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ChingazMyBoy 10-11-2009 01:52 AM

First Show Advice.
 
Hey,

Well as some of you know Chinga and I will be going to our first show in 5 weeks. I do not own a float so I will be hiring one, what do I need to put in the float eg: bedding, hay nets, ect. The show grounds are only about twenty or fifteen minutes away at the most.

It isn't exactly a show its a sporting night - competition, we get to warm up before the competition but what should I do with him? We will be competing in events that involve tight turns and bending.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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).

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.

Maddie & Chinga.

ThatNinjaHorse 10-11-2009 02:50 AM

I dont usually put bedding in a float, especially if its just a 15 min drive, but i would put in a hay net, especially if he doesnt float often, it will help him relax.

As for warming up, i have very very little experience with sporting but i would do the usual, walk, trot, canter on both sides, do some circles and figure eights, practice stopping- lol ive seen many times horses finish their event and just keep going! one even went into a show jumping ring once, jumped a jump too!

Deffinatly bring a rug incase it rains, and a raincoat for you too. Bring hay, buckets, first aid supplies etc. I usually take an extra halter and lead rope to events.

I wouldnt rug him in the float unless its quite cold, and if you do just use his summer rug, ive seen heaps of horse overheat in floats so i get a little paranoid lol, but your guy should be fine, especially since the comp is close by!

You dont need to plait up for sporting, just make sure everything is nice and neat and clean.

Actually, wild spot would be a good person to talk to about all this sporting stuff, hope she reads this thread!

I get nervous soo bad! Just arive early enough, make sure you have enough time for warm up and so chinga is used to everything and remember to have fun!

wild_spot 10-11-2009 06:29 PM

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.

ChingazMyBoy 10-12-2009 02:07 AM

Thanks guys your your replies! I'm just so excited. Its five weeks away and I couldn't sleep last night. .. . hopefully I'll sleep tonight.

wild_spot 10-12-2009 05:49 PM

What events are there?

ChingazMyBoy 10-13-2009 06:00 AM

Hows this for a list of what to bring,

Bring To Show!
 
Horse:
Saddle Blanket
Saddle
Bridle + Flash
Chinga’s Boots
Martingale
Lunge Rope
Lunge Whip

Rider:
Crop
Safety Vest
Helmet
Hair Ties

Spares:
Spare Halter
Spare Halter - Rope
Spare Lead Rope - Doubles As Spare Lunge Rope
Spare Crop
Spare Stirrup Irons

Extras:
Poop Scope
Grooming Kit -Soft Brush, Hard Brush, Medium Brush, Face Brush, Curry Comb, Hoof Pick, Comb, Extra Hoof Pick, Extra Curry Comb, Hoof Oil, Extra Comb, Rubber Brush.
Spare Helmet
Happy Mouth Bit
Summer Rug
First Aid Box
Cloth
Synthetic Saddle Cleaner
Hay
Pink Bucket - Water
Orange Bucket - Hay
Treats
Hat
Water Bottle
Camera
Video Camera

wild_spot 10-13-2009 05:44 PM

Spare Bridle.

Again, what events are there?

ThatNinjaHorse 10-13-2009 10:17 PM

How long is your lead rope? Must be pretty long to double as a lunge rope :shock:

ChingazMyBoy 10-14-2009 04:08 AM

Wild Spot - I'll grab the list of all the events and post it here for you.

ThatNinjaHorse - Its actually a shorter lunge line (not sure how long) and it can be used as a leadrope if you need to.

Wildspot - I tried to get the list but my emails screwing up, and also as for the bridle part I actually don't have a spare bridle I throw out my old one when I got my new one, good one I know.

Saskia 10-14-2009 08:49 AM

Don't go to over board about packing. Its good to have things with you but don't stress out too much over it. Its a short sporting show, I wouldn't be bringing things like synthetic saddle cleaner, in all honesty I didn't even know their was such thing. Obviously you can bring all your grooming things, but what I normally do is do most of the grooming at home before a show, and then just bring a few brushes and plaiting gear to the show ground itself. You don't want to be messing around too much, especially if you don't know what kind of holding facilities there are.

Also don't tie your horse to an unattached float. You probably know that but just checking. Ideally you can hire some sort of yard to put your horse in during breaks, or if you are early, but if its only a short show that might not be necessary. Some people tie to floats but I prefer yards in case you want to watch some stuff for a bit, or just to let your horse be at peace for a bit, I don't like leaving horses tied up unattended. In my experience holding yards at horse shows don't offer a closing mechanism, so maybe bring another extra lead rope if you are planning to do that. I always have like 3 or so standard 6 ft ones in my car, and then my long 12ft or something white NH one that I use, but I tie up with short ones. They break well if the twine doesn't. And can be used as dog leads, hay bag holder uppers, make shift gates etc.

I would also bring twine, in case you want to tie your horse up somewhere. Don't constantly feed him, he won't need it, but if you are planning to leave him unattended for a bit you might want to to keep him occupied.

I remember when I was young and had friends at shows and stuff I would feel like riding around all the time. You know, riding around the warm up ring, walking circles with friends, or just sitting on the horses back watching. Remember this will be a long day for Chinga, you will be asking for quick bursts of speeds and athletic turns.

Treat the warm up as a checking time. Once he is loose and such just check all your aids, your go and stop and turn and such, then do your event, and you might have a 15 minute wait to your next one. I would dismount, not offer him feed or anything, just give his back a rest, watch, and then about five minutes or so before you're up get on again, check your aids in the warm up ring and go again. There might be lots of riding and you don't want him to burn out, or get sick and tired of it all.

Remember its your first show. Whats more, the show isn't going to be judging you. It will be judging your time. While you want to ride as safely as you can, don't worry about people judging you, or thinking you are doing something wrong. Keep your heels down, look up and try your best, screw everyone else.

There will always be those people at shows with their push button ponies, and expensive angle load floats, and shiny leather saddles (though probably not as many at a sporting show), but that doesn't mean they are any better than you. Smile, be nice and polite to everyone regardless of first impressions, and don't judge others. Sporting is fun, so have fun.

Just a side not, if its your first show and you like horses you may see all these pretty ones and want to pet them or feed them treats. Just don't, people are funny about that, i even get funny if I see people near my horse. Another note, I used to bring friends with me to horse stuff all the time, and they would like it but sometimes get all giggly and run around. I don't know if your friends are like that but I have found that non horse people tend to take "horse rules" (I call them that) not very seriously, the two major ones being: no running around horses and no screaming/shrieking. Just sort of make sure every thing will be good.

GOOD LUCK!!!!! (even though its far away).


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