Do you love competing in horse shows? Shows are a popular activity among riders, but because horses are brought together in close quarters, shows can negatively affect your horse’s health. These tips can help you to keep your horse healthy at shows.
Condition Your Horse for the Show
Be sure to spend adequate time conditioning your horse before attending a show. If your horse is in good physical condition and is fit and ready for the show, this will reduce the chances of him incurring an injury.
Prevent Contact With Other Horses
As fun as it may be to let your horse socialize with other horses at the show, it’s important to your horse’s health that you keep him away from horses from other barns. There are many contagious diseases which can be spread through nasal secretions, so keep your horse away from others.
Provide Plenty of Access to Water
Be sure that you give your horse frequent access to clean water, especially during hot summertime shows. If your horse is hesitant to drink strange water away from home, consider using an additive, like a bit of apple juice or Gatorade to encourage him to drink.
Find a Shaded Stabling Area
If you’re at the show for the day, it may be tempting to tie your horse to your trailer and to use that as your stabling area. Remember, though, that trailers reflect the hot sun directly onto your horse. Instead, get to the show grounds early so that you can claim a space in the shade. This will make downtime much more comfortable for both you and your horse.
Consider Overnight Stabling
If you have to travel a long distance to a show, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing overnight stabling. Not only will your horse have a chance to rest up before the long ride home, but he’ll also have the chance to lie down and get a good night’s sleep. This can leave your horse better rested and in a better condition to withstand long trailer rides.
Monitor Your Horse’s Temperature
If your horse does get sick, it’s important to be aware of his condition as soon as possible. When you’re staying at multi-day shows, it’s a good idea to take your horse’s temperature twice a day. Often, an elevated temperature is the first sign that your horse is getting ill. If your horse’s temperature rises, stop showing and get your horse home, if possible.
Good luck with your show season!