Preparing an easily excited/spooky horse for show season?

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Preparing an easily excited/spooky horse for show season?

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  • Cross c ountry with a spooky horse
  • Can I take my spooky horse to a show

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    03-28-2010, 08:54 AM
Preparing an easily excited/spooky horse for show season?

So my guy can be a little spooky and can get easily excited at things out of the norm sometimes, such as trucks driving by the bushes next to the outdoor ring while we're riding, or seeing other horses in the distance.

I want to start showing him soon, but I need to know how to prepare him for all of the things that will be going on and all of the new things he will be exposed to that I can't expose him to prior.

There will be a TON of horses everywhere, in the rings, warm up rings, out on cross country.

Trailers will be going back and forth, horses loaded and unloaded, trucks and cars pulling in and out.

There will be tons of dogs on leashes running around.

Concession tents for food and such. Voices over the loud speaker.

We may have to ride on grass rings/rings that aren't usually used at the barn [so rings we've never been in]

I'm going to be nervous, because at every show I get nervous, it's a performance thing, similar to stage fright. I just get a little nervous, but my horse senses the slightest bit of nerves and feeds on it.

So ladies and gentlemen what can I do to prepare my guy for all these new and out of the ordinary things he will be seeing when I start to show him? Because I really don't want him to be a bomb on show day :P

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    03-28-2010, 09:12 AM
Get all your friends out to your ring and do all the things you mentioned. Wear bright colors, bring umbrellas, drive cars/trucks by, make noise, etc. Practice as much as you can, and practice relaxing, too. If you're relaxed, you may be surprised at how well your horse does out in the real world.
    03-28-2010, 09:16 AM
I would haul to some shows not to show but get him used to all the sounds and sights. That way you can focus just on him and not worrying about your classes/ Do this a couple times and see how it goes
    03-28-2010, 09:26 AM
Well the convenient thing is, I board him on a barn that holds USEA recognized events on their property. The problem is I certainly cannot ride him unless he's registered in the event, until after the event is over. [The last time I rode him was a few minutes after the last rider had finished and a technical delegate scolded me for not wearing proper event attire, because I was wearing my jeans and chaps. Even though the event had ended for the day.]

So idk how to expose him to the event without taking him out during the event, which doesn't really sit well with the delegates.
    03-28-2010, 09:29 AM
Cant you take him out and just lead him around? No need to ride for him to take in all the sights ans sounds.
    03-28-2010, 09:32 AM
There's no where to lead him, its straight out of his stall, every ring is in use, there's a ton of traffic going back and forth between the rings and the trails and fields are cross country. I could lead him through the trailers but there's a freakish amount of traffic.
    03-28-2010, 10:36 AM
Originally Posted by Mickey4793    
There's no where to lead him, its straight out of his stall, every ring is in use, there's a ton of traffic going back and forth between the rings and the trails and fields are cross country. I could lead him through the trailers but there's a freakish amount of traffic.
Take him to ANOTHER place where a show is being held. Call the organizers up beforehand, ask if they mind you bringing a green horse to their show w/o showing. In fact, go looking for a show geared toward green horses and green riders...those people will understand for sure. Offer to pay them for the privilege/make a donation to a charity of their choice/whathaveyou. And, I'd work him hard the day before (in a planned workout of course, not just out of the blue), then I'd take him to a show a few hours away...this way when he gets off the trailer he's going to be a bit tired.
    03-28-2010, 11:05 AM
I agree with Mercedes on this one.
Sometimes you can pay a fee to be able to ride in the warm up or moving around among the other riders in a show to acclimate your horse.
It is also a good idea to go to different locations and again pay the fee if need be to get your guy used to all the activity. Schooling shows etc are a good idea even if your not ridng.

I have a mare who gets excited the same way and we will have to go through some similar things when the time comes

Best of luck to you....
    03-28-2010, 01:34 PM
What everyone else said.

Also, not that I want you to drug your horse, but a simple magnesium supplement (or mare magic, which is magnesium) isn't a "drug" but it will help take the edge off. Most animals - including people - are magnesium deficient. It reduces stress and calms the mind. It's something you can keep your horse on year round. Smart Pak sells a tub of it for like 10 bucks.
    03-28-2010, 08:20 PM
My guy is on calming supplements at the moment, he gets them in his PM grain, are these what you're talking about SeWHC?

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