Trot up time at Badminton is renowned for being the catwalk of the eventing world as all the riders don their finery and present their horses to the ground jury and vets.
While it appears to be all glamour and glitz, it is in fact a nerve wracking event for all the riders and grooms. Just the tiniest problem at this late stage can mean all the years of training and months of fitness are for nothing if the horse doesn’t pass. We’ve created this article on “Horse Show Preparation Tips” so you can avoid such horse eventing problems.
How to Make a Horse’s Coat Shine
While the riders don their glad rags the grooms are busy behind the scenes plaiting and polishing their charges so that they gleam at presentation time. Adding Kentucky Karron Oil to the feed every day before ever getting to the event reduces the amount of elbow grease required for that sparkling shine. Kentucky Karron Oil is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which aids digestion and muscle function but also is great to give horses a healthy, shiny coat. Read more about Kentucky Karron Oil performance benefits. Once the plaits are in and the quarter marks on its time for a final slick of Kentucky Hoof Oil and then off to the trot up.
The purpose of the trot up is of course to ensure the welfare and safety of the horses and the riders and to highlight any small problems that could become bigger problems during the course of the event. No rider wants to fail at the trot up stage but likewise no rider would want to jeopardise their horse by continuing if there is a problem. The first trot up is nerve-wracking but the trot up before the show jumping phase can be an incredibly tense part of the event. This is when any knocks and bangs that the horses have picked up on the cross country are highlighted.
What can Riders do to Maximise the Soundness of the Horse?
Preparation is of course the foundation of success. There are no shortcuts for fitness training and optimising the diet to build up the horse’s stamina and muscle strength. Adding Kentucky Karron Oil and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Selenium, found in V.S.L. and in Muscle Max, aid muscle development and recovery post exercise.
When it comes to the day(s) of the event there are a few things that will help to maintain soundness and ensure an incident free trot up.
What to Have in your Tack Box
Leg injuries are generally the most common cause of problems at the trot up but marks on the horse’s body also cause plenty deliberation amongst the ground jury. After the sweaty task of the cross country phase all horses need to be washed off. First with lots of water, just to get the horses core body temperature back down to normal. When the horse returns to the horsebox or stabling area they will need a proper wash with Cool-Off, this will remove all sweat and saddle marks that could become irritated overnight. Restore Cream can be applied to any nicks and grazes and accidental spur marks to reduce the irritation and promote healing.
Many eventing grooms will spend several hours cold hosing and icing legs to ensure that there is no inflammation or swelling. Products such as Arnica & Aloe Vera Leg Gel and Ice-Clay can cool and soothe tired legs reducing the time spent locating ice or queueing for the water.
Read up on how electrolytes are another key component of your kit going to an event!
Anti-doping measures are essential for all clean sports and eventing is no different. The anti-doping guidelines at national and FEI events are clearly stated and horses may be tested during or at the end of an event. All the Foran Equine products mentioned here are “S.A.F.E”. The Foran Equine S.A.F.E. mark of approval is awarded to a product only when we are certain that it contains no prohibited substances and is safe for use in competition horses.
Whether you are competing at 4* star or entry level having your horse well prepared and then maximising recovery will help to ensure that you have many successful events, whether your trot up is front of a ground jury or in your yard at home after a day competing. If you would like any further Horse Show Preparation Tips, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert equine team.