Winter Horse Show Tips
Winter presents a challenge for horse owners, particularly those of us who continue to pack up the horse trailer and travel to indoor shows when the weather turns cold. Showing in winter requires more thorough grooming due to thick coats, or more thorough blanketing due to clipped coats. Regardless of your horse’s hair, there are a few winter horse show tips things to keep in mind that will make your winter show days much easier.
Winter Horse Show Tips
- Always carry a cooler, and an anti-sweat sheet
While bringing two layers might seem like a bit much, it’s hard to predict the weather and in many show venues are in big, open fields. Not only will a wool or fleece cooler help keep your horse warm while he dries, but layering it over top of an anti-sweat sheet will help speed up the process and ensure your horse does not get a chill.
- Bring extra hay
Have extra hay ready to keep your hay bags filled. Digesting hay constantly will keep your horse warm and happy while they stand in their stalls or on the trainer, even in the chilliest weather.
- Bring extra layers of clothes for you, too.
There’s nothing worse than standing around at a show with numb toes, wishing you had brought an extra pair of socks, or warmer boots to change into when your divisions were done for the day.
- Pack hand/toe warmers
Toe warmers and hand warmers are not just useful for keeping yourself warm in cold weather, but they also make fantastic bit warmers, too!
- Water is important
Make sure your horse is drinking water – oftentimes in colder weather, horses don’t want to drink as much. It is very important to keep encouraging them to drink. Sometimes warmer water will help, so if your horse does like warm water, you can bring an electric kettle or find hot water in the show barn to mix in.
- Support your horse’s legs
Make sure to pack something to support your horse’s legs when trailering, after the show, and especially if you have long breaks between classes. While traditional standing wraps can work, we love our Equiflexsleeves (of course!) as a quick and easy way to add and remove support in a flash.
- Enjoy company of family and friends
Thank your trainer, and if you have friends and family there, be sure to thank them, too! It’s one thing to stand around all day at a typical “hurry up and wait” show during pleasant weather, but to stick it out through frostbitten cheeks and frozen fingers is a sure way to see how much these people care about you and your horses’ success!
Good luck this winter, and don’t get too discouraged – spring and 60-70 degree days will be here before you know it!