9 checks all riders should make before the start of the eventing season

There’s only just over a month until we’ll be galloping out of the start box again, so now’s the time to make those vital pre-season checks…

1. Stud holes — yes, we all hate them. If your horse wears studs, make sure you remember to get the holes put in at his last shoeing before your first event. And take the time to find your studs and clean and grease them if necessary.

2. If you are going affiliated and have decided to take the plunge away from day passes, have you registered your horse and is your own British Eventing membership up to date? Similarly, for international competitors, is your FEI paperwork in order?

3. Check that your lorry or trailer is clean, in safe working order and that your insurance and breakdown cover are up to date.

4. Have you replaced or mended anything you broke or lost at the end of last season? It’s easy to put kit away and promise you’ll buy one “next time I’m in a tack shop” or that you’ll stitch up that hole in your cross-country shirt on a long winter evening… and then forget about it entirely. Take a few moments to go through your kit and ensure nothing has fallen prey to moth holes or rot and give everything a dust off if necessary.

5. Have you read the 2019 rule book?

6. Make sure your horse’s vaccinations are up to date and comply with the rules under which you are competing, whether unaffiliated, BE or FEI.

7. Have you put the ballot dates of the events you want to compete at in your diary, so you’re not caught out having missed making that vital entry?

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8. Check your plaiting kit. It’s unfortunate to go out to plait at 8pm after work the Friday night before your first event to find a mouse has eaten all the cotton…

9. Make sure your horse insurance covers you for the level of competition you are aiming for, particularly if you are moving up a level.

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