If you follow Laura Szeremi (a la BadEventer, a misnomer because she is actually very good!) on social media, you may have noticed that her horses have been looking like something out of an African safari of late. When it comes to body clipping, Laura encourages her groom, Tegan Henderson, to … shall we say … take a walk on the wild side! Recently, we caught up with Tegan to ask her a few questions about herself and her body clipping magicianry. #TeganIsAWizard
EN: What’s your riding background?
Tegan: I grew up with horses and ponies in my backyard (and sometimes in the house) and fell in love with three-day eventing through my years in the Southern New England Region Pony Club. My mother gave me my base in equitation as a child/young adult and I was later taught by Jeanie Clarke, a New England native, who I eventually followed to Ocala, FL.
EN: When did you get into grooming?
Tegan: When I moved to Ocala in 2014, it wasn’t long before I realized this was the place to be! I changed my address, shaved my scruffy dog, and settled in. I had previously only groomed for myself at home and thus, there was a lot of blundering and learning to be had during my first couple years. In 2016 I started as a part time groom for the OG herself, The BadEventer … and now she’s somehow stuck with me as her full time groom/barn manager/support crew!
EN: What does your average day look like?
Tegan: Hmmm, let’s say this is our average jump day because those are more fun. I start at Laura’s farm, Lazer Ray Stables, to feed and do morning chores. We head over to the Holling’s right down the road to jog up all the competition horses and then we start the fun part. I’ll get horses ready for Laura and if it isn’t too tight of a schedule I’ll come watch and video her lessons before getting the next horse ready. Between her, the horses and Jon Holling there is sure to be antics and some good blog fodder. After lessons I’ll ice and clean tack then head back to Lazer Ray to feed and do evening chores.
EN: Laura is one of my favorite people in the sport. What’s it like to work for her?
Tegan: We have a blast together! I think what makes us a fun team is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Good horsemanship is crucial to us both, and nothing is more important than the well-being of the horses and our sport. BUT Laura has managed to retain a sense of her inner child in the BadEventer that myself and many others appreciate. I’m not sure I’ll ever grow up, but I do get to express my youthful adoration for the horses through my clip jobs, and people seem to think they’re a real laugh which is great.
EN: You’ve come up with some very creative clips! What’s the inspiration behind them?
Tegan: My inspiration comes from the horses nicknames and show names. I have an immature sense of humor that lends itself to the whimsical or funny sense I want to create with them. I hope everyone can either laugh at them or say “Dammit, that’s amazing!” Hopefully they’ll say both.
EN: What are some of your favorites?
Tegan: So far my favorites have been the spiderwebs and the zebra! Zima has been shaved like a zebra for about a week and I still crack up everytime I see him.
EN: I HATE body clipping with a passion. Do you have any clipping wizardry pro tips for the rest of us?
Tegan: Well it always starts with a thorough bath! I plan in advance what pattern or image I want to shave and where I’m going to put it. Once I have my image I’ll draw it onto the horse with sharpie. Black works on most colors but if you’ve got a dark horse silver is the way to go. If you don’t feel confident drawing freehand you can always print and trace your image onto the horse. Utilize space, bigger shapes will be easier to shave. Once I have my design in place I just shave around it! I also always do the design portion of the clip first. That way if it doesn’t turn out the way I want, I can just try again on the other side or in some other location.
EN: Do you take on other clipping clients?
Tegan: When I have time I love to clip for other clients, especially when we can make something special or funny that people will really enjoy!
Thanks for sharing, Tegan. Best of luck to the BadEventer dream team in 2018!