Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH (USA)
For slowing down her canter, I would suggest cavaletti. Set 4 to 6 poles down, spaced about 10 to 12 feet apart. Whatever your mare's natural stride length is (11 or 12 is average for a 15.0hh+ horse), I would subtract a foot and place them like that. The idea is that she will have to actually look where she is putting her feet in order to clear the poles, which should help her to slow down. I would incorporate this into one of your flat workouts. In fact, I would incorporate it into all of your flat workouts - seeing poles everyday could really help you out.
My only advise for helping run-outs is this: Look over the jump. Pick a point on the other side of the jump, and keep looking there, all the way up to, over, and after the jump. Keep your legs closed around her, and a soft contact with her mouth. Also, it's hard to improve a horse's confidence, as the only way to do this is to be very confident yourself. You have to make them feel secure.
Depending on the show, you may need a show coat. I have seen some people ride in jeans at a schooling show which were considered permissible, and the very next year, the same show was requiring you to wear jackets. If you're worried about the cost, you could also wear a black suit jacket, and no one will ever know the difference. I've done this a couple years, when money was tight. Kohl's is the best place for getting this.
There usually aren't drug tests at schooling shows, so I wouldn't worry about that. However, I wouldn't recommend sedating her, particularly if you are going to be jumping. When sedated, some horses will be more prone to misjudging fences, which could be very dangerous.
Hope that helps. Good luck this weekend!