We’re back to competing…….
As the competition season begins, most of us start heading back out to shows with our horses and regionals are fast approaching for the Winter Championships. But, having a pre-show routine can help make everything run smoothly and be as stress-free as possible.
Being prepared is absolutely key, which is why I like to keep my horses trimmed and tidy 24/7. So whether it’s a scruffy mane or hairy feather, get them trimmed up, then you don’t need to worry the day before.
When it comes to being prepared you can also pack your things ready the night before. Make sure your tack is clean, your saddle pad and boots are ready, and your lorry is clean and set for the day ahead. I find it very useful to have a show day list that you can check off every time!
When it comes to plaits, I do mine the morning of the show but if you know you’ll be in a rush you can always plait the night before. You’ll also need to find what products work best for you, and also choose whether you use bands or thread.
Now that your plaits are done it’s time for the finishing touches! Does your horse have white legs? If so, get some chalk on them to make them shiny white. Add some oil around their eyes and nose, some hoof varnish to finish and you’re arena ready!
My number 1 tip is to feed sugar or mints before you ride, stay away from the treat nuts or there will be brown slobber everywhere!
As important as it is to present your horse well, it’s even more important to aid your horse’s recovery. This might be a massage gun, ice boots or just some electrolytes in their feed, it just depends on your horse.
But most important is to have fun and enjoy your horse, whether you’re an amateur competing for fun or a professional rider. Enjoy and good luck!
Emily Winfield Novoa