10 Monsters To Tackle Before The Show
This week I have a list of suggestions to make sure your horse is mentally ready for the environment of a horse show.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that your horse is laid back without first practicing the following list.
Making sure he’s ready will save you time,money,heartache. and headache.
1.) If your arena doesn’t currently have bright flowers and bushes boarding it, make sure to put some pots of flowers and shrubbery around the outside.
More times than not the show arena is decorated with flowers.
You may be surprised how many, what appear to be quiet horses, come unglued at the sight of flowers bordering an arena.
2.) Most show arenas have bleachers.
Have someone sit on a step ladder, just so your horse can become accustomed to it.
Once he’s fine with someone sitting above his eye level, ask them to move up and down the step ladder.
I recommend you hand walk your horse initially for this exercise and mount up once he is settled.
3.) Have flags waving. Again, do this unmounted first time out.
4,) Have a table and chairs set up with a clipboard and papers, an umbrella and people sitting at C.
Your horse needs to be comfortable with coming down the centerline and the judge standing up as you approach X. Practice this, you will be surprised how many horses become unsettled when the judge stands up.
If you can, also put a truck at C with your “judge and scribe” sitting In the back.
If you cannot obtain anyone to help, I have used grain sacks with hats on them instead of live people to emulate a judge and scribe sitting at C.
5.)Have someone call your test for you to make sure your horse is ok with that. I have seen horses spook at the caller. You Do Not know what your horse is going to do at a show unless you expose him to all the distractions beforehand, and have schooled them accordingly.
6.) Ring a bell.
7.)Blow a whistle.
8.)Practice in your show attire.
9.)Ride around the outside of the arena (if possible) just like you would at a show before the bell rings.
Work with your horse quietly and consistently to go past the judges table.
10.)Have a boombox going outside the arena.
You never know when you might have to ride your test right next to an arena with Freestyles going on.
You know how the saying goes, “Always hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.” “If you are prepared for the worst, the worst never happens.”