Widely acknowledged as one of the leading producers of young competition horses for both eventing and dressage, international rider Ruth Edge also trains a growing number of riders and as the season develops, she has a number of practical training tips that anyone can use to progress the training of a young horse.
Young Event Horses
1. Take your horse at his own pace, even though you might have an aim for your horse, if he’s not progressing as planned then rethink your plan to suit your horse.
2. Make sure that he is confident at home and schooling before you go to a show, so that with the extra atmosphere your horse is still confident about what he is doing.
3. With the extra travelling involved in taking your horse cross country schooling, to hunter trials, dressage and jumping shows you need to make sure he is properly hydrated and I routinely use the electrolyte product Restore-Lyte from Equine Products UK, as it also contains a carbohydrate energy source that assists performance and recovery.
4. Make sure you manage the horse’s plan to give him a chance to recover and rest, as he will get both mentally and physically tired.
5. Make things fun for him whilst educating him; variation is very important.
Young Dressage Horses
1. Take your time to establish the basics and remember to ensure each horse receives balanced nutritional support. Selenavite E, with 22 micronutrients, is my choice of supplement.
2. Vary a horse’s daily routine to keep him happy.
3. Plan your shows to educate him
slowly so he has a good experience, which means taking him to quiet shows to start with, where the warm up area is quiet to so he doesn’t get a fright with the other horses in the collecting arena.
4. Make use of your trainer as much as you are able to, as if your horse is started off correctly, he with be easier to produce in the long run.
5. Use the young horse classes as an education for him and don’t get offended if you are not placed as highly as you thought you should be. If you are pleased with his performance and progress that’s the most important thing, because after all, they are showing classes!!