Charlotte Dujardin offers four top tips to help you keep your horse relaxed in a competition environment.
- Some horses are anxious or nervous when they compete away from home, so as soon as you arrive, take your horse out of the lorry or trailer, tack him up and hack him around the showground for around 15 minutes on a loose rein.
- After he’s seen his new surroundings (and hopefully relaxed a little), untack him and put him back away again. This way, when you go to take him out a second time around, he should be more relaxed.
- If he’s still a little hot headed in the warm-up, try lateral movements such as leg-yield. If he spooks in the warm-up or outside the boards, let him take a brief look and pat and reassure him using your voice – don’t just grab the reins and kick on!
- You might want to try a calmer if your horse gets tense – I use Carl Hester’s Pro Mag Horse Calmer.