As the clocks go forward this month and we start to focus on enjoying those extra daylight hours with our horses, many of us will be planning our competition schedules. In this month’s blog, we offer our top tips for a successful competition season ahead. Here are 9 Things You Need To Do For Competition Success:
1. Forward planning: From your training through to your saddle checks, feeding and farrier appointments. Plan your competition schedule and stable management to ensure that you and your horse are fit and ready for the season ahead.
2. Get established with a great trainer and stick with them. Even if you can only afford the odd lesson, spend that money wisely on someone whom you feel confident with and understands you and your horse. A great trainer who can give you ‘homework’ until your next lesson will provide you with a great focus and help you and your horse progress. Having the occasional lesson with a different trainer can be hugely beneficial. A different pair of experienced eyes can be very useful. Having lots of different trainers at the same time, however, can confuse you and your horse.
3. Look after your horse. If the ground is rock hard or we’re experiencing above average temperatures, put your horses’ welfare before a rosette and stay home. There is always another day, another competition and another opportunity but your horse is one in a million.
4. Look after your equipment. It might sound strange, but caring for your tack and equipment is crucial. Some loose stitching on a girth strap can easily result in an accident if it goes unnoticed, so check over your equipment regularly.
5. All work and no play is no fun. Remember to keep your training varied and also to have fun with your horse away from the arena. Boxing up and going for a long ride with a friend somewhere new is just the tonic to break up the routine.
6. Be realistic. It’s great to have ambitions but be realistic in your capabilities and current level of training. Get established and confident at one level before moving up to the next and make sure you are comfortable working at a higher level at home before attempting it in a competitive environment.
7. Don’t focus on the negative. Everybody has good days and bad days, so instead of reflecting on the bad, learn from it and work on those areas that need improving before your next competitive outing.
8. Feed your competition horse Aloeride. Many competition horses are thriving on it, not just for health reasons, but for interesting ‘opposites’ like natural calmer and racehorse performance and recovery. Not only is Aloeride NOPS tested but it is full of natural organic aloe vera goodness. Our super strength taste-free sachets help maintain a healthy digestive system and support great skin, hair and hooves. When you feel good, you do good!
9. Remember to enjoy your competitions. Most of us do it for fun, but if your dressage is becoming more stressage and showjumping is turning into a leap too far, take some time out of the arena and have some fun with your horse. Remember your relationship is a partnership inside and outside of the competition arena so make sure you both look forward to your competition outings! Sometimes taking a break can do you both the world of good!
If you loved this blog, you might enjoy reading our TIPS for THOROUGHBRED FEET.