The Life Of A Competition Horse

The life of a competition horse is just like an athlete. It involves the same principles when it comes to conditioning the body to be fit enough to compete. Of course, horses should be treated differently – after all, they are still animals. They do not have the capabilities to follow the right disciplines that will help them during show jumping competitions. This is why you need to take on the responsibility yourself.

The thing about show jumping horses is that you need their physical bodies to be in top shape. They are doing the jump – you are just guiding them. Your coordination as a team is important but the horse’s fitness will determine if you can both make the jump or not.

How to care for your competition horse

So how do you care for a competition horse? As mentioned, the principles and disciplines are practically the same as an athlete. You need to make sure they spend adequate time practising. The horse should also get the right amount of nutrition. Rest, obviously, is just as important as the training.

There are so many things to consider when taking care of your horse. Here are some of the most important ones.

Right nutrition

This should be on top of your list. Practise and training may be responsible for honing the skill of the horse – but it is the nutrition that you put inside its body that will fuel their performance. Take special note of the calorie intake of your horse. They need to have enough to burn as they train. Among the things they need includes high fat, starch diets, antioxidants, minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc. You can get these from performance horse feeds. Apart from that, you have to make sure your competition horse has enough grain and hay in their diet. Electrolytes will also be needed – especially when the horse is training very hard. Take note that the intake should be appropriate for the activity that the horse will go through during the day.

Fitness training

Athletes need to train day in and day out. The same is true for horses. Even if there is no competition on the horizon, you have to make sure that you give the horse a workout. The level of fitness must be maintained. That way, when there is an event, it will not be too hard to get them back into shape. Make sure you have a conditioning and training schedule for your competition horse. It does not have to be as aggressive as when there is an upcoming competition – but there has to be an activity to keep them in shape.

Proper grooming

This specifically refers to the hooves of the horse – but obviously, grooming is important regardless if the horse is competing or not. But for performance horses, you need to make sure their hooves are taken cared of. Make sure your the hooves of your horse gets enough attention and care. This can cause your horse a serious leg injury if you do not take care of it.

The daily habits of a competition horse will depend on whether it will compete or not. But one thing is for sure, you have to continually bond with your horse. That is probably more important than the training that what you will give them.

webmaster / 8 januari, 2018 / Show Jumping

Riding Is Not Cheap

If there is one thing you need to know about show jumping, riding is not cheap! You really need to have the finances to pursue this sport because it will cost you a lot of money. From caring for your horse to paying for their lodging, and all the accessories needed to help them perform well in competitions – all of these costs add up.

The livery will cost you between £5,000 to £7,000 a year. The vet will be less than £100 and other healthcare and grooming needs will cost around £600 to £1,400. Extras and accessories will add to the growing cost.

As you can see, riding is not cheap. And I am feeling that right at this very moment.

Buying a saddle for my horse

When I was training with Hope a couple of days ago, I noticed that we are in dire need of a new saddle. I have been training her so I can ride her in future show jumping events. Midnight had always been on my team and I felt like Hope had to have her time to shine.

But I realised that I need to buy Hope a new saddle before I can really go deep into our training.

Buying a saddle will cost me around £400 to £3,000 – depending on what I will buy. I am thinking of buying a used saddle. But I am having second thoughts about it. Midnight’s saddle was new so I am not really sure how wise it really is to buy a used saddle. I bought his for $3,400. But then again, if the saddle is in good condition and manufactured by a known brand, then buying used may not be so bad after all. I am really torn about this so I think I need to look for more options.

I will take all the savings that I can. I need to reserve my funds because riding is not cheap and Hope still has a long way to go in training. But I really need to decide as soon as possible because the saddle I am using for Hope is not really the best fit. What do you think? Care to send me your thoughts?

webmaster / 7 januari, 2018 / Show Jumping

About My Own Competition Career

My competition career as a show jumper is not yet as advanced as I would like to brag. But I know that I am getting there. The thing about show jumping is you cannot really rush it. I would rather go one level at a time – making sure that my horse, Midnight and I can adjust to each of them well.

About my experiences competing as a show jumper

There are actually 6 different core eventing levels to consider if you will compete in show jumping in Britain. All of these events are organised by the British Eventing. I was only able to compete in the first two of the easiest levels.

BE80(T)

The 80 stands for the maximum height of the fence that you and the horse will jump through – which is 80cm. There is also the two fences that are part of the show jumping course that is 85cm high. The (T) represents training. That means during the even, there will be an accredited BE coach who will give you guidance – if you want to have it. If you will be competing for the first time, this is the best level for you to start with. Of course, this still requires you to practise so both you and your horse are fit to compete. It is best to practise the 85cm. When I first competed, Midnight and I failed at the 85cm fence. But over time, we were able to make the jump and we were able to consider moving up to take my competition career to another level.

BE90

This is the highest level that you can compete in as a newbie in show jumping. There are still a couple of requirements that you need to meet to be able to qualify to join. The maximum height for this event is 90cm. When Midnight and I were able to clear the 85cm, we tried the 90cm and it was easier for the both of us to make it. Of course, I knew better and I practised the 95cm – which was the highest height for the show jumping course. I am proud to say that we were able to clear that jump on our first try.

Other levels in show jumping

Apart from the two that I have joined, there are other levels that you may want to get to know.

  • In this event, the fence goes as high as 100cm – and 105cm for show jumping courses. If you can compete in BE90, you can opt to join this level – but you need experience first.
  • In this level, the fences are 1.10 metres high, with the courses having fence heights of up to 1.15 metres. If you want to take your competition career to the next level, this is one of the events that you should consider joining.
  • The fence height is 1.20 metres with the courses being as high as 1.25 metres. The pace, the course, the testing lines, and trickier questions all make this challenging.
  • This is the highest when it comes to BE competitions. The maximum fence level is 1.25 metres and 1.30 metres for courses.

Of course, there are other levels that you have to learn – but only if you want to pursue an international competition career. I am not really sure I am ready for that just yet. But it would be a dream to be able to compete and be recognised for it internationally.

webmaster / 4 januari, 2018 / Show Jumping

A Visit To The Hippodrome Casino

Let me tell you about our trip to the Hippodrome Casino.

My friends and I went to London for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Well, it was not really relaxing because all of us were in it for the adventure. A break from the usual routine is always nice, right?

On our first night there, we wanted to hang out and we were supposed to go clubbing. However, the club that we wanted to visit was too packed to our liking so we decided to bail and head somewhere else.

Somehow, we ended up going to a casino. And not just any casino, if I may add.

A trip to the Hippodrome Casino

The Hippodrome Casino is one of the largest and popular casinos in London. It is located on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Cranbourn Street. The name Hippodrome is actually an old term that refers to venues used to stage horse races. When I found out about that bit of information, you can bet how ecstatic I was.

As a casino, the Hippodrome has everything that you can hope for. It has three floors filled with gaming possibilities. The main gaming area has a central bar. Everything in this area is actually quite impressive – probably because of the high ceiling that is reminiscent of the days when this place was a theatre.

Before heading out to the main gaming area, my friends and I decided to hang out at the cocktail bar on the third floor for a while. We had our fill of the drinks before heading out to gamble the night away.

Betting on horses and playing casino

What I love most about the Hippodrome Casino is the off-course gambling on horses. That is why I dropped off my friends in the gaming area and headed out to the Heliot Lounge to bet on racing events. There were a couple of options to bet and I can say that I had a great time making choices.

I did win some money but it was not enough to really make me brag. After a couple of bets, I went off to find my friends.

Looking around the casino, I found a lot of table games that I knew how to play. These included Roulette and Blackjack. I am not really a fan of Poker but I could see that a lot of people were crowding around it. After a couple of rounds playing Blackjack, I shifted my attention to the Roulette table. I got tired of that and went out to look for some of my friends.

I found a couple of them playing electronic games and slots and that is where I stayed for the rest of the night. If I am honest with myself, I am happy that we ended up spending the night playing at the Hippodrome Casino. The fact that we all won that night was just an added bonus.

webmaster / 2 januari, 2018 / Other

A Summary Of My Competition Year

Let me tell you about my competition year. Although I have been very passionate about horse riding since I was small, I was only into show jumping for a couple of years. I really became serious about it when I got Midnight and started training him. I have since started to join competitions – and we are improving slowly but surely.

Admittedly, this year was not as eventful as I would have liked. I was only able to join two events this year and none of them were really fruitful. I guess I need to step up my game for next year.

How my competitions ranked this year

I joined two events through the British Showjumping Association. The first is the Discovery Competition with a maximum of 1.00 metres and the Newcomers 1.10 metres.

In both of these events, I used Midnight as my partner. As I mentioned in another article, I am still training Hope. If we stick to our schedule and if she is able to sustain the improvement in her skills, I should be able to team up with her for competitions next year. But for this year, it was usually just Midnight and me.

While Midnight and I were able to qualify for the major event, we were not able to place. I think I pushed Midnight too far. In my last competition year, Midnight was able to help me win an award. But this year, our cards were just not in our favour, I guess. All the more reason for me to be aggressive in training with Hope.

I will no longer join events for the rest of the year but I have plans of watching a couple of show jumping events – one in Olympia this December and another in Liverpool.

My plans for next year

My plans for the next year is to make Hope join a lot more competitions. This is why I need to stick to our training schedule.

When it comes to the events, I have not yet decided where we will join. I am thinking about joining the Blue Chip Championships in April of next year. It will be held in Hartpury, Glos. There is another event in June that I think I can join – the Bolesworth show jumping event in June of 2018. It will be held in Chester, Cheshire.

If everything goes well, I should be able to include Hope in these events. I really want her to start competing. Hopefully, my competition year in 2018 will be more fruitful and rewarding than this year.

webmaster / 1 januari, 2018 / Show Jumping

The Horses We Never Forget

There is always that one horse we never forget. For me, I have three horses that I will never forget. When I started to become passionate about horses, I did my research about the most famous ones. I have found three that I thought was really memorable. It was not just because of their achievements, but also the lives that these horses lived that made them really special for me.

Famous horses in show jumping

Here are the three horses that I cannot forget – and I hope the world does not forget about them too.

Milton

Also known as “Marius Silver Jubilee” was foaled in 1977 and he passed in 1999. He was one of the most successful show jumping horse during his time. He was mostly ridden by John Whitaker. Milton was a grey gelding and he stood 66 inches and 168 cm. Both paternal and maternal sides come from a line of sports horses. In his youth, Milton was ridden by Caroline Bradley. She believes he would be her Olympic mount and trained him until she passed in 1983. In 1985, Milton entered the international competition arena with John Whitaker as his rider. This started his career that held a lot of international victories. He was the first horse to win more than £1 million worth of prize money.

Hickstead

This stallion was ridden by Eric Lamaze – a Canadian rider. He was foaled in Belgium back in 1996 and he passed in 2011. Torrey Pines and Ashland Stables Inc owns Hickstead – who stands 64 inches and 163 cm. With his rider, he was successful in getting an Olympic gold in show jumping. Throughout his career, this horse won up to $4 million. In 2010, Hickstead won the “Best Horse in the World” title. This was a year before he passed in 2011. He collapsed shortly after finishing a competition in Italy. It was believed that he died of an aortic rupture.

Foxhunter

This horse lived from 1940 to 1959 and was one of the best show jumping horse we never forget. He was ridden by Harry Llewellyn. His most famous event was the 1952 Summer Olympics where they won the only gold medal for Great Britain. They joined several events – including winning the King George V Gold Cup three times. He was the only horse to have gotten this feat. with 78 international titles across various competitions, Foxhunter is one of the best horses to have graced the show jumping arena.

What about you? Do you have that one horse that you will never forget?

webmaster / 30 december, 2017 / Horses, Show Jumping

Qualities Of A Good Show Jumping Horse

Are you planning to get a show jumping horse? There are specific qualities that you need to look for if you want it to be a good one. Take note that it is not the same as a riding horse. You need to look into specific qualities to help it perform well during competitions.

Qualities of a show jumping horse

Here are the three important qualities that you should look for when getting a horse that will excel in show jumping events.

Shape and structure

This is also known as the conformation of the horse. It has a huge influence on how it will perform during competitions. You need to meet the minimum height of the horse. When determining the height, make sure to consider your own too. If you are tall, you might need a taller horse as well. Usually, a tall horse can easily jump taller fences – but there has been evidence of smaller ones can also do the same. It is all about the skill and practise. Among the other parts that you need to check are the legs too. It has to be straight and sturdy. The hooves should be well-trimmed and also uniformed. Make sure there are no signs of tendon injuries or even club feet. Finally, you should look for long and upright shoulders. These are needed to help them with their form as they jump fences.

Form while jumping or running

Before you buy a show jumping horse, make sure you ride it. You need to get a feel for how it jumps while you are on it. Of course, you also have to watch someone else do it so you can see how the horse jumps from afar. There are horses who are quite sloppy when jumping – while there are those who can do it naturally. Go for the latter because that means you do not have to spend too much time training it. You should also be cautious of how the horses react as they approach the fence. If their ear perks up or they look eager, that is a good sign. They have to appear focused and well aware of what they need to do – this is what will make them a good show jumper.

Experience

A horse with a good history and experience is always a good thing. If they have competed in the past, that is a good sign. It will help you determine the right strategy when it comes to training them. Not only that, if they remain eager to jump and seems to have fun while going through the obstacles, it will bode well for your future with that horse. If the horse has some competition history, take a look at the details of the difficulty level, placement, and demands. It will help you determine what the horse can do.

These are the three important qualities that you need to look for in a good show jumping horse. If everything checks out, then that could be the perfect horse for you.

webmaster / 27 december, 2017 / Horses, Show Jumping