Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog for Your Horse! I’m Tabby Oliver and here is a little introduction to help you get to know me.

I am a freelance show groom and show rider as well as offering my services for clipping, plaiting, trimming, mane and tail pulling and show prep in Gloucestershire.

I was on a pony as soon as I could sit up and in the show ring at three years old where I very quickly developed a love for showing. I competed my own ponies from lead reins, first riddens, into open show ponies then onto M&M ponies.

With Cadlanvalley Super Ted and Finlay at HOYS 2022 working for Craig Elenor Equestrian

I started my show grooming journey at the age of 15 when I helped a family friend with her daughter’s show ponies, I went to RIHS and HOYS with them and found that I enjoyed being behind the scenes as much as I do being in the ring myself. After that I did a couple of HOYS for Lucy Glover which really cemented my love for the behind the scenes work.

In 2018 I started show grooming on a more regular basis working for Sharn Linney and Team Holder doing all the major shows for them. Since then I have been increasingly busy with the show grooming side of things having worked for Edward Young, Team Homer and Hightopps Stud over the years and I am now regularly at shows for Sharn Linney, Craig Elenor Equestrian and the Till family. I get booked up well in advance for all the major shows, sometimes a year for RIHS and HOYS!

Preparing ponies for the ring with Craig Elenor Equestrian 2022

I’ve even managed to pick up a few of show ring rides along the way. I particularly enjoyed riding the novice Section A stallion Thistledown Lucifer for Sharn Linney and the Jones family last year and was lucky enough to enjoy a few seasons on the beautiful non-native coloured pony Hopgarden Hanky Panky (pictured top) for the Hightopps Stud, a second place at the RIHS was a particular highlight with Hanky Panky.

In this time I also started offering my freelance services for plaiting, clipping, trimming etc. in my local area and have built up a very strong client base, it’s very rare that I have to advertise now which is a real treat.

With Team Linney

Last year I started offering my plaiting services at some of the bigger shows to help fill my week up and it has proven really popular, I plaited ten at the BD Winter championships and twenty at the RIHS as well as competing myself and show grooming. This year I will be doing the same and at the time of writing I have 25 booked in to plait for the BD Winter Championships, I don’t think my hands will love me at the end of the week!

I hope this has given you all a little insight into what I do, in this blog I hope to bring you some more in depth insight into my work, the realities, the highs and the lows of being a show groom. I also hope to bring you some tips and tricks on all things show prep, plaiting and turn out to help take your show turn out to the next level!

Working in at RIHS 2016

Tabby is one of 20/20 Equine’s paired riders. “I discovered 2020 Equine in late 2020 thanks to a friend who was working for Jayne Ross at the time,” she explained. “I was in need of some new plaiting thread so I put an order in and swiftly found a new favourite!” Since then the company has provided products for Tabby’s plaiting and turn out demos, and they have been working together ever since. Take a look at our review of the 20/20 Equine Equine Leather Magic, with a discount for Your Horse readers.

Check out our subscription offer

Find out what’s inside the latest issue of Your Horse

Get the latest issue