Prep and technique for showing Shetlands

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2003
Reaction score
As I posted in my last post in my on the trailer thread, I feel like I need a crash course in how to's with Shetlands. Now that my new baby is coming home, of course, I'm coursing with enthusiasm over showing him next year. I'm even considering taking him to Lenny's in Watseka in January. Sooooo....

Shetlands are not body clipped... right? Even for mid-winter shows? Do they still go in their natural wooliness, or are they kept heavily blanketed to keep them from getting so much hair. (Too late, he's already pretty wooly, judging from the pic Faye took of him when they loaded him up on the trailer).

Next, as much as I watched the Shetland classes last year, you'd think I'd really know the routine. I guess there's just no substitute for actually going in there and doing it for getting comfortable with how it's done, but for classic's are they set up basically the same as minis, only a little more stretched? (I hope so, cause I'm better at that, I tend to overstretch my minis. Coming from a Saddlebred background, I think the 'park' looks normal. LOL) And when you go in the ring, you don't gait first, do you, you go in in a line and set up, right, then everyone individually gaits the horses along the rail?

Yes, I'm nervous.
Last edited by a moderator:
Hey Tami

Just dont let Justin fill out the entry for you LOL
Yes, you can show shetlands either clipped or not - I prefer clipped (it just looks better to me). You line up for inspection first and then work the rail. Keep his front legs directly underneath him and park out the rear slightly (my filly likes to REALLY park out!). When asked to work the rail, walk straight away from the judge to the rail, work both directions, and then walk straight back to the judge. Good luck! I've just finished my first year in the shetland ring and enjoyed it more than the minis!
its been a while since I showed but we usually clipped them about 2 to 3 weeks before the show. It gave them time to grow enough that their natural color came back rather than the under coat showing. We trimmed the ears, bridle path and wiskers..but never razored them like they do with some minis.

I am also from Saddlebred background so I tend to stretch them out as well.. the longer the neck the better

I am so glad Sparky arrived safely If he is anything like his mom then he will stay white almost even after a mud bath. They are the first ones that I have ever had that were so easy to keep the white on them so white!
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks a bunch guys! Well, I'll have to do some heavy considering about the winter shows then. I simply won't clip here mid-winter. Illinois winters are too harsh, I don't have a heated barn, and I always worry that they'll slip a blanket. He'll get out plenty next year to shows, I just thought it would be fun to get a super early start since the Watseka shows are so close to us.
Can't help you as far as a show in Winter- but with my shetland I did not clip BUT our first show was in April. I just did back of the legs with a #5 and the long hairs on the neck (from throatlatch down to chest) and then the head with a #10, Bridle path with a #30 and muzzle with a #30.

I feed her BOSS and Nu Image and she shedded off wonderfully. She wasn't kept in a stall either - she stayed out in padock with option of coming into a stall all year.

Winter - when I first got her, still "young" looking - very hairy (dirty)


Early Spring - starting to shed out some


April after showing - slick as can be

hi tami

we showed patchy in an early watseka show I believe in march. We did not body clip her. Just did as said above and trimmed the back of the legs, beard, bridle path, ears and that was it. There was only one other shetland showing so it wasnt a big deal. I would go ahead and show him just so he can get some ring time.

Patchy sheds off much earlier than the minis and we have never had to body clip her. What you saw at the shows was just her natural coat.
Oh man, Erica, that mare is just GEORGEOUS. I always drool when you post pics of her. How big is she (was she as a weanie)? I guess my little guy is pretty small compared to what she looks like. He just seemed so big to me since he's bigger at 4 months than any of my comming 2 year old minis.

Kay, yeah I thought so with Patchie, and she always looked great. Thanks for the tips on what to expect. Thanks for all the tips, I guess poor little Spark dude will get to be my learning guinea pig. LOL You have to feel a little sorry for the 1st's they always get to be the ones that suffer through the awful clip jobs, the 'I wonder if this will work' techniques that leave them looking like drowned rats, etc... but he'll never hurt for love. And he's such a little ham. I love that about him, he thinks he's all that, with a cherry on top.

Thanks for the compliment on Plum - I love her, she is just so quirky and prissy.

I got my sheltand last Oct - she was a year and a half and was about 39"..........then I feed the heck out of her all winter/spring and at her show in April as a two year old she was 42.5(with a little show foot on her) ----- I would say she is through growing. She is actually pretty small for a modern.

I have been showing a shetland miniature cross for the past three years. We would clip with a #10 her about a week a head of time, or if we knew she was going to get fuzzy, then a couple of days before the show.The shetlands up here in Washington were usually body clipped. We then did a #30 around corenet bands, #30 around the forelock, #30 and 40 above the eyes, and a #30 and 40 on the muzzle(blended upwards with the rest of the hair), and then a #40 on the bridlepath. If we clipped her a week ahead of time, then we would clip the white areas on her lower legs with a #10, and then do an Arab-style face clip. We would also do the #30 and #40 around the eyes and muzzle, and the a #30 around the forelock, and cornet bands, and a #40 for the bridlepath. For the ears we used a small face trimmer from oster...which I beleived it had a blade size of 50.


Latest posts