Everyone puts in a lot of effort in preparation when it comes to horse shows. You work on your horse all year, spend hours in the saddle, and think about every word your trainer ever said. You’ve done everything you possibly could to get ready for the event, but are you really ready?
There’s no doubt that attending important events like horse shows will make just about any competitor freak out. You strategise your work schedules, plan your season, and work around family obligations. We’re all relentless competitors and spend hours working on grooming techniques, fashion, and psychology. There is so much information available online about horse shows. But, after all the planning and preparation, what if your horse does not feel right on game night. What happens then? Nobody plans on taking a sore horse to a competition.
One of the most overlooked aspects in horse shows is prevention. Why not treat horses just as well as we treat other athletes like gymnasts, football players, and the like? Grooming and training is only half the battle.
You need to expand your resources beyond training and farrying. Use veterinarians more often. It’s their dedication and drive to offer innovative, progressive, and state-of-the-art treatments which will pay off in the long run.
Speak regularly with your veterinarians about fitness programs, intermittent forms, and function assessments, so you can recognise and even prevent injuries before they happen.
Join progress programs so that your horses feel good while performing. Focus on creating sustainable athletes. A happy and healthy horse will be able to win more ribbons the next time around.
So, find yourself a good veterinarian and make sure you visit him/her regularly. This is the only way to ensure your horse will be ready for your next competition no matter when it is.