Tips for the Eventing Season

Tips for the Eventing Season

As we've entered into the Eventing Season Blue Chip are excited to share with you advice about the season and how to get the most out of the events that run till October. The equestrian sport sees a diverse range of disciplines that include dressage, showjumping and cross country. Dressage- Often described as the highest expression of horse training, where the horse and rider perform predetermined movements from memory. Riders use minimal movement in shows and appear relaxed and effort-free. It has also been described as 'Horse's Ballet'. Showjumping- Commonly seen at horse shows all over the world including the Olympics. Take a look at British Showjumping's website for more information.  Cross Country- An endurance test to prove speed and the ability to jump. Although it is one of the phases of eventing it is also a competition in it's own right. These can be found at lower level local events.    Competitions may be run as ODE's (One Day Event) or a 3DE (Three Day Event)     One Day Event All three events are completed in one day (dressage, followed by show jumping and then cross country)Dres Three Day Event More commonly run over four days Dressage on the first two days, cross country on the third day, and showjumping on the final day   Top Tips for First Time Eventers With such varied competitions Eventing Season can be slightly daunting for those just starting out. We spoke to Event Rider Becci Harrold who gave her top tips for a winning start.  "Visit local or international events to get the feel of what eventing is all about at different levels and what is expected." "Have weekly...
Show Condition & Equine Obesity

Show Condition & Equine Obesity

Feeding to optimize a horse's show condition can be a tricky process and involve a lot of skill. In the past horses have been so well conditioned by owners to the point of being unhealthily overweight. In fact, overweight horses have often been placed above healthy horses in competitions by judges, which contributes to the problem of owners striving to attain the award winning 'bigger is better' trait. For more information see Horse & Hound's article. Online forums have criticised the way in which showing and dressage competitions are judged. This criticism and debate has grown over the last few years that can be seen on the likes of Horse & Hound and  New Rider website forums. Comments often state that competitions promoting overweight horses and ponies is unacceptable. However, there is a thin line between achieving good condition and being overweight. But the attributes of these two different types of condition are different, and can be fatal for an overweight horse.  Good Condition Higher levels of stamina Ability to dissipate heat during exercise Efficient Respiratory System Ability to focus on the task at hand for longer Overweight Lack of enthusiasm Unhealthy Risks damage to tendons and joints Strain on the respiratory system Improving your horses condition Exercise Examine your horse either at a vets or by using a stethoscope to measure your horses heart beat per minute. They should have a resting rate of 35-42 beats per minute.After some moderate exercise let the horse cool own for 10-15 minutes before measuring their heart rate again.  A healthy horse will have their heart rate return to 35-42 BPM in which case exercise can be increased....
12 Top Tips for Doing a Good Show

12 Top Tips for Doing a Good Show

1 – Asses your horse’s strengths and weaknesses. Practise your show at home and see what works best for you and your horse. Keep it simple, keep it short. 2 – Listen to the judge or steward and be prepared to do a different show to the one you have practised if so requested. Watch what the competitors above you do. 3 – Be ready for your turn to do a show, make sure your horse is concentrating and is on the bit. 4 – Make sure your horse will stand still at the beginning and end of your show. 5 – If you have to stand in front of the judge before you start your show, ride up to where the judge is, don’t let them walk to you. 6 – If your horse does not move straight don’t trot straight towards or away from the judge. 7 – When at home make sure your horse will easily strike off on the correct leg in canter as soon as you ask him, but do not let him anticipate the change, he must wait for you to ask him. At all times he must stay nicely on the bit and not chuck his head around, or lean on you and open his mouth. 8 – It is more correct in a show to change the canter lead through three steps of trot, but if your horse has a fantastic trot, you may want to use this opportunity to show it off by trotting across the diagonal. 9 – Use the space available to you to the best advantage so...
Top Tips for Training a Show Horse

Top Tips for Training a Show Horse

1 – Training a show horse is no different to training any other kind of horse, know what you want to achieve and be very black and white with your horse, so he understands what you want. 2 – One of the best horse trainers in the world from the Swiss Knie Circus told me “The horse is never wrong; it is just that we have not explained it to him properly.” 3 – Repetition is the key to training any horse, once the horse understands what you want he will remember it. 4 – Reward your horse when he has done well, all animals learn more quickly when this method is used. A reward may not necessarily be in the form of a tit-bit, but may be by removing the pressure, for example letting your horse walk on a long rein. 5 – Take your time, some horses take a bit longer to learn than others. 6 – Go to a trainer or a professional show rider to give you some lessons. However good you are, you need a pair of eyes on the ground to help you improve. 7 – Go to one of the many showing clinics or to a training show. 8 – Take your horse to a dressage competition before the show season starts, it’s a nice, quiet way to get your horse going in the company of others whilst warming up, for your test. 9 – Your horse must learn to carry himself and work in a nice, light, steady contact. He must be responsive to the aids and be a pleasure to sit on, you will only achieve this through correct training....
Feeding for Show Condition

Feeding for Show Condition

Whilst it is important for your horse to be in perfect condition for the show ring, you must always be aware of them putting on too much condition and the associated links with laminitis and being overweight. Weight can be assessed accurately on a weigh-bridge, but if this is not possible then a weigh tape can be used. Weigh tapes are a good way to monitor any changes in your horse’s weight but are not totally accurate and have been found to be inaccurate by as much as fifty kilograms. Blue Chip Original is the perfect feed balancer for show horses and ponies and contains optimum levels of vitamins and minerals, to meet the daily requirement of your horse or pony. With a comprehensive hoof supplement, SoundHoof, that includes biotin, lysine and organic zinc, and a respiratory supplement with garlic, menthol and eucalyptus to maintain lung health and integrity, you will not need to feed any additional supplements. Original is enhanced with generous levels of oils, for fantastic skin and a glossy coat. Blue Chip Original, like all the balancers in the Blue Chip range is whole-cereal and molasses free, making it very low in sugar and starch and contains the revolutionary ingredients Nucleotides, which are the building block of DNA and RNA and are essential for cell replication. Many horses will not put condition on if they are stressed and this can be evident after taking your horse to a show for the first time, some horses may even go on hunger strike for a few days afterwards! To help your horse keep calm and settled whilst at home use Blue Chip Karma. The natural ingredients in Karma include the superior, water-soluble form of magnesium, known...

Top 10 Tips For Horse Show Competing

Improving your preparation and ‘ring craft’ at shows can really help to ‘catch the judge’s eye’ and wow them with that winning performance.  Blue Chip founder and successful show horse producer Clare Blaskey has an enviable track record in the show ring.  Clare has won the Best Trained Show Horse at the National Championships ten times.  To see her latest winning performance on I’m Blue Chip Too, visit http://www.bluechipfeed.com/best-trained/ Clare has been placed at many major top shows including HOYS, where Clare’s horses have competed almost every year since she was 5 years old. Clare has put together her top tips for horse showing from her wealth of experience, to help improve confidence and help you show off your horse or pony to their best.     1. Before you start the horse show competing season, take a young or novice horse to a horse dressage competition.  Your horse can experience travelling and working in with other horses in a similar situation to a show, it is also an ideal opportunity to practise loading and unloading your horse.  There is nothing more frustrating than finding you cannot get your horse on the lorry the morning of a show.   2. Try to let other people of different sizes ride your horse in preparation for the judge riding them.  This way your horse will get used to the feel and weight of different horse riders.   3. Practise riding your horse with different contacts i.e. a light contact and a firmer one, as each judge will ride slightly differently.  Also practise riding transitions so that your horse moves smoothly from...