How to keep your horse comfortable at a horse show!

 

Horse shows! Fun for everyone! There’s no stress! Everyone loves horse shows! WELL…..maybe not.  Here are a few things your horse may appreciate at a horse show. 

 

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  • Your horse might need a little bit more TLC on horse show weekend. His body and mind may become sore, he might sleep less, he might even stress out a bit. You can, and should, do some things to help your dude out at a horse show.

 

  • The good part is that these things are all treats for you and your horse, and can probably take your mind off of your horse show worries.

 

 

horse show with mountains and palm trees

Hand grazing, hacking, taking in the sights.

 

Words of wisdom about horse shows:

 

  • Practice at home. The grooming, the braiding, the warm-up, even you getting dressed. There are tons of new things for your horse to experience, don’t pile it on with doing braids for the first time ever.

 

  • Don’t use horse show day to train him to load, stand still, walk politely, and generally have manners. Training happens long before the show.

 

  • It’s supposed to be fun, right? And it’s also a great time to blackmail your friends to help you! I mean ask them to help you.

 

 

chestnut horse with tiny button braids

Some horses despise being braided, figure this out before the horse show.

 

Keep your horse’s mind happy and comfortable

 

 

  • Keep your horse’s mind busy with hay and his normal schedule! Try and do something during his turnout time, like a walk.

 

  • Make sure he can see other horses. Shatterproof mirrors can help if his neighbors are further away than he’s used to. Try the mirror thing at home first. Just in case he thinks his reflection is his new arch-nemesis.

 

 

Help his body stay happy and comfortable:

 

  • Pile on the extra bedding! I have yet to see a show stall that has a flat floor, most have craters and are far from level. Extra shavings will help make things more comfortable and help him stay cleaner.

 

  • Ice your horse. Not only is this a good practice anyway, but different footing can affect how his body feels. Too soft and he’s working harder to slug through it, too hard and it’s bruising and banging. Ice takes out inflammation and works as a pain reliever.

 

 

tendon ice wraps and hoof ice boot

 

  • Massage your dude! Find all of his favorite spots with the curry comb and also support his large muscles along the spine for a relaxing time.

 

  • Liniments can be helpful for feeling groovy, just be just your liniment of choice won’t test positive. Try them at home first, some horses don’t appreciate the tingly feeling.

 

 

  • Bring your own water from home or your horse’s favorite water additive if you suspect he won’t drink as much at the show. And of course, adding water to his food is a grand idea. Definitely test this one at home so you know he’ll eat a sloppy meal. And to learn how much of a mess he will make.

 

  • Keep dust at bay and plenty of fresh air. You can always spritz water on the barn aisle and shavings if they are super dusty. Try and clean his stall when he’s not in it as well. This is the perfect time for you to take a hand walk and have your friends clean the stall!

 

groom leading horse in green cooler

When you are relaxed, your horse is, too.

 

What not to do at the shows:

 

  • Excessive treats! Yes, he was brilliant and won the warm-up, but stick to his regular dose of daily treats.

 

  • Avoid giving him new foods. He does not need to share your questionable show food lunch no matter how “totes adorbs” his begging face is.

 

  • Overwork him. It’s a long day, full of exciting things to see and hear and spook at. Be mindful of what his body is telling you when you are in the saddle.

 

Happy showing!

 

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Stock up here for your horse supplies! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but it’s ZERO extra cents to you.  You can also visit my Amazon storefront here:  PEG storefront.

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Cavallo Simple Hoof Boot for Horses, Size 3, Black
$177.90

This style is great to protect the hoof, but is not soft and squishy for laminitis cases.

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EasyCare Glove Hoof Boot
$84.08

These boots are great for protecting barefoot horses.

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Whinny Wellies from Sox For Horses

Tough, weather-resistant covering for wraps and bandaging.

Silver Bells - Sox For Horses

For hoof protection when equine pastern dermatitis is a risk.

Durasole
$12.82 ($3.20 / Fl Oz)
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Jolly Pets Horsemen's Pride Amazing Graze Toy
$77.44

Keep your horse's brain happy!

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FORTEX INDUSTRIES Feed Saver Ring
$23.74

Great to use with buckets to discourage cribbing

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Grazing Muzzle by GG Equine

Basket-style grazing muzzle to help keep a horse at a healthy weight and help reduce the risks of colic and laminitis in some horses.


Use code 15PROEQUINE for savings on muzzles!

HayPlay Slow Feed Bag XL – GG Equine

One side of this innovative slow feeder is solid - perfect for pastures! It will hold a small bale of hay.

HayPlay Slow Feed Bag – GG Equine - 2 sizes available

2 sizes of this slow-feeding hay toy - snack size holds a few flakes, and the half size holds 1/2 bale.

40 lb. Alfalfa Cubes
$35.51 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
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3.0 CUFT Pine Bedding
$28.62 ($28.62 / Count)
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Thank you!