Animalon's tournament tips for good success in the tournament season

You are excited because you are going to participate in a tournament with your horse. But along with the anticipation come doubts.

Hopefully I will think of everything. What do I have to take with me? Will the management work?

Especially if you don't have a lot of experience yet, it's sensible to think about it early on. And yes, preparation is everything here. You can save yourself a lot of stress if you prepare for the tournament early. As a preventive measure, it makes sense to have a plan.

For your orientation, we have prepared a few tips that can certainly be of help to you. After all, both of you should be able to enjoy "the limelight".

Horse care shortly before the horse show 

Of course you want your horse to be well groomed on the day of the show. Of course, because the appearance often has an influence on the judges' evaluation. So you have to show your horse from its best side.

Tip 1:

It is best to wash your horse 2-3 days before the horse show. Why? Because if you were to wash it directly before the show, the sebum would be washed off, which gives the coat its natural shine. On the showground, you can help it look shiny with a little shine spray. But be careful: don't spray the saddle area, otherwise you and your saddle will have a wonderful slippery ride!

Tip 2:

The same applies to the mane and tail. The spray helps you to untangle and makes the tail look visibly loose and shiny. If you hand-read the hair the day before, it will be easier to comb on show day.

Tip 3:

If your show horse has a very thick mane, you can thin it out with an Effili scissors. However, if you want to keep your horse's natural mane, which is undoubtedly more natural, you still have the option of braiding it in nicely. If you decide on a sewn-in tournament braid, you should do this the night before. This takes time.

Tip 4:

Get yourself a sleezy. The very thin, stretchy material protects the head, mane, chest and neck from dirt. There are even sleezy blankets. They make it easier for you to groom your horse just before the horse show.

Leather care for the tournament

Tip 1:

It is best to clean and grease your saddlery 1-2 days in advance. On the day of the event, you can then touch up with inexpensive leather care cloths (drugstore) if necessary. Be sure to leave the seat and stirrup leathers out of the leather care. This would not be good for your white breeches.

Tip 2:

As a show horse, your treasure is normally used to being loaded. If not, practise the days before. Patience, no punishment, lots of praise!

Horse trailer - transport must be organised

Tip 1:

A careful inspection of the horse trailer is mandatory! This means that everything from tyres to lights, floor, ramp and safety hooks must be carefully examined. Check ok - then hang a filled hay net to nibble on right away.

Tip 2:

As a show horse, your treasure is normally used to being loaded. If not, practise the days before. Patience, no punishment, lots of praise!

Important: Even when practising loading, there should always be a towing vehicle in front of the trailer!

Tip 3:

Load the car or the small tack room in the trailer early. Proceed systematically and check things off.

You can download our Animalon checklist for the show below!

Dear helpers are the be-all and end-all

Tournament idiots may sound negative, but without these hard-working girls and boys, nothing would really run smoothly. If you have the possibility that your riding partner, a friend, your family or nice acquaintances help you, that's great.

Whether it's on the warm-up ring, with the horse care, with loading or simply as emotional support and to keep your fingers crossed - "tournament idiots" are simply worth their weight in gold.

Let's face it, it's great if you can go through your test again while someone else is warming up your show horse on the warm-up ring, isn't it?

The procedure

Tip 1:

Read the show schedule several times and copy it for your companion. Two more eyes are never wrong! It is not uncommon for a start or important information to be missed.

Tip 2:

Write the head number on the schedule to avoid confusion. In addition, insert and attach the numbers correctly (check!) to the head number plate.

Health check before the horse show

In our eyes, this is actually the most important point. If you want to compete in a horse show, your four-legged partner must really be 100% fit! If, for example, you notice days beforehand that your horse does not run in time, one of its legs is thicker, it coughs from time to time, or its performance is declining - then stay at home, have your vet take a look at it and give your animal a little break from training! Please don't take any risks! After all, you want your show horse to remain fit and healthy, don't you? And for the good of the animal, you have to put yourself at the back of the queue sometimes. That is fair cooperation. Horsemanship says hello!

Here you can find our Animalon Show Checklists for HORSE and RIDER: