A high-performance horse isn’t something you can gain overnight—no matter how experienced your equine is. Whether you want the horse to become a powerhouse at competitions or to help out more around the ranch, there are more than a few things you can do to ensure that they perform at their best every day. Try some of these ways to improve your horse’s performance if you want to see them shine on a competition day, outpace other horses at a race, or simply do more work than before.
Build Endurance With Regular Trail Rides
Trailblazing is important for any type of horse, whether they’re a show horse or a workhorse. Not only will you build your horse’s endurance with each ride, but you’ll also make them happy and avoid the sometimes devastating horse boredom that comes with an uneventful routine. Plus, you get to spend some quality time outdoors and build your bond with your horse—altogether a win-win situation.
Whenever the weather is fair, ride out on a trail. Try to mix up which trail you ride on each time and make each ride longer than the next to build both your own and your horse’s endurance. Take a friend with you to help your horses build all-important social skills as you go along the trail.
Find a long stretch of trail or beach to practice gallops on for competition!
Clean Your Competition Stall
Every competition is different, and every competition facility prepares for visitors in their own unique ways. You can’t predict how thoroughly the previous residents cleaned out the performance stable the facility gives you, so it’s important to clean it yourself to prevent the spread of any illnesses that can affect your horse’s health.
If faculty haven’t cleaned the stall for you, make sure to clear all old bedding and replace it with your own. The horse will be uneasy in the new location, so a dust-free type of bedding can make a difference in their respiratory health—something you especially need to focus on during a competition, as dust and sickness can ruin your horse’s performance.
Running, walking, cantering, and trotting up and down hills are excellent, well-rounded ways to improve your horse’s performance no matter if they work, perform, or race. You’ll also build your skills as a rider by learning how to make yourself light for your horse rather than a heavyweight. If your horse needs more of a workout than just a flat trail or yard work, take them to a sturdy hill and practice going up and down. Start easy at first; you don’t want your horse to twist an ankle.