How to Prepare for Horse Riding Competition


If you are a keen rider, you will begin your preparation for a competition weeks or even months before the event. Depending on the type of competition you are entering, your horse will need regular training to become more flexible and obedient for dressage, more confident over fences for jumping, or much fitter and versatile to handle for endurance riding or Le Tree.

You will need to obtain a copy of the competition schedule from the show secretary. This will contain all the details of date, venue, classes and what rules the event will be run under. For some shows, you will need to send your entry and fees to the show secretary by a specified closing date. If you are entering a dressage competition, make sure you have a copy of the test you will be riding so that you can practice riding the movements and memorizing the test before the day.

Horse Riding Competition

In the two weeks prior to the event, check your horse’s feet and book a farrier appointment in plenty of time if required. Begin gradually smartening up your horse by pulling its mane and tail or by increasing your grooming regime to ensure the coat will look its best on the day. Trim excess hair from around the horse’s ears, muzzle and fetlocks with scissors or clippers.

A few days before the journey check your trailer or horsebox to avoid any unpleasant surprises such as a flat tire on the morning of the show. If appropriate, give your horse a good bath, including washing its mane and tail. This will give the healthy and shiny oils in its coat time to re-emerge.

On the day before the event, fill up your vehicle with gas, groom the horse thoroughly all over, and write a list of all the equipment you will need to take for both you and your horse-do not be surprised if it is long! As well as tack, rugs and a grooming kit, your horse will also need enough hay or feed and water to last for the whole time you are away from home. Decide if you are going to plait up the night before or first thing the next morning. Allow plenty of time to do this as it can take up to two hours to plait a horse for the first time. The dress code for horse events varies, so check the schedule, but you will need to be properly turned out, including a hair net and gloves, polished boots, cream jodhpurs and some spare clothes to change into should the weather turn wet.

Finally, do not forget the directions to the showground, money, cell phone, a packed lunch and, most importantly of all, plenty of time in which to get there!

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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