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Show Trunk Secrets – with Emma Uusi-Simola

Thursday, 08 December 2016
Show Trunk Secrets

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson Emma Uusi-Simola with World Cup Champion Corbinian. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

World of Showjumping’s Show Trunk Secrets-series moves forward, and this time it is Swiss Olympic champion Steve Guerdat’s long time groom Emma Uusi-Simola that shares her tricks with our readers. “If I would have to give only one advice to a new groom, it would be ‘stay strong’,” Emma says. “Days at the shows can be hectic.”


“I travel my horses with bandages on all four legs, those that kick a lot with bandages on don’t get them on the hind legs. I put travel boots over the bandages on the hind legs when we fly, so that they have some extra protection for the long travel.

In the truck I would rather have the air fresh, and put on more blankets on the horses if it gets cold. For the flying I always try to put on a thin blanket, even if they advice you not to, as the temperature in the plane is normally quite warm. If I am on the plane myself I put a blanket on, then I can be sure that it comes off if the temperature in the plane gets warmer.

Depending on what the other grooms on the plane want to do, I take with me muesli and bran and feed it as often as the others. These things we always need to discuss with the people who are flying with the horses. I like my horses to share their hay net on the plane so that they have a little bit of extra space in the tight containers. I usually don’t put my horses on fluids before flying, because I think that if they drink and eat normally before they will be hydrated enough.

Normally I do not feed the horses in the truck during traveling. When I arrive at a show, I never put my horses in the boxes before the bedding is ready. Then I give them water and hay and let them relax. If it is time to feed, I will do this as well.”

Ring refinement and tack…

“If I am plaiting, I do that first, to make sure I have enough time. I usually plait for the bigger classes, but there are also a few horses that I never plait because they appear not to like it. Then I brush the horse, and after that I let them lose in their box so that they can drink and pee if they want to – this helps them to be relaxed when they need to perform in the ring later on. After the horses have had their free time in their box, I put the saddle and the rest of the tack on. Boots go on as last, to make sure the legs don’t have any unnecessary pressure on them.

After jumping, I only ice the ones who really need it; not all of them. I like to use Arnica to help the muscles relax  and on some of the horses I use zinc bandages or clay after the very biggest classes, to increase the blood circulation and prevent injuries.  If the horses use night bandages at home, they get bandages also at shows – but if they have nothing on at home I treat them the same at the shows.

I use magna poultice to pack the hoofs, if I need to, it helps if the horses tend to get sore on their hoofs – specially if the ground is a little bit harder.

Our saddles, bridles and saddle pads are from our sponsors Amerigo and boots are from Veredus.“

Feeding and keeping fit…

“Our horses eat muesli, we feed hay two times a day at home and three times a day at shows. We give hay more often at the shows to make sure the horses don’t get bored and don’t lose weight.

Most of our horses are stabled on straw, those who have shavings as bedding get some straw in the morning when we muck out – this way they get enough fibre to eat. Straw is great as bedding because in nature horses would eat small amounts during the day and they can do this with straw.

Our horses go out in the paddocks, maybe not every day – but at least a few times every week. In the summer they go out in the bigger fields. They are all ridden every day and they go to the walker.”


As told to World of Showjumping by Emma Uusi-Simola // Text and pictures © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen and Jenny Abrahamsson

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