Prepare for Evening Performances

August 14, 2013 11:11 am by
Posted in General
Prepare for Evening Performances
Evening performances can be daunting for both horse and rider, being enclosed in a ring surrounded by flashing lights, applause and music. Absorbine sponsored Jayne Ross and Carol Bardo have produced numerous Horse Of The Year Show and Royal International Horse Show Champions, and have some great tips to prepare your horse for an evening performance.
The atmosphere indoors is very different to that outdoors, so it is important to get your horse used to the noise in an indoor arena, “If your horse is not used to going indoors, rent an indoor school and invite some friends along to provide some noise, and some to ride with you. It is a good idea to use ear plugs for your horse, but practice using them at home, and never do anything at a show that your horse is not used to”, says Jayne.
When it comes to turnout under the spotlight both you and your horse need to look clean, shiny and sparkling. It is a good idea to consider what your horse will look like under the lights, “You should be careful not to use too much baby oil as it can look like an oil slick under the lights”, said Jayne. “We are fortunate enough to be sponsored by Absorbine, so we have all their lovely grooming products to make the horses really shine. We put a rug on after they have been bathed to encourage the hair to lie flat and use ShowSheen hair polish on their coats and tails. SuperShine hoof polish dries to give a mirror like shine to the hooves, and it doesn’t rub off or go dull on the arena surface so it looks good under the lights. We always give the horse a wipe over and a spritz of ShowSheen before we go in, to get rid of any dust on their coat”, explains Jayne.
“Your show is all about timing. You need to think about your show beforehand and prepare it in your mind. It is better to do a smoother show, using the space available and thinking ahead to do smooth transitions. You should plan your show according to the type of horse, and keep it free flowing and forward going”, advised Jayne.

Once you have thought about all the above preparation for the atmosphere, turnout and show you should also bare in mind the prize presentation. As a sponsor, Carol Bardo has made quite a few presentations, and advises that it is a good idea to get your horse used to receiving a sash. “The person making presentations may not be very horsey, so it is very helpful if you have practiced putting the sash around your horse’s neck so that your horse does not back away. You can also practice standing between flower arrangements”, says Carol.