It’s incredible to think we are in June already,it seems like only yesterday we put the Christmas decorations away! The start of June signifies a real upsurge in the horse show season and from now until the end of September it’s hectic. When you are juggling horses,work and family it can seem like an uphill mountain,but I have five top tips to help you make the most of your summer. After all,it’ll soon be time to get those poxy Christmas decorations out of the attic so you need to make the most of it!
Of course all plans are subject to change,but having a list of shows or events that you hope to get to is the backbone of organising your summer. Start by identifying any unmissable dates of extreme importance-family occasions,holidays etc. Work with your trainer to identify your aims and goals for you and your horse,and look at the show calendar. Add into the mix your work schedule,and try to make sense of the now impossible looking list of dates. Wrestle it into order,and that’s your summer schedule sorted.
2) Breathe,relax,chill out!!
You MUST take time for you-organise the family,do what you need to do,throw the horse out in the field before waving everyone goodbye and cantering off for an afternoon. Hairdresser,shopping,swim,even have a nap in the lorry! Whatever you like to do but never can-do that. And enjoy it! Phone off,feet up. You need time and head space if you’re going to make the most of the show season.
It might seem like a pain to keep your horse’s mane and tail neat and tidy,heels trimmed etc and clean your tack after each use,but you will be so glad you did when you are rushing the night before an event,the family need you home and you are frantically plaiting,feeding and dreading your impending 3am start. Keep the lorry full of diesel,water,oil and also keèp tyres checked and cupboards stocked with non-perishables.Book your horsebox in for a vehicle check over at the start of the year and in the middle of the season as well. Keep your show gear in the lorry so the majority of your packing for an event is well taken care of in advance.
The most important thing you can do for you is stay hydrated,and that’s all day every day,at home and at a show. Even minor dehydration will turn your brain to utter mush-dressage tests will be forgotten,the preparation will collapse and you will set yourself up for failure. This can also apply at the end of a bad day in an alcoholic capacity-sometimes a G and T can ease the trauma of a wayward horse or annoying family member quite nicely,actually.
5) Say thank you to everyone!!
This might sound strange,but it can be an excellent tool. When you go to an event,say thank you to show secretaries,ring stewards and anyone who helps you. They are mostly there of their own free will,and so few people acknowledge their sizeable contribution to ensure you have a good and easy day at a show. They will remember you next time,that I can promise.
So all that’s left to do is to wish you a good and happy summer with your horses! Have fun,keep smiling and be kind to yourself.