How To Prepare for Indoor Finals

Qualifying for and attending indoor finals is a popular year-end goal for many riders. There are several ways you can prepare for these high-pressure events as a rider, trainer, manager, and groom to ensure a positive experience.

Pack Extra Layers for Your Horse and Yourself

It can be difficult to plan for fall weather as the temperatures tend to fluctuate. Oftentimes, especially at the beginning of the season, it is cold at night and fairly warm during the day. For this reason, you should bring lots of layers when packing for indoor finals. This is true for both you and your horse. Also, before packing your horse’s stable sheet and blanket, it is a good idea to make sure they have been washed recently and are in good repair.

(Did you know? BarnManager has a list feature so you can create packing lists and share them with your team.)

Focus on Flatwork

Photo by Jump Media

After spending all summer showing in large outdoor arenas it can be difficult to switch to smaller indoor rings. Making sure your horse is adjustable and really listening to your aids is important not just for equitation finals, but also for showing in the hunters and jumpers. Be sure to emphasize flatwork and adjustability in your rides to ensure you are ready to perform at your best in a tighter space.

Practice Past Courses

Practicing what you might see at indoor finals can help you feel more confident walking into the show ring. This can be helpful for equitation, hunters, and jumpers. Setting up equitation or jumper courses in your indoor similar to those from past years will help prepare you for the challenges the course designer might present at the show. For hunters, try to recreate the types of jumps and fill used in previous years in your own ring to familiarize both you and your horse with obstacles that are out of the ordinary.

Make a Schedule

Indoor finals take place during a busy time of year. Unlike the summer, kids are back in school, everyone is working, and the holidays are coming up. Also, indoor finals shows do not last for several weeks like some summer or winter circuits. This means they involve a lot of traveling, packing, and unpacking for both horses and riders. Planning out a detailed schedule can be extremely beneficial to managing all the moving parts required for these shows. Whether you are a rider, trainer, manager, or groom, having a plan of what your week will look like is essential.

For nonprofessional riders, it is also useful to map out specific parts of your day. For example, schedule times where you will concentrate on school or work in addition to parts of the day where you will focus on watching the competition and helping care for your horse and yourself. It is important to give yourself time to get into the right frame of mind to successfully compete. If you plan out a detailed daily schedule, you will feel more relaxed when it is time to compete.

Although trainers, managers, and grooms always create a daily plan when horse showing, this schedule is critical at indoor finals. The pressure and nerves at these shows run high so the more prepared you are, the more at ease and confident your riders will feel. For example, at indoor finals shows there are strict set orders of go. You should not only include the specific times that horses are showing in your schedule, but also build in times throughout the day to check in at the ring to see if everything is still running on time. These horse show days are often very long and exhausting, especially when they include night classes, so it can be easy to forget to do certain tasks. For this reason, be sure to plan out when horses will be lunged, ridden, prepared, bathed, dressed to go to the ring, and taken care of afterward so nothing is missed.

(Did you know? BarnManager has a digital whiteboard feature so you can easily create a daily schedule and share it. Users can also use the messaging feature to update the entire team on any schedule changes.)

Plan Out Your Goals

Photo by Jump Media

The indoor finals horse shows are very prestigious events that come with a lot of pressure. As a rider, trainer, manager, or groom, it is important to decide on a few specific and realistic goals. It is easy to get a little awestruck and overwhelmed at these events while you are surrounded by many of the country’s top riders, horses, trainers, managers, and grooms. Having defined goals in mind can help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish.

Indoor finals require a lot of practicing, scheduling, and preparing both leading up to the show and at the event. Although this time of year can be stressful, try to remember to have fun and view the shows as a learning experience.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Must-Watch Live Streams in August

As the summer show season begins to wrap up, there are several exciting events slated for August. Continue reading to find out where you can watch the top show jumping, hunter, equitation, dressage, and eventing competitions this month.

ECCO Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) World Championships:

August 6-14, 2022 – This year’s FEI World Championships will take place at EquiPark in Herning, Denmark. The championship will showcase dressage, show jumping, vaulting, and para dressage competition. The best horse-and-rider combinations from close to 70 nations will provide top-level competition. The event schedule for each discipline can be found on Longines Timing.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

FEI North American Youth Championships:

August 8-13, 2022 – The 2022 FEI North American Youth Championsships will take place during the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival week VI at Flintfields Horse Park in Williamsburg, MI. The horse show will feature both show jumping and dressage competition. Children, juniors, and young riders will have the opportunity to compete in a championship format. During this show, riders are able to show in a team event as well as individually.

Where to watch: USEF Network or ClipMyHorse.TV

US Equestrian (USEF) Pony Finals Presented by Honor Hill Farm:

August 9-14, 2022 – Watch the country’s best ponies compete at the 2022 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farm. The event takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The competition will feature the Regular Pony Hunter USEF Championship, the Green Pony Hunter USEF Championship, and the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal Finals.

Where to watch: USEF Network

Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) London:

August 19-21, 2022 – LGCT London will take place at Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, England. The show will include two-star, five-star, and Global Champions League show jumping competition. The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London will be the highlight event, taking place on Saturday, August 20.

Where to watch: GCTV

United States Dressage Festival of Champions:

August 22-28, 2022 – The 2022 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions will take place at HITS Chicago at Lamplight Equestrian in Wayne, IL. The event showcases top dressage horse-and-rider combinations in 16 different divisions, including the USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals.

Where to watch: USEF Network

World Equestrian Center – Ocala Dressage XV:

August 27-28, 2022 – Dressage riders will take center stage at World Equestrian Center – Ocala during the Dressage XV show in Ocala, FL. This event will be a national show and also serve as an official qualifying competition for the 2022 Great American/United States Dressage Federation Regional Championship.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

MARS Great Meadow International:

August 26-28, 2022 – The MARS Great Meadow International event is held at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA. This competition highlights high-performance eventing and has been selected as the final preparatory trial for the team representing the United States at the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championships in Italy on September 14-18, 2022.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Must-Watch Live Streams in May

Before some of the major summer horse shows begin, the month of May includes several exciting hunter, jumper, equitation, eventing, and dressage competitions both nationally and internationally. Learn about some of BarnManager’s favorite upcoming horse shows and where to watch them no matter where you find yourself this month.

Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association National Championship: May 5-8, 2022 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship takes place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA. Collegiate riders who have qualified for the championship will compete in Hunter Seat and Western classes.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

International Jumping de La Baule: May 5-8, 2022 – This international competition takes place in La Baule, France, and includes five-star show jumping competition. The two main classes will be the Nations Cup – Ville de La Baule on Friday, May 6, and the Rolex Grand Prix Ville de La Baule on Sunday, May 8.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

Marbach International Horse Trials: May 8-10, 2022 – The Marbach International Horse Trials are held in Marbach, Germany, at one of the oldest stud farms in the world, The Marbach Stud. This event will have both four-star and two-star eventing competition.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival: May 11-14, 2022 – The I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival will take place in Hickstead, England. The show has three arenas featuring international top-level dressage competition.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Madrid: May 13-15, 2022 – The Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Madrid is the first European event on the circuit. The show is held at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. LGCT Madrid will have an international field of show jumping horse and rider combinations and feature Global Champions League competition on a beautiful grass arena.

Where to watch: GCTV

Old Salem Farm Spring Show Week II: May 17-22, 2022 – The second week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Show in North Salem, NY, includes hunter, jumper, and equitation competition. The show will be a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) event and also offer four-star show jumping classes. Junior equitation riders will compete for the top prize in the Governor’s Perpetual Hunt Seat Cup.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

Devon Horse Show and Country Fair: May 26-June 5, 2022 – The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is one of the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competitions in the United States. Located in Devon, PA, this event will showcase some of the best hunter, jumper, and equitation competition in the country. Thursday, June 2, will feature two highlight classes, the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon.

Where to watch: USEF Network

 

 

 

Must-Watch Live Streams in April

The spring horse show season promises an exciting lineup of events to enjoy starting in April. Continue reading to find out where you can watch some of the biggest jumping, eventing, and dressage competitions for the month.

$500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF): April 2, 2022 – The highlight show jumping event of WEF is the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*. This will take place on the derby field at Equestrian Village in Wellington, FL.

Where to watch: Wellington International

FEI World Cup™ Finals: April 6-10, 2022 – The 2022 FEI World Cup™ Finals for dressage and show jumping will take in Leipzig, Germany. The dressage team will include Anna Buffini and Ashley Holzer. Misti Cassar, Katie Dinan, Margie Engle, Hunter Holloway, Schuyler Riley, Aaron Vale, Kristen Vanderveen, Alessandra Volpi, and McLain Ward will represent the U.S. Jumping team.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Week III: April 6-10, 2022 – The final week of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, located in Katy, TX, features hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. There will be two grand prix classes taking place Thursday, April 7, and Saturday, April 9. Additionally, there will be a National and an International Hunter Derby held on Friday, April 8.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship: April 14-16, 2022 – The NCEA National Championship is a competition for collegiate riders. It will be held at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. Riders competing in the jumping seat discipline are judged over fences and on the flat. Western riders compete in reining and horsemanship events.

Where to watch: Horse & Country

World Equestrian Center – Ocala Dressage III: April 14-16, 2022 – Dressage riders will take the spotlight at World Equestrian – Center Ocala during the Dressage III CDI3* show in Ocala, FL. It is also a USEF/USDF-sanctioned Level 5 competition. The CDI classes will be held in the Grand Arena, with the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* under the lights on Friday, April 15.

Where to watch: ClipMyHorse.TV

Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Miami Beach: April 14-16, 2022 – This beautiful show features five-star, two-star, and Global Champions League show jumping competition right on the beach in Miami, FL. The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach will be the highlight event, taking place Saturday, April 16.

Where to watch: GCTV

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event: April 28-May 1, 2022 – During the last week of April, five-star eventing competition will take place at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. It is held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. The dressage phase will begin on Thursday, April 28, and continue to Friday, April 29. Riders will test out the cross-country course on Saturday, April 30, and show jumping takes place on Sunday, May 1.

Where to watch: USEF Network

 

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Seven Exercises To Develop Your Equitation Skills This Finals Season

Seven Exercises To Develop Your Equitation Skills This Finals Season

We have all seen the pictures of the technical and impressive courses that the top equitation trainers set up to prepare for equitation finals, but what are some of the simpler ways you can do this yourself? Here are some tips to get you and your horse at the top of your game even if you are staying home this fall.

1. Cavaletti Work

Setting up a line of cavaletti is a great way to practice collecting and lengthening your horse’s stride. Cavaletti poles are easy to set up in a gymnastics pattern, which can help the rider’s balance and position.

You can set up a variety of exercises, like trot rails, bounces, one-strides, or a combination of these.

2. Bending Lines

Almost every equitation final course has at least one bending line. Setting up a bending line and learning to ride both the inside and outside track by adding or taking out strides is a great way to practice for future, more technical, courses. Riders can also practice holding the lead their horse lands on through the bending line. If you are unsure of what types of lines to set up, check out some past equitation finals courses for reference here: https://www.medalmaclay.com/equitation-courses

3. Practice Your Leads

Riders are often asked to canter fences on specific leads or show a change of lead while in an equitation test. This is a skill that is perfect to learn and practice at home. Making sure that your horse is in tune with your cues is essential. Horses can sometimes get a little anxious about picking up the counter canter, so executing a calm and smooth transition is key. All horses have a stronger direction, but working your horse equally so that they are as comfortable and strong as possible on both leads is helpful.

Additionally, it is important to be able to ask your horse to land on specific leads after a fence. Having the ability to land on different leads may help you in a test where the judge has asked riders to counter canter the next fence. Knowing how to land on the correct lead in a bending line can reduce the chance of your horse doing a lead change in the middle of the line or swapping before the next jump.

4. Transitions

Another skill equitation riders are often asked to demonstrate in a test is a transition. This can include transitions between gaits and transitions within a gait. Riders may be asked to return to a walk in a test or show a change of lead through a downward transition. Practicing these types of transitions to make them as seamless as possible will definitely benefit you in the equitation ring as well as improve your riding in general.

5. Adjustability

Equitation riders have to know how to manage their horse’s canter stride while on course. For example, an equitation final course may have a short three-stride line directly to a more open three-stride line. Riders should make sure their horse is adjustable and listening to their aids in order to collect and lengthen strides quickly. Equitation courses often have tight turns where a rider must collect their horse’s stride in order to successfully follow the track. Some tests require hand galloping to a fence, in which case the rider must know how to lengthen and maintain their horse’s larger stride.

6. Fences on the Corner

Equitation courses often include fences placed on the corner or end of the ring, which are designed to come up quickly. These jumps are sometimes skinny fences, which adds an extra level of difficulty. Straightness and communication between you and your mount come into play with skinny jumps. Your horse may not always be expecting these types of fences, so practicing different tricky angles at home can help both you and your horse become used to them. Looking at past equitation final courses to get inspiration for where to place the fence is helpful here as well.

7. No-Stirrup Work

This tip goes without saying. Riding without stirrups can help build strength and improve balance. You never know when the judge will ask riders to drop their stirrups in a flat class or test! Although you may see the top equitation riders jumping without stirrups around a 3’6” course with ease, remember it takes time and practice to get there. Start by dropping your stirrups for part of your daily flatwork and then slowly increase the time. Similarly, begin by doing no-stirrup work over poles and then gradually start to add in small fences.

Even if you are not attending indoor finals this fall, these exercises are helpful in improving your equitation and getting you ready for the show ring!

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!