Tips for a Successful Horse Show
Spring is here, and with it, show season! It doesn’t matter if you’re serious about showing or just doing it for fun and exposure for your horse. Whether you’re a first timer or seasoned at showing, here are a few tips to help you have a successful horse show.
Start Getting Ready Early
Obviously there are some things you can’t do too far in advance, such as bathing your horse. But there are other things you can start ahead of time so you have less to do the night before and the morning of your show.
- Be sure your tack is clean and oiled.
- Get your show clothes are together, clean, and ready.
- Load your trailer’s tack room or your trunk.
Make a List and Check It Twice
There are many things to remember for your show. The best way to make sure you don’t forget anything is by making a checklist a couple weeks in advance. Add items as you think of them. Include a to-do list, including things such as washing show clothes or saddle pads and oiling tack. A few days or a week before the show, look over the list and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Start going through your to-do list and gathering what you’ll need for your show.
Bring Food and Water
Bringing enough food and water for both you and your horse is important. With all of the excitement of a horse show, it’s easy to forget to eat or drink. Make sure you have water bottles or sports drinks on hand, as well as quick and easy snacks for yourself.
Remembering food and water for your horse is equally important. Your horse may be missing one or more meals at home, or may just benefit from having something to munch on in order to calm his nerves. Hay is always a good option, as it takes longer to eat and will keep a horse busy longer, but it also can be messy and wasteful. Pelleted feed is a cleaner and less fussy method that travels easier and causes less waste.
Don’t forget to bring water from home. Some horses will refuse water that doesn’t taste like what they’re used to so the only way to get them to drink is to bring water with you. If you don’t have a water tank on your trailer, flavoring the water with apple juice or Gatorade may help encourage your horse to drink.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like anything else, the best way to combat nerves before a horse show is by being well-prepared. The more you can practice the kinds of transitions and patterns you’ll encounter at the show, the more ready you and your horse will be. Practicing with the trailer may be a good idea, as many horses have difficulty loading on the day of the show.
Most of all, Relax and try to have a good time. Both you and your horse will benefit from it! This is supposed to be an enjoyable time for both you and your horse.
Showing your horse is exciting, but can cause a lot of anxiety. Making sure you’re well prepared will help combat any nervousness so you and your horse can both be at your best. For more information on feeds that travel well for horse shows and other events, please contact Sacate Pellet Mills at 602-237-3809.