a few bags of muesli and mash, and add some vitamin c to the food to make sure they stay fresh. I don’t put my horses on fluids before flying; Checkmate was the only horse I ever set on fluids before getting on the plane. It was not that he was a bad traveller, he just got really excited.  

What works super is to put a handful of mash in a bucket of water, my horses drink really well like that. I have been told that it is also better for the horses to get the water in this way, because it gets into their system slower than when they get fluids into the vein.

When I arrive at a show I always leave all the boots and bandages on in the box and wait until they have rolled. I have had horses that roll so much they might get hurt while doing that, that is why I leave the protection on.”

Ring refinement and tack

“For the ring, I usually start with brushing the horse. Some of them get a magnetic – or massage – blanket on, and I plait them while they have it on. If it is a bigger class, I plait, but if I know we will be only doing a training round, I don’t plait.

If they get bell boots on – or studs – I do that in the beginning to make sure I have enough time in case there is a problem putting those things on.

After jumping, I wash them if needed or brush them. I like to use Arnica, Traumeel gel or Tendonil on the legs and knees. Most of my horses get iced after jumping, and the majority of them also get bandages at night – or stable boots – depending on the horse. Depending on the ground and how much the horses have been jumping, I pack the hoofs with Magna-Poultice.

As to the tack, our bridles and saddles are from Prestige, all boots, blankets and saddle pads are from Eskadron and clothes from Pikeur.”

Feeding and keeping fit

“Our horses eat muesli and Lucerne three times a day. Lucerne is good for the stomach because it has a lot of fibre in it, and it makes the horses eat a bit slower. We feed hay three times a day also. Most of our horses are stabled on shavings.

Depending on the horse, most them go out in the paddock, they are ridden and go out to the walker daily. Each horse has their own plan depending on how they are feeling and how much they are showing; Fibonacci for example goes out in the paddock two times a day.” 


As told to World of Showjumping by Anu Harrila // Text and pictures © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.