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Showing Your Horse

Showing your horse is an art that can result in a lot of financial gains, but you won't get very far if you can't prepare yourself for the showing.

Preparing yourself

Showing your horse takes a lot out of you and your horse. So, to make sure you both put forth your best effort, you have to prepare yourself and your horse for the show. Preparing means preparing yourself both physically and mentally.

First, let's look at the physical aspect of showing your horse. Though you're not lifting weights or running all day, showing your horse is physically exhausting. You need to prepare yourself for a 10-12 hour day of being alert and on your feet. This means you're going to need a good night sleep. You're also going to need to stock up on healthy foods. This means bringing plenty of fruit bars and nuts, such as almonds, with you so you can fuel up at any point in the day. Venues that host horse shows frequently have unhealthy snack options. Bringing your own snacks along will keep you tip top all day. Also, remember to bring plenty of water because hydration is critical to how you feel and perform.

Next, we need to get your noggin in shape. First, get rid of all distractions. This means organizing all of your things the night before so you don't have to run around last minute, avoiding arguments with family members and leaving for the show in plenty of time so you don't hit frustrating traffic. If you don't get rid of frustrating or frazzling barriers, showing your horse will be difficult.

When you get to the arena, take some deep breaths. Do not compare yourself to your competition or create bad scenarios in your head. Showing your horse requires you to have a clear mind and a positive expectation for the day. Falling into negative thought patterns or making yourself nervous by comparing yourself to competitors will do nothing to calm your nerves.

Preparing the horse

You're an important factor in showing your horse, but let's not forget about the horse! People who have experience showing horses will give you varying advice on what to do to prep your horse, but there are some basic guidelines that everyone should follow.

You need to take care of your horse's mane and tail and if you want him to show well. It's best to wash your horse's mane and tail on the morning of the show. After you wash them, use a comb to get out tangles. This will keep you horse's hair from breaking and becoming frayed. When you're finished and while the hair's still wet, braid you’re the tail and spray a coat of conditioner on both. That way your horse's hair will look shiny even when you're showing your horse.

Before showing your horse you also need to make sure to clip its nose, ears and eyes. This extra attention to detail will give you a leg up on you competition when you're showing your horse.

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