The winter equestrian circuit is just around the corner. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, getting yourself and your horse ready for the winter can be a challenge. If you are one of the lucky riders, grooms, or trainers migrating south to compete, we put together some tips for preparing for the long months ahead!
Protect Yourself and Your Horse from the Sun
As most people know, UV rays from extended sun exposure can severely damage your skin. It may be winter, but wearing plenty of sunscreen at all times is crucial to protecting yourself against painful burns and unsightly tan lines. Hats and visors can also help shield your face from the sun. Wearing an EquiVisor looks stylish while keeping the sun off your face and out of your eyes during your ride!
Horses and Sunburn:
Did you know your horse can get sunburned too? Pink noses are especially prone to burning because the skin has less pigment and therefore has less natural protection against the sun. A fly mask with an extended nose, such as the Crusader Fly Mask, can help reduce the risk of sunburns. There are also plenty of products containing zinc oxide, such as Cavalor’s Lurax, that can help soothe your horse’s painful skin if burning does occur. Fly sheets like the Amigo Bug Buster and the Amigo Evolution Fly Sheet combine fly and UV protection to help block out harmful rays but be sure to monitor your horse’s temperature to make sure he doesn’t overheat.
Fading Coats in the Sun:
Dark coats can also bleach out from prolonged sun exposure, stripping away that show-ready color and shine you worked so hard for! Supplements such as Black-As-Knight help promote a darker coat. Before you head south for the winter circuit, make sure you have Black-As-Knight Show Formula on hand. This product doesn’t contain paprika for a prohibited substance-free supplement you can use while competing.
Vaccinate, Vaccinate, Vaccinate
Diseases can spread quickly at shows where thousands of horses are living together from across the country. Keeping your horse up to date on necessary vaccines is crucial to keeping everyone’s horses healthy and protected. Every facility has their own rules and regulations regarding vaccinations. Usually, horses are required to have an EHV-1 vaccination within a certain number of months prior to arrival. While this is usually the only vaccine required to enter showgrounds, keeping up with other vaccines is equally important. Diseases can spread quickly in highly concentrated areas like shows, but FarmVet carries a wide variety of vaccines to keep your horse fully protected. Horses are also required to travel with proof of a negative Coggins test, which tests for Equine Infectious Anemia. Coggins certificates expire after one year, so make sure each horse has one that is up to date!
The Little Things…
There are some smaller things you can’t ever have enough of at shows. Little things are often forgotten or saved for the last minute, but we think the small stuff is important too! Braiding bands, seam rippers, and Quic Braid will always come in handy when horses need to be braided, unbraided, and re-braided several times. Double end snaps can be a quick fix for a variety of problems. Whether it’s a martingale that’s too short, a door that won’t stay shut, or even something as simple as hanging a bucket, these multipurpose snaps can come in handy where you least expect it! Finally, anyone in the horse show world knows there is no such thing as too many towels. Smaller grooming towels are perfect for last minute touch-ups at the ring or cleaning tack back at the barn. Make sure you have plenty of these and other small essentials ready for when you need them in a pinch!
In addition to our Wellington, FL Store & Pharmacy, we will also have our FarmVet Mobile Stores set up on the Wellington, Ocala, and Thermal Circuits.
Visit us at one of our locations to stock up on all your favorite products. You can find out all of our horse-show locations here!
Do you have any packing/preparing tips for fellow equestrians gearing up for winter circuits? Let us know in the comments!