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Tips for Stress-Free Horse Show Preparation

Tanja Dietz


2 Min. Lesezeit

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When a tournament is on the horizon for the weekend, it always comes with excitement and tension. Early mornings, heading to the stable, getting the horse ready, packing everything up, and being punctual for the competition. Declaring readiness to start, unloading, bridling, saddling, warming up - stress can quickly build up. Add in the tournament atmosphere, and especially with inexperienced horses, it can lead to an exhilarating round in the competition. That's why it's crucial to keep your nerves in check before and during the event.

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Three crucial steps for preparing for a tournament:

1. Create a checklist of all the items you need to pack to ensure nothing is forgotten.

2. Prepare as much as possible the night before - this will help avoid stress on the morning of departure. Once you have everything packed, you won't have to worry about it in the morning.

3. Establish a schedule to leave on time with your horse and allow enough time to warm up before the competition.

Take the pressure off at the tournament

If you have a young or inexperienced horse, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Approach the tournament with the goal of showing your horse something new and returning home with a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, less is more. The entire day will already be quite exciting for your horse. Horses are incredibly perceptive animals, and on such eventful days, various factors come into play: the tension and excitement of the humans, the loading and trailer travel, the unfamiliar surroundings, and of course, the tournament atmosphere with its multitude of new sights and sounds, including all the unfamiliar horses. This can be stressful not only for young and inexperienced horses.

Build trust with your horse.

Additionally, the warm-up areas can often be crowded. Especially with inexperienced or sensitive horses, it is crucial to provide security to the horse and avoid stressful situations. Maintain a safe distance from unfamiliar horses and try to position yourself in quieter areas.

Would you like to learn more about how horses react to stressful situations, how their flight instinct manifests, and how we as owners can make stress more manageable for our horses? Horses react differently to various stressors and exhibit individual behaviors. Download our new e-book with all stress symptoms now to dive deeper into understanding your horse's reactions.

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The long-term solution

Buffers the excess acid in the horse's stomach instead of blocking it.

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In case of acute stress

Supports the nervous horse stomach in stressful situations.