Show season would appear to be making a come back with many local venues now opening their doors and welcoming an exciting trickle of events. The question is, are you ready?
For many of us COVID 19 meant a slightly more relaxed ridden regime. For some, it even meant shoes off and a spring break out for the Neds. While the break undoubtedly did everyone a little good, giving us and our horses time to relax, it will have almost certainly led to a reduced level in fitness and muscle loss as well as an increase in weight.
Prep, Prep & More Prep
Preparation is key, along with a good exercise and fitness program to ensure both you and your horse get back up to the required fitness levels for the opening of the event season and it should all start with the feet.
Make sure your horse or pony’s feet are trimmed and shod up to date. If they’ve had their shoes taken off for a mini holiday, then it would be worth speaking with your farrier about the best time to have them refitted i.e. before or after you bring them back into work.
You’ll also want to ensure your horse is completely sound before bringing back into work. This is something a vet visit would be beneficial for, ensuring all’s well. It’s always a good idea to have a general wellness checkup once or twice a year. After such an unexpected holiday however we’d say it’s crucial.
For many who’ve been put out to pasture, calorie intake has been reduced to reflect the drop in work rate. This will have helped prevent unnecessary weight gain although this can often prove harder for some than others. With work being reintroduced, it will of course be necessary to start looking at your horses nutrition and what’s needed. Think carefully about reintroducing their previous competition feed regime. Ensure it’s a ‘slowly but surely’ process. Do remember however that many horses in competition work do perfectly well on a high forage diet with the help of a simple balancer. Once again, this may be the perfect time to book in a visit with a nutritionist who can best advise on your particular horses needs, taking a look at their current condition and what their future work load will look like to advise on the best nutrition plan moving forward.
Is your horse up to date with dental visits and vaccinations? When was the last time your saddle was checked for the perfect fit? Has your horse changed shape since the beginning of COVID due to weight gain/loss or even natural growth as a youngster? All these are questions you’ll need to ask yourself before throwing on a saddle and jumping on but it needn’t be as daunting as it sounds. With the help and guidance of equestrian professionals, you can have your horse ready to begin their new fitness regime sooner than you think.
Rider Fitness Is Just As Important
If you’ve been lucky enough to keep your horse ticking over during lockdown then bringing them back into a full workload shouldn’t prove too much of a jump. You may however want to take a closer look at your own fitness. While you may still have been mucking out and riding, your regular day to day life will have likely changed completely taking your daily exercise level down far more than you may have realised.
While visiting gyms may not be possible right now, a few extra runs, fast paced walking and even some gentle yoga sessions during your week will help immensely. Where possible, weight training can provide a plethora of benefits too from fat loss to increase strength. This is most definitely something a fitness professional will be able to help with. Many are now offering online training sessions to help you stay fit without the worry of COVID-19.
Here at Vivendi Apparel however, we’ve provided a free downloadable PDF containing three at-home workouts for you to try that will help immeasurably in your journey back to full show season fitness.
Is Your Wardrobe Ready?
Last but not least, could your wardrobe do with a refresh? We have the hottest collection landing that not only includes our brand new silicone grip breeches, which we might add boasts British Dressage legal white breeches, but an amazing full zip show shirt guaranteed to steal the show.
With our brand new hoodie, ideal for covering up your show shirt before you hit the ring, as well as our amazing Climate Mesh Zip Jacket, it’s fair to say we have your new show season wardrobe covered.
For more information on our latest collection, head over to our presale page before the remaining items are once again priced at their regular RRP. Can you afford to miss out on these bargains?