Last week I discussed whether breed shows could benefit your youngster. This week, I will help you prepare for your first show! One month prior:
1. Familiarize yourself with the USEF 2014 rule book (pages 91-100) and the competition prize list.
2. Acclimate your 2-year-old to working in a bridle. For help http://youtu.be/PCOUJvBL27c
3. Check with your vet concerning worming, vaccinations and Coggins. Foals 6 months and older, with or without their dam, need their own Coggins.
4. Teach your horse to trailer load. Even if your youngster traveled well as a foal with their mom, travelling solo will be a new experience. For guidance http://youtu.be/9iA4D5yh6SM
5. Train your horse to work on the triangle. USDF prepared these excellent videos to assist you.
Now that you have prepared your youngster, you will soon be on your way to your first outing. Once you arrive and before you unload, inspect your stall carefully for safety hazards. Young horses seem to find every protruding or sharp object imaginable! You may also consider treating your stall walls and floor with a disinfectant. The immune systems of young horses are more naive than mature horses. We apply Spectrasol® with a hand pump trigger sprayer, before we bed the stalls. This product is safe for you and your horse and is environmentally friendly. After your youngster has settled in, walk them around the show grounds. Do this several times if possible. Keep in mind that warm-up and staging areas are split with stallions on one side and mares on the other. Mares with a colt at their side belong on the mare side. In a high energy and dense venue like Devon, stallions will occasionally break away from their handler. Stallions are naturally drawn to mares with foals at their side, so be observant at all times and listen for instructions from the stewards and announcer if this does occur. Most importantly have fun and applaud yourself for your good work!