Smooth Sailing

Tips on preparing and planning for a stress-free trip to the show ring.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Don't let the stress of showing take your horse out of the winner's circle. Journal Photo.

Whether you'll be entering the show ring for the first time or returning after a hiatus, preparation is key for a successful and enjoyable competition season.

Sometimes even the simplest trip can be stressful. All trips can benefit from preparation and planning, helping to ensure you're ready when the truck and trailer reach the show grounds. Here are some ways to help make your show a success:

  • Equipment: One or two days before leaving, make sure all tack, clothing and grooming supplies are packed and on your trailer.
  • Paperwork: Be sure to bring current health certificates, proof of a negative Coggins test, and copies of association membership cards and registration papers. Right now, the Oklahoma state veterinarian is requiring a special statement on vesicular stomatitis for all horses traveling from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
  • Travel safety: Plan your travel route and timing early, allowing for traffic and any inclement weather.
  • Backup plan: Even if you are only traveling a short distance, check your emergency kit to be sure it includes necessary tools and medical supplies.

Start learning more about horse health, show tips, horse training and trail rides by reading America's Horse, one of AQHA members' favorite member benefits.

It's also important to make sure your horse is healthy and ready to compete. Even experienced show horses can be thrown off their game by the stresses of the show ring.

Such stresses can lead to equine stomach ulcers. In fact, the stress of training, traveling and competition can lead to stomach ulcers in as little as five days and can mean that all of your hard work and preparation may fall short of that blue ribbon.

Ulcergard (omeprazole) is the only product approved by the FDA for the prevention of stomach ulcers. The next time you anticipate a stressful situation for your horse, consider using Ulcergard. One daily dose of Ulcergard has been proven effective in preventing stomach ulcers over both short and long periods of time.

America's Horse, AQHA's award-winning magazine, is filled with informative articles that help you make the most of your experiences with horses, whether it's keeping them healthy, correcting behavioral problems or having fun on the trail.

Don't let the stress of showing this year take your horse out of the winner's circle. Ask your veterinarian about Ulcergard and make sure you -- and your horse -- are ready to bring your A-game.