Summer is just the beginning of a prolonged show season for many riders who participate in competitive equestrian events, whether those events include hunter or jumper, dressage, or schooling shows. What you must do to prepare for fall horse show season includes continuing fitness activities, regular maintenance of show tack, and refreshing your show attire. Continue reading for some practical tips.
Ensuring Membership and Entry Paperwork Is Up To Date
Before the season begins, double-check your membership and entry paperwork for all relevant organizations and check to see that everything is current. Ensure you submit your entries by the required deadlines and keep copies of all confirmations and forms you receive. Dedicating a folder or binder to storing this information can help keep things organized and easily accessible.
Planning Schedule and Travel
Planning your show schedule can help in several ways. It allows you to prioritize which shows you want to attend and space them appropriately so that you don’t overload your horse or yourself. A plan also identifies potential conflicts in advance.
Booking hotels and inspecting your horse trailer and tack well in advance can prevent last-minute stress, equipment failures, and expensive adjustments.
Staying Current with Veterinary Care
Ensuring your horse is healthy is paramount. Schedule a check-up with your veterinarian, confirm that all vaccinations are up to date, and discuss any concerns or issues that may have arisen over the summer. Regular, preventative veterinary care can help catch potential issues early, leading to better performances and a happier horse.
Cleaning and Conditioning Your Show Tack
Take the time to thoroughly clean and condition your saddles, bridles, and boots, whether you use your tack all summer or store it in preparation for the fall horse show season. Inspect all your other horse show equipment such as blankets, helmets, and grooming tools. Check for any wear or damage, and address these issues before the season starts. Properly maintained equipment not only looks good in the show ring but can also prevent injuries or discomfort for both horse and rider.
Check Your Show Attire
Ensure your show attire, including boots, breeches, shirts, and jackets, is clean and in good condition. Check for any needed repairs, order any replacement items, and make sure everything fits comfortably. Check each horse show’s rules to make sure you’re ready for any special requirements about colors, helmets, or blazers. Having a polished appearance in the show ring can positively impact the impression you make on the judges.
Keep Up With Your Core, Strength, and Cardio Training
Finally, don’t forget to stay focused on your fitness and conditioning as you focus on keeping your horse in top condition. As all riders know, equestrian events are physical sports that require strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Keep up with your exercise routine, including core work, strength training, and cardio activities, to ensure you’re ready to perform at your best during the fall show season.
Fall horse show season means thinking about what to do to prepare. Proper preparation is the key to a successful and enjoyable show. By attending to every detail and planning, horse owners and riders can ensure they perform at their best when they arrive at a show venue.