Top tips from Louise Bell on ‘spring showing preparation’

Show horse producer Louise Bell
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If you’ve spent all winter dreaming about the 2023 show season, you’ll be wanting to make sure you get some good show prep in now. Here, Louise Bell leaves her top tips on spring show preparation to help get you and your horse ready to shine!

Louise Bell with one of her other top rides - Out of Sight
Louise Bell with one of her other top rides – Out of Sight

1: First things first, I’d advise you to fully clip your horse now, as the summer coat will come through quicker. Years of doing this has never failed me!

2: Get your horse out and about. Either hire an arena or if you have a Working Hunter, then showjumping or arena eventing would be ideal preparation. 

3: Check your horse is in the right condition for purpose, get help from your feed nutritionist if in any doubt.

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4: Before your first show it is always a good idea to put another jockey on board your horse so they get used to someone else riding. 

5: Handle the mane and tail pulling, and the heels should be trimmed to the length of the tail for your class. Mountain and Moorlands showing classes have special rules per breed, so make sure you check those. It would also be wise to check your society’s rules on trimming whiskers and inside ears.

6: Check your tack! Make sure there are no issues, as no ‘lucky stirrup leather’ will save you if there is wear and tear. Same for the reins, ensure your tack is all in excellent condition and clean too, this includes saddle pads!

Check your horse is in the right condition for purpose, get help from your feed nutritionist if in any doubt

Luxe Numnah in Chocolate which is suitable for showing as it’s saddle shaped and unobtrusive
The Equitex Luxe Numnah in Chocolate is suitable for showing as it’s saddle-shaped and unobtrusive

7: Check over your lorry and trailer. Ensure you have all your spare equipment and check that your first aid for yourself AND your horse is up to scratch. 

8: I would also make sure you have everything you need for different weather, and that’s for both horse and rider. You don’t want to be caught out in temperamental British weather.

9: Water, hay and feed – always take extra than you need as showing classes can often run over time. You don’t want your horse or pony getting ulcers. Make sure fodder and water are available when the time is right to let them have this.

10: Check all your clothing still fits and is clean and smart, and absolutely make sure your hat is up to the current code. 

Finally, I would say – ENJOY!!!

Courtesy of Equitex

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