When our horses feel relaxed, they let us know how well they are. They would eat with a healthy appetite, they show even-tempered behavior, and they obviously love to learn new lessons. To make it short: This is when they are at their best. So how can we help our horses relax when they are away from home, say at a competition or at some kind of event?
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven, famous dressage rider from Sweden, offers some useful pieces of advice to make it easier for horses to wind down and relax during competitions. She likes to stress It is very important that her horses don’t feel like learning and competing is hard labor, following the motto “Sport should be fun”.
Four tips for free!
1. Take a walk with your horse before boarding the trailer, and repeat the same procedure right after you have reached your destination
2. Check if the horse has drunk enough water during the journey. If this isn’t the case, feed moisture-rich rations
3. Keep exactly the same feeding schedule your horse knows from his daily routine at home
4. Pamper your horse’s stomach with Equine 74 to buffer excessive stomach acid before it can cause discomfort and pain!
Using these best practices has many advantages for her: While she gives her horses good care – which is what we riders want, of course – she helps them unleash their best performance. Because if nothing is bothering her horse, it gets way easier to focus on the work at hand, without distractions whatsoever.
With this method, competitions become a lot less scary for our horses: What used to be a stressful event can turn into an inspiring, positive experience.
Balance is everything: The natural way to keep stomach acid in check
Riders are looking to keep stress away from their horses for many reasons, one of them is that stressed horses tend to develop gastric ulcers. Their level of stomach acid is constantly too high, we can imagine this is kind of like when people suffer from heartburns. Obviously, we don’t want our horses to suffer through this torture.
This makes it a great idea to take a closer look at what we feed Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven uses Equine 74 Gastric as part of her daily anti-stress routine. Read here, what she reports about her experience with our natural feed supplement, and her relaxed horses.
„To get the maximum expression, you need to have the balance between tension and relaxation. For the rest, we trust in Equine 74 Gastric.“
An interview with the Swedish Olympic, World Equestrian Games and European Championship rider Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén from Sweden about her CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle victory (82.475 %) in Aachen this May and the importance of relaxed horses for her success.
Tinne, after your victory in Aachen you emphasized again and again your joy over your relaxed Don Auriello and said you had one of the best rides ever on him. Why is it for you so important to ride a well-balanced horse?
"I like to feel that my horse are completely with me at the show and that I can get almost the same feeling as when I train at home. Of course it’s a lot of atmosphere that you get on the show, that you don’t have at home, but when the horse is focused on me and not feeling stressed that is what I want to reach. To get the maximum expression, you need to have the balance between tension and relaxation.“
How does a horse show you that it is relaxed?
"I think by behaving the same way as it always does and really listening to me and not being focused on the surrounding.“
You support all your dressage horses with Equine 74 Gastric; a special EGUS* preventing supplement, what are the effects on your horses? How fast did you recognize any changes?
"We have one horse that we saw a big difference on and that was actually the reason why we tried it on all our horses. He has always had some problems with his stomach and we have tried many different products without any real effect, but after a few weeks with Equine 74 Gastric we saw a difference.“
Huge events as Aachen, but also smaller tournaments for younger horses are always a strain for horses. They have to travel long distances, are housed in a new stable, experience a lot of turmoil and have to perform in front of a big audience. How do your horses react in such situations? And how do you limit the stress impact on your horses?
"Our horses travel really well I must say, we try to make the trips easy for them, not traveling too long parts and keeping the same routines as we have at home. We feed them at the same times as we do at home. Always walk them before we leave and when we get there. Make sure they drink properly and if they don’t really do that, we try to give them food with a lot of water in it. For the rest, we trust in Equine 74 Gastric!“
You are working as a trainer on Lövsta Stuteri in Sweden. What is for you particularly important in the daily dressage training?
“To train on the horse´s condition. To listen to each horse and train them in a way that they keep their motivation and happiness. I try to train them in a way that it feels easy for them, and if I get a problem, I can always go back a step to prepare them again.“