With show season almost upon us, it’s time to start thinking about getting your horse into mint condition so you can both perform to the best of your ability in the ring.
One of Bridleway’s stockists, Paula Bryan of Groomers Ltd shares her top tips on preparing for the season ahead.
Spend more time in the saddle
Now the days are gradually getting longer, there’s more time to get back in the saddle after a long miserable winter and blow out the cobwebs. A gentle 30 minute ride each morning or evening will help to slowly build up your horse’s strength and energy levels as well as revive your own fitness. It’s also a lovely way to reconnect with your horse after being out of action for a while.
It’s also a good idea to book your horse into a clinic to give them the once over and check for any injuries or other problems before your activity levels intensify.
Keep up to date with schedules
It is important to keep a note of the shows you will be attending in case there are any changes of times, locations, etc. Good sources of local show information are the many regional equestrian magazines which can be found in most good tack shops and newsagents
Keeping up appearances
With all the nasty weather we’ve been having, chances are that your horse could do with a good spring clean! A key part of showing is the appearance of both horse and rider, so it’s important that this is not overlooked.
Give your horse a good groom and trim to ensure they are looking their best. Don’t neglect your own appearance either – dust off your riding jacket and send it to the cleaners if necessary.
The same goes for all your travel rugs, boots and bandages – make sure they are clean and in good condition. If not you may need to think about investing in new ones.
Whilst you’re at it, why not also spring clean your horsebox and get your oil, tyres and water levels checked? Show season means you are likely to be increasing your travelling and you need to make sure you and your horse are both comfortable and safe.
Check the condition of your tack
As well as giving your horse box the once over it is also advisable to check your saddlery and rugs for any damage. Give your tack a good clean with saddle soap, and use some good quality leather conditioner on anything that appears dry and brittle.