This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.

About Me

My photo
I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Start Your Engines...

It is that time of year again. All competitors know the official start of the season has come when entry forms for the spring shows begin to slowly trickle in. This is when the nerves start. Many people who have been showing for a long time now will try to tell you that they don't get nervous, but I am here to tell you everyone gets nervous.

It is around this time when people start making goals for this season and picking and choosing which shows they absolutely have to compete in. It is also the important time to figure out how much money you can really spend on shows, hotels, gas, and equipment. For some people these decisions could include being at a different show every weekend of their summer all across the midwest. Unfortunately, for others, this decision is made easier by only being able to go to one show during the season.

I always would find these decisions hard because I never could decide if I wanted to do a multitude of smaller shows or just pick a few of the bigger shows and travel a little farther to compete. Once every detail of the season is planned out, the real work begins, actually preparing for the shows.

Preparing for a show, suprisingly starts months in advance to make sure everything runs smoothly. First and foremost, you must make sure your horse is fit enough to compete. Most outsiders do not think about this very important step in preparing. You want to make sure your horse is performing his best and therefore, you must condition them for whatever they will be doing at that particular show.

Some of the smaller, but no less important tasks to preparing for a show is making sure you have a hotel if you will be there overnight. Also, you must check over your trailer and tow vehicle to make sure it is in good shape and will actually get you to the show. These minor details might not seem very important, but without these there will be no competition for you or your horse.

At the beginning of the year, you also must make sure your horse is vaccinated and that you have a copy of that record in your vehicle because without it, you might not even be let into the show grounds. When I competed at Championships, one of my teammates did not have her copy and they would not let her onto the show grounds until she had a copy. This required her going to the show office and pulling a copy from the papers she had sent in with the entry. This could have ruined the whole competition for the team before it had even started.

The part of preparing that I personally like the most is packing. When you start packing, you know that the competition is close and is going to happen. Packing can be challenging though, because not only do you have to pack for yourself but you also have to pack for a 1000 pound animal. This means that you have to analyze everything that could possible go wrong and pack for that. After packing, the only thing left to do is to load your horse in the trailer and hit the road.

No comments:

Post a Comment