Taking a green horse to a show can be a daunting and fairly unpredictable. Here are a few tips to help you make the experience a pleasant and beneficial one.
- Make sure that you have taken your horse away from home before. For example a lesson, cross-country schooling or to a hired an arena. If you are doing dressage, it’s good to have shown your horse white boards before.
- If the venue is not too far away, it is worth tacking your young horse up at home and travelling him tacked up. Then at the event you don’t have to struggle if he starts bouncing around.
- Don’t use any equipment or accessories that you haven’t used on your horse before, for example boots or a square numnah. Having said that, a neck strap is strongly advised.
- People often refer to shows as a ‘party for horses’, so remember that your green horse could be excitable and on his toes all day. Therefore you must be concentrating. Do not get too close to anybody else, park with lots room either side of your lorry and take your time mounting and dismounting.
- On arrival, take your horse off the lorry and give him a good walk in hand around the area. If you’re worried that your horse might be a handful, use a lunge line and/or a bridle.
- It is a good idea to give your horse a lunge to get any extra energy or excitement out of his system. Another good thing to do is to get on long before your competing time and just hack around the venue with no pressure. If you do this, you’ll then only have to do a little warm-up before your class. This works well as your horse won’t tire and he will not have enough time for any clever ideas.
- It is not uncommon for your horse to do things that are out of character, so be prepared for all eventualities and predict any problems before they happen.
- Go to as many shows as possible. The best way to get your horse used to something is to do it again and again. Equo has a variety of events to enter across the country, so why not enter some events near you now?
- Nervous or green horses tire quickly so therefore refrain from doing endless classes with him. Don’t be disappointed if you are not that competitive, your goal should be a fun, calm experience. Patience is key with green horses and laughter is normally the best reaction when something doesn’t go to plan.
Here are a few common problems:
- Your horse may be very quiet tied up at home, but might not be so happy doing so at a show.
- At home he might not mind leaving other horses, but he could be more insecure away.
- Warm-up areas are busy places and green horses can get upset with other horses approaching them head on, or coming up behind them.
- They can forget a lot of their schooling and appear extra green.
So, the most important thing to remember is to go out, have fun and enjoy it. Search Equo for upcoming events to enter with your horse today.