Over the years, a lot of people have been quite vocal in expressing their doubts about equestrian being part of the prestigious Olympics, the greatest sports competition on Earth. However, there are quite a lot of reasons why it is perfect for the Olympics. Here are four of them:
1. Equestrian is a sport where men can compete with women.
In an equestrian competition, men compete with women and vice versa. All competitions are for both genders; there are no male or female categories. The competition is fair and square and respects both genders.
2. Equestrian also does not depend too much on the weight of its competitors.
In equestrian, anybody from any age group can join the show. Age diversity is a big thing in this event. In one event, the youngest rider can be 18 years old, while the oldest can be 70. And the best thing about this is that these two riders can compete against each other. This is one of the things that make equestrian an interesting and exciting Olympic event.
3. Every equestrian event is a visual feast.
From the outfits of the riders (complete with a tap hat) to the incredibly well-groomed horses to the dressed up venues. Everything is lively, exciting, and colorful. Photographers love taking action photos because they almost always come out as visually stunning. No other sport in the Olympics is as visually stunning as equestrian.
4. Equestrian is the only Olympic event where the horse is the star of the show.
No other Olympic event has animals in them, only equestrian. And instead of putting the limelight on the male and female riders alone, the horses share the limelight. In fact, the horses are the stars of the show. They always manage to steal the limelight from their human counterparts. Proof that equestrian horses are the kings in this Olympic event: they have their own psychologists!
Are you getting ready to join a horse show? Whether it is your first time or you’ve joined quite a number of equestrian competitions already, it is always better if you are prepared before embarking on a challenging activity. Here are some tips you can use to help you prepare for a horse show.
1. Prepare your horse by grooming him daily. It is better if you start early, like months before the show. Daily grooming will not only make your horse look good, but it will also improve his health. Likewise, the two of you will establish a strong emotional bond.
2. Feed your horse properly. Make your horse’s coat thicker and shinier by giving him feeds enhanced with essential nutrients. Feeding your horse some dried breadcrumbs will also be a big help. Likewise, be sure to take good care of your horse’s mane and tail. To make sure his tail does not get tangled in knots, braid it now and then. Regularly brush his mane and tail.
3. Your horse’s health is important. Aside from making sure he gets nutrients from his feeds, it is also important for you to regularly check his weight. Likewise, give him vitamins (ask your veterinarian for suggestions) and make sure he is free from worms and any illnesses.
4. A day before the competition, make sure that your horse is clean. Give your horse a good bath the day before the show. Be careful in applying the bath formula so that you don’t put some on the saddle and saddle pad. If this happens, you might slip from it on the day of the show.
5. Trim your horse’s fetlocks and long hairs. You need to regularly trim or clip your horse’s fetlocks and hairs, especially the ones that tend to cover his hooves. Doing this will help make your horse look more presentable. In case you want a full-body clipping for your horse, prepare to do it at least one or two weeks before the show. This is so that the oils that will dry out after the clipping will have enough time to come out and spread again. This will likewise help your horse’s hair grow back.
Jumping is one of the major activities of any equestrian event. As such, it is important for riders and horses to have strong endurance, be coordinated and well-trained. If you want to help improve your horse’s jumping skills, you can do so by checking out these simple tips:
Tip Number One: Build Confidence As Early As Possible
Make sure that your horse understands what you are asking him to do. For example, if your horse is still young, do not force him to jump over a puddle of water without first making him learn how to do it. Otherwise, he will refuse to do so because it is something new – and therefore scary – for him. Help him build confidence as early as possible. Train him to do some simple exercises every day. Once he gets used to them, he will understand what they are for and will slowly build confidence to do everything on his own.
Tip Number Two: Make Use of Flatwork Basics and Train Your Horse to Trot
Use the flat to properly warm up your horse. In addition to this, you should also train your horse in trotting. Once your horse gets used – and feels comfortable – trotting, he will be able to gauge fences before jumping easily. Trotting will also help him to relax and calm down whenever he approaches fences.
Tip Number Three: Do Not Teach Your Horse to Say No
While training your horse, do not show any indication that it is all right for him to refuse your request or command. For example, if you are training to jump (small jumps first) and pauses, as if questioning your command, do not allow him to turn away or to approach the fence again. What you should do instead is stay on and wait until your horse finally jumps over.
Tip Number Four: Find an Assistant to Help You Out
Training a horse on your own is not easy. Therefore, find someone who can help you on the ground. Having someone to assist you will make changing grids and lowering jumps easier.