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.
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.
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.
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.