As Summer creeps into Fall, many of us (and our horses) experience more fatigue from the show season. Frequent or extended time on the road combined with those late-season championships can have all of us tired and burnt out. Physical or mental fatigue can hinder performance and of course result in an unhappy horse. This is the last thing we want for our beloved horses! Here are some tips to help your horse stay happy and perform at their best even late into the show season.
1) Healthy Gut, Happy Horse
Months of traveling can wear on your horse’s gut health. The changing environments, weather, or routines are stressful, which can create some stomach discomfort. While any show horse should be on a daily supplement for gastrointestinal support, keep a watchful eye on your horse for any signs of an upset stomach.
Vitalize Alimend is one of our favorite options for daily gut health support. Vitalize Equine Gel, also from Biozyme, is a beneficial addition to the routine to help your horse rebound from trauma, illness, or performance-related exertion. This recovery gel can be administered before, during, or after an event – whenever your horse needs it most to treat acute gut discomfort.
Another gold standard treatment option for maintaining good gut health is Ulcergard from Boehringer Ingelheim. Ulcergard neutralizes stomach acid to help prevent the formation of gastric ulcers. Use Ulcergard in situations of discomfort or stress to protect your horse’s stomach.
2) Better Recovery, Better Performance
Your horse’s muscles may also be feeling the effects of a long show season. A supplement that promotes a better recovery can be the difference maker that you’re looking for.
Lactatec from Cavalor is designed to both prevent muscle fatigue and speed muscle recovery. It provides support for your horse’s muscles during activity and throughout recovery to help them perform at their peak and feel better after competition as well. Lactatec keeps muscles supple and helps your horse sustain peak performance for longer – just what you need for the late show season.
3) Calm The Nerves
You may already use a calmer regularly at the shows, but if not, it may be helpful to add in later in the season. As the season goes on, anticipation and anxiety may factor into your horse’s performance.
SynChill Pellets from SynNutra provide a natural way to ease anxiety and nervousness. The ingredients both encourage serotonin production and provide L-theanine, which helps calm the horse independent of serotonin. This two-pronged approach works to safely and effectively give you and your horse peace of mind during stressful events. It can be used daily at the show or just on the day of the performance.
4) Have A Therapy Session
No, we don’t mean the sit down with your therapist session; we’re talking about a session of PEMF, Red Light, or even Ice Therapy.
The RevitaVet Poll Cap is an excellent option for a show therapy session. It utilizes targeted red light therapy to address your horse’s autonomic nervous system through acupuncture points. Relieving sympathetic stress in your horse offers many benefits, including a calmer, more relaxed animal. The Poll Cap is very user-friendly and a convenient option while at a show.
PEMF therapy can also be highly beneficial while at the shows to aid recovery with reduced stiffness and inflammation. The Sport Innovations ProSeries 3-in-1 Blanket is a one-of-a-kind product that offers heat, massage, and PEMF therapy. With multiple settings available, utilize this blanket as a part of your warm-up or cool-down routine to keep your horse feeling its best, even late into the show season.
We have an extensive list of therapy options available at FarmVet. Stop by our store at the shows to ask our associates for more information on different therapy products or modalities, and to even set up a demo with some of the therapy equipment. Or browse our full selection of therapy products HERE!
5) Find Quiet Moments
Horse shows can be all about the go – going to tack up, going to train, going to show… But it is important to find and appreciate the quiet moments with your horse also! Take them out of their stall to go on a walk around the grounds, hand graze, or even just work on some light groundwork and lunging instead of an intense training session.
This Walsh Lunge Line with Chain is a 50ft nylon lunge line that will have you covered for all your horse show ground work, lunging, or grazing.
Every horse is different, so one of these scenarios may be more fitting than the other. Just find something to do with your horse that can help give them a break and time to recharge outside of the show ring. You’ll likely notice they need it as much as we do.
6) Provide Enrichment
Horse shows may seem like they are always “go time”, but they can be a lot of waiting, too. “Hurry up and wait” is how the saying goes, right? If your horse gets bored easily, provide enrichment to keep them happy in their stall. This can also be helpful for horses that are used to daily turnout that is unavailable while at the shows.
This Hay Ball Feeder provides a slow-feeding option that mimics grazing behavior. It will help your horse stay busy in their stall, and can also help stretch their topline muscles as they reach down to the ball.
For a stall treat, we love the Likit Granola Stall Ball. It is easy to set up in any stall while on the road, providing your horse with some tasty entertainment. The hard round granola treat provides hours of fun for your horse while also stimulating salivation, which helps buffer stomach acid too.
Shop more products for horse show season here. Or, you can shop all our products at FarmVet.com 24/7. You can also call one of our friendly Sales Associates at 1-888-837-3626 or email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you stocked up on your travel essentials? Read about our top things to have on hand before hauling your horse.