Competition Preparation

In this issue leading show producers Simon and Natalie Reynolds provide advice on competition preparation in the run up to a show.

Pre Competition - Preparing the Coat
When getting horses ready for competitions bath one or two days before a show, weather permitting.
If your horse or pony is in need of a thorough bath Cavalor Equi Wash is great for taking out all the grease and dirt, accumulated from turning out at grass.
As we have a lot of greys on the yard this season including the lightweight cob Copenhagen owned by Rowena Stevenson and the maxi cob, Correl Wood belonging to Ruth Parker it appears to be a constant round of bathing and trimming.
Correl Wood is having a great season finishing at the top of the line at BSPS Area 5 and North of England Summer shows, just missing out on his HOYS ticket when finishing second at Lincolnshire Show.

Greys are notorious for stable stains that can be hard to shift so it is worth investing in a shampoo specifically developed for such issues. Cavalor Bianco Wash is brilliant at preparing grey coats for the show ring.
Once the coat is clean and shiny we would then recommend using a coat gloss spray to add lustre and sparkle.
Cavalor Star Shine helps to condition the coat and keep manes and tails moisturised and tangle free.
Top Tip
The more effort you make in the run up to the show, the more smooth your preparation will be and the better coats, manes and tails will stand out.

The Morning of the Competition
If time allows it is always better to plait up on the morning of the competition, to keep plaits looking their best. But if this must be done the night before, the best way to keep them in pristine condition is to use a lycra hood or body suit on your horse which not only protect the plaits but will also help to lay them.
When plaiting up, make sure that you have everything close to hand. An ideal solution is a plaiting apron, which has pockets to hold everything you need. Sewing in plaits gives the best results - they generally last longer and the thread can help tie in any stray hairs.
Again always think about keeping manes strong and healthy, a long season plaiting can easily leave manes thin and weak.
Our lightweight hunter, Under Attack, owned by Kay Sinclair-James has a naturally thinner mane so we take extra care when plaiting and also unplaiting as this can be when a lot of mane becomes loose.
In his three outings Under Attack has taken first place each time and qualified for HOYS at North of England Summer Show.
For the hooves, Cavalor PodoGuard helps maintain moisture and therefore elasticity in your show horse’s hooves to keep them in great condition. We also use Cavalor SoleMate to help keep their hooves from becoming sore during the warmer summer months.
Top Tip
Hooves that one day look strong and healthy can become brittle and cracked overnight. Be vigilant to keep them in the best of health. As the saying goes no hoof, no horse.

Keeping Cool Whatever the Occasion
Whether training at home or keeping cool at a show, just like humans, horses and ponies like nothing more than a good shower and was down to keep them cool.
Cavalor CoolSens provides a refreshing and well-deserved shower after a ride and there is nothing better than seeing the horses clean, contented and chilled in their stables.
The lightweight cob, Copenhagen owned by Rowena Stevenson likes nothing more than a good wash down and is another having a great year with three wins and two championships under his belt.
Similarly make sure you regularly check their legs for swelling or bruising before any minor conditions lead to something more serious. Products such as Cavalor Recup Gel to support tendon and muscle recovery by cooling them down and preventing stiffness are very valuable and are a key part of our daily routine.
Top Tip
Take time on a daily basis to check legs for lumps and bumps, and keep on top of any small niggles that can be prevented. You want to have fun with your show horse and get out competing.