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Show Trunk Secrets - with Madelen Isaksson

Wednesday, 02 May 2018
Show Trunk Secrets

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. Madelen Isaksson. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Douglas Lindelöw’s show groom Madelen Isaksson gives WoSJ the inside scoop on her show trunk, and the daily routines of a European silver team medallist. “Douglas is really easy to work with. He is really calm, no matter what happens. I have worked with him for five years now. Zacramento is my favourite horse – he has developed a lot on the personal level since he came. This is something you see as a groom, and on the side of the results in the ring, this is rewarding to watch.”

Keeping fit and feeding:

“On a normal day at home we start at 7.30, and put the horses out in the paddocks and in the walker. Douglas comes to ride around 8.30 and he does as many horses as possible before lunch. While he is riding, we change the horses in the walker and in the paddocks. Our horses go out two to three times each day. Zacramento and all the best horses go out three times every day; they are ridden, they go to the walker and spend some time in the paddock too. All our horses go to the grass fields in the summer and for the winter time we have sand paddocks for them – they don’t like those as much as the grass, though… In the afternoon Douglas keeps riding, and we groom the horses and put out the ones that still need to go to the walker or paddocks. We normally finish around 6PM – that is, if I don’t have a lot to pack or clip!

We feed our horses with the products from the Swedish brand Krafft. Our horses get food three times a day as well as hay in the morning before the grains, at lunch time and during night check late in the evening. Krafft has a lot of option for everything you need for a horse; if you need more energy, or if your horse is stressed, if they need to build more muscles – so we use all these altenatives depending on what fits each horse the best. With the supplements, we keep it very basic; they get salt and oil. If a specific horse needs something more, that is given – but we try to not put too much in.”


”Since we live in Sweden, we always have a bit of a project to get to shows – we need to travel a lot. In my new truck I have a lot of space, so I try to use that for the horses and give them a wider place to travel in so that they don’t need to stand too narrow for a long time. I only put them next to horses they like; I just try to figure out what is the best for each horse. Like Zacramento for example, he always has his own spot, and he actually travels lose – he likes that. We always need to take the boat from Denmark to Germany, so I try to plan my traveling so that it is feeding time when we are at the boat, so they can eat during those 45 minutes we are on it. This way they don’t get bored while on the boat. I try not to feed too much hay in the truck and I don’t like to hang the hay up in a net. If I give them hay, I give it on the floor so they can put their head down, and I only do this while standing still or on the boat. For the traveling I bandage the legs. I think it is more harm than protection if the horses are not happy with the travel boots or bandages, so only if they are quiet I put travel boots behind on top of the bandages.

When I arrive at the show, I give them a lot of shavings. I try to bring shavings from home to keep everything the same. I try to give them a nice bed and I always put water on the shavings if it is really dusty. I leave the bandages on until they have rolled – this way they don’t hurt themselves. While I set up the stables, I give the horses a good rest. I think it is important to keep an eye on them, so you can spot it soon enough if they are getting sick from the traveling. So far I have been very lucky and all my horses travel really well!

Ring refinement:

”When I am getting the horses ring ready, I start with plaiting – if I do that. Lately I have not been plaiting so much, actually. After plaiting I let them lose for a little bit to let them mind their own business and pee if they need to. If I am not plaiting, I always have the magnetic blanket on before the class. I brush the horses, but I try to not take too much time on getting them ready. I think it is not nice for them to wait for very long tied up. My favourite product is maybe the baby wipes – they are good for everything!

We have both Butet and Renaissance saddles, bridles from Dyon, boots from Veredus, blankets and saddle pads from Equiline.

In the ring bag I have tape, Vaseline, glue for the boots, some spurs, a towel – which I always forget… Douglas is not complicated, so I don’t have so much extra things in the bag. I think if you need to change everything in the warm-up, you are not ready for the ring!”


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