Posted by: rstor | July 23, 2014

Keeping your Horse Calm at Competitions

RS-tor Safety2

Every horse gets tense occasionally, but some are more prone to it than others, particularly in show environments which bring with them new surroundings, sights and smells and more pressure under saddle. So in our latest blog RS-tor take a look at how to keep your equine calm at competitions ensuring they deliver the best performance they are capable of, when it matters most.

Management at the Event

Firstly it is always advised that you thoroughly check your tack that you use at competitions to ensure everything is correctly fitted as tack which is too tight, pinching or likely to slip is dangerous and could be causing or exacerbating the problem.

After you have established that your horse or pony is exhibiting pre competition nerves or stress in a new environment as opposed to a health condition which requires investigation, it is important to then consider your equine’s individual personality.

Some need to be kept on the move at a show, while others are best left alone. For those that like to be kept active in busy environments walking the horse or pony around or lunging before leaving for an event, or where appropriate once you arrive. This type of horse may prefer having a companion at shows to boost their confidence so consider travelling with another or taking a non-competing horse along for the ride.

For those equine which prefer their own company at events ensure your horse box or trailer offers them the solstice they need- experiment with opening doors and windows to see what your horse or pony likes best and always ensure you bring ample forage for them to tuck into!

Feeding

If your horse is displaying fresh, fizzy or bad behaviour at competitions their diet should always be considered. If you think that food is fueling the excess energy that may cause a horse to become frustrated or stressed so a change may help. Typically research has shown that high-starch diets offering quick release energy can result in a ‘fizzy’ state of mind in some horses so for those that are affected in a show environment a diet which is rich in fibre and oil may be a better choice.

Routine

Horses which thrive on a regular routine may struggle on show days simply because their routine has be altered. If you believe this could be case try and take your horse or pony out to shows more often to lessen their stress at the new experience and allow them to become more relaxed about the change to their day.

Whilst at home stick to their normal management, where possible feeding at the usual time, and leave yourself plenty of time to bath, plait and trim your horse up for competition.

Rider anxiety 

For many of us it is worth considering whether the root of the problem lies with our own anxiety. Whether that is desire to succeed or the concern that our horses will behave badly, rider nerves can play a big part in our horse’s tension on the day.

In order to minimise your own nerves, ensure you are correctly prepared for the day so you are running in plenty of time and all have had all the help in terms of lesson to know what is expected of you at the other end.

Consider using the RS-tor safety aid promoting your safety in the saddle, helping you stay more secure if your horse misbehaves and boasting your confidence. The RS-tor safety aid’s fall prevention capabilities come into action when the horse spooks, bucks, rears, cat leaps or stumbles and the product simply attaches to the stirrup bars and with the attached strap offers the rider a handle to hold onto. The RS-tor system has an innovative ‘bungee’ element which helps prevent rider falls from the saddle by absorbing  the velocity of being unseated.

The RS-tor is suitable for all disciplines and level of riding ability but always check with the event organiser or the competition rulebook for each discpline to find out whether the RS-tor can be used during the competition as well as when warming up.

 

For more information visit the website www.rstor.co.uk 

 

 

 


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