Expert advice on improving your turnout in prepartion for the spring showing season
The secret to success in the spring shows is to prepare early. Remember you will be competing against people who didn’t “rest up” after the summer season.
- If you have a “hairy”, decide either “to rug or to clip” and stick to your decision.
- If you clip, clip out totally or the coat will grow back at different lengths. Mountain and Moorland ponies should have their last clip in November.
- Make sure that you use a hood if you are rugging your pony up, whether he is clipped or not. If you don’t you will have a smooth body and a rough neck.
- You must keep a pony fed and in work if you expect him to excel in the ring. Dragging him in from a field, in an unfit and unmuscled will not result in rosettes.
- Feed little and often with non-heating feed for excitable mounts. A little pure vegetable oil improves the shine on the coat, as do probiotics.
- Lunging in loose side reins on a good surface for five minutes on each rein or long reining up hills will help develop muscle tone quicker than hacking.
- “Strap” your pony on his neck and buttocks to improve topline.
- Feeding from a bowl over the door will encourage the horse to stretch his neck muscles.
- Apply for show schedules early – many entries may close much earlier than you anticipate.