Getting Young Horse Ready for First Show?
Hi! So I just started working with the cutest little 6 year old mare. She hasn't really been paid much attention to at all, but she really does seem like she wants to learn. She w/t/c with me, but she only gets her lead in one direction and we need to work on that, and she's done a few little cross rails, but we're going to really work on that and her balance issues this summer. Her main problem is though that she is very easily spooked, and from how little contact she has received in her life, she really doesn't know much about how to act around people, other horses or "scary" situations. There is a 3-day show for my 4-H group this summer in July and I think it would be so much fun to take her as a project horse. I'm pretty sure there is a green horse category, but the problem is, I'm not sure if she would be ready to go. If I was able to go, I would probably bring her to a little, low-key show before we went so she could get a bit more used to it. Does anyone have any ways I could get her more prepared to go? And good balance exercises, as well as ways to get her going on the correct lead in her bad direction? Do you think she could even handle going to the show?
Thanks so much!
I think the only way to know if she is ready is to take her. If she is to spooky don't ride her just hangout with friends and hold her and have her around everything to get her used to the whole showing thing. I remember my first show with my now 6yo she was 4 and just wanted to see what everything was. Just work with her and it will all slowly come and to get her used to the showing atmosphere the only way like I said before is to take her to one and get her exposed. Oh another thing you could do is get a lot of your horse friends together and ride in an arena and kind of put together your own showing atmosphere if you are uncomfortable taking her to a show first.
I hope this helps.
With our new show horses we always simulate the shows as they are for us.
I ride TWH, but the principle is the same.
I enter the ring, go right at a flat walk allowing time for the horse ahead of me to go through and have space between us, we ride around, change gaits, switch reins and do it again. We line up in the center side by side, back up then go back forwards. We ride up and accept ribbons and ride around with them on the bridle while whomever we can get into the arena claps for us lol.
I have seen some horses never accept a ribbon before and be absolutely terrified of the horse eating ribbons.
Other advice, put your horse in 'In Hand' classes to start with if possible, it is always nice to bring them in that morning in a class environment and get them used to everything. Stall your horse ahead of time and the next mornings ride them so they learn that being stalled doesnt mean acting crazy etc. Pracitce riding past horses, away from horses, up to horses etc...anything you can think of that you might come across in a show. I set up a trail course at home just to help desensitize her -got to our first show and she was a brat in her Model class, but after that I got no bad behaviour from her.
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