Preparation is of course the foundation of success!
Dublin Horse Show is two weeks away and many people have already begun writing their packing lists! The Dublin Horse Show caters for many disciplines including showing, showjumping, in hand classes, and eventing (young event horse classes), but what is it all about, and how should you prepare your horse for it?
The preparation of each horse is no different in each discipline to that of a lightweight hunter, a maxi show cob, a showjumper, or a young event horse, and the most important element to performance is nutrition.
That’s our area of expertise and as we reach the final build-up, here’s your checklist for a perfect Dublin Horse Show performance, whatever your class:
1. Match feeding with workload
Care should be taken to not overload any animal with feed; there should be a level of fitness maintained and an air of caution to be implemented on having any show or competition animal too heavy, which can cause strain to the joints, inability to move with the desired amount of exuberance to show an animal at its best. Our brand partner Connolly’s RED MILLS are available to answer all your questions on feeding here.
2. Ensure your horse has enough energy
Performing on consecutive days can be tough on any horse and some might need additional support. Foran Equine Pre-Fuel Gel is a rapid energy paste with essential BCAA’s to maximise athletic performance, along with vitamin E, B vitamins and essential minerals to support optimal muscle function. Perfect for when significant athletic effort is required in one day. Couple with Foran Equine Refuel Gel, post-performance, for optimal recovery.
3. Manage horses focus and temperament
A rider wants to enjoy the moment, after all the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS is the pinnacle of many careers. Poor focus can have the effect of masking an equine athlete’s true ability, allowing talent to go to waste and causing much frustration! By supporting the nervous system and calming neural pathways during training and into competition, you can successfully redirect more of a horse’s mental energy into performance, so they can maximise their full potential.
Foran Equine Nutri-Calm liquid or gel helps maintain focus and concentration, containing calming neurotransmitter Serotonin (a precursor L-Tryptophan) as well as B-vitamins and magnesium to support the nervous system.
4. Get that Show Ring Shine
As most competition horses have reduced access to grazing and are usually fed a more cereal based diet additional omega 3 supplementation is beneficial. In the short term this will help to improved skin and coat condition, reduce skin allergies and anti-inflammation characteristics. Benefits of longer term feeding of omega 3 fatty acids are thought to include improved hoof quality and joint health, better respiratory health, and immune function.
Having gone to the effort of perfecting your horse’s diet and fine-tuning their exercise program, they may still need a little bit of help to build optimal topline or maybe you need to speed up the process in order to meet a deadline of a show such as the Dublin Horse Show? These types of horses will benefit from some extra support.
Hydrolysed plant protein supplements such as Foran Equine Muscle Prep can be enormously beneficial. Foran Equine Muscle Prep is an innovative liquid muscle-building supplement containing protein that has been pre-digested into amino acids, ready for direct absorption into the body. This readily absorbable, high-quality protein is especially useful for horses that struggle to develop or maintain topline. Foran Equine Muscle Prep provides the horse with all 10 essential amino acids they need. It also contains Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant to support muscle recovery, and B Vitamins, for optimum protein and energy utilisation.
6. Hydration is key!
Ensuring that your horse stays hydrated during the hectic week at the Dublin Horse Show can be a challenge, especially if we should be blessed with good weather. Just the stress of being in a different environment can be enough to keep horses sweating and sometimes not drinking either. Electrolytes, or salts, are essential minerals that are involved in keeping muscles and nerves functioning correctly. They are lost through sweating and can impact recovery and ongoing performance if they are not replaced.
During the competition season, daily in-feed supplementation such as Foran Equine Refuel Liquid can be beneficial to ensure a ready supply of these essential salts. Performance horses often benefit from the inclusion of electrolytes in their diet during stressful periods such as a competition.
Foran Equine Refuel Gel is a concentrated but perfectly balanced electrolyte gel with added B-Vitamins and antioxidants for optimal recovery, in a convenient, easily administered formulation. Ideal for use after competition
*Note: when using electrolyte products, drinking water should always be available
If you have any questions on supplementing your horse, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team here or drop by our stand at the Dublin Horse Show.