Thanks Ninjahorse :]
My replies in bold:
I am unsure of what to do with him the day before in riding to prepare him, I was thinking maybe just a walk and trot around just to get him nice and relaxed the day before. The competition will start at 2pm and I am unsure how long it will go for, chances are it will go for a few hours so what do I need to bring for him? Should I bring his summer incase it gets cool or starts to rain. I can fit it over his saddle without causing discomfort to him.
Just ride as normal. It is too late to teach him anything new, just do as you usually do, some walk/trot/canter, some turns and stops, lots of transitions.
Is his summer rug waterproof? If so then that is a good idea. Take some hay for him to munch on if there is a decent break. The usual stuff, tack, brushes, etc. Bucket for water. A chair to sit on ringside while you watch.
I do not have any float boots for him but I am hoping to get him some before the comp, if I don't can I use his ROMA exersize boots, they wouldn't be great but they would help. Should I rug him in the float, with a light summer rug or a heavy winter rug? It is quite warm here.
You don’t NEED float boots. Especially for a 20 minute drive with one horse. I float my horses 3+ hours regularly and I never use float boots. In my opinion they overheat the legs and are uncomfortable, I only use them if actually needed, i.e. floating two horses and one is a known kicker. It is up to you though.
In regards to rugging, you have to remember that they won’t feel wind chill in the float. If you are cold, make sure it isn’t just the wind. If it is actually chilly, a cotton rug will be fine. If it is hot, we don’t rug and usually open a window or vent to let some air circulate.
We will be riding in an arena that has lights, I've never ridden him at night with lights *we don't have the facilities to try eaither*. Lights make shadows, so if he gets spooked at the shadows is there any way I can deal with this. What are the general rules of warm up rings?
He should adjust pretty quickly, and being around other horses who are calm will help him stay calm. The biggest thing is you; You need to remain calm and ride as you normally do. If you try to compensate, he will know something is up. If you pretend like nothing is different, he will believe you :]
Warm up rings… Ride on the same rein as everyone else. If you need to change rein, go to the far inside/outside of the circle so as not to crash. If you want to practice turns/stops, go to the inside of the circle. Look behind before you abruptly stop or back up.
For the five weeks up to the comp should I work with him on the events, there are many events so he won't get bored. Its a sporting event, so do I go all out and braid his mane and tail, clean my tack and make everything look perfect?
Do bits and pieces. Practice turns, practice certain skills, but don’t run the actual games too often, it might teach him to anticipate, which is BAD!!! As long as you have your turns, changes of pace, and stops down well you will be able to do any race successfully.
Don’t braid, you will look like a ninny :] Sporting riders are usually pretty ;relaxed’ when it comes to presentation :] A clean horse and clean tack is all you need. Some won’t even have that :]
Also, I have two friends coming with me as helpers, one of them is Jalah and the other is a girl Kristy who I rode with for quite some time, Should they come us friends to cheer us on or helpers, both want to help but Chinga can get a bit funny with people helping sometime (his funny with new people).
Either is fine. Sometimes it is just good to have friends there to talk to, it helps you relax. If it stresses Chinga out, just get them to watch. However, in the long term, that is something you might want to address.
My final question for now is how can I deal with the nerves I will have at the comp? I'm sure I will think of a tonne more questions so I'll post them in here. Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for answering.
Talk to your friends. Watch the other competitors and realise that even the best ones make mistakes as well, and it’s nothing to worry about. Singing to yourself helps relax your abdomen which in turn relaxes your horse. If Chinga Is getting nervous, keep him moving, don’t expect him to stay standing. My horse always has a bit of a fit at big competitions on the first morning; I usually have to walk him for about an hour, and after that he is fine.