Yazmin Pinchen gives her top tips for preparing your horse for the indoor competition season.ONE.Try and hire out an indoor arena prior to the show to have a practice and to help familiarise your horse to the arena.
TWO. Make sure you have good reactions from your horse before you go into the ring as the jumps can come up a lot quicker indoors. I find that doing lots of transitions when you ride around the arena helps to get a fast response and keep them concentrating on you and your aids.
THREE. Take into consideration if the venue has a gallery, you may want to ride your horse past it to get your horse used to it before the bell rings.
FOUR. Walk your course thoroughly on your own and then walk it with your trainer to keep focussed. It is always a good idea to walk the course several times so you are clear of your plan and know the corners you are going to ride.
FIVE. When you walk your first round make sure you also walk your jump off, you can then visualise and stride out the turns and any new distances.
SIX. Make sure you prepare your horse and have an appropriate fitness schedule in the lead up to the competition. If possible have a physiotherapist to treat your horse before the competition to ensure that its muscles are prepared.
SEVEN. In the warm up don't over jump your horse, keep their best jump for the competition arena. Indoor venues tend to have a smaller warm up arenas so be extra aware of other riders warming up.
EIGHT. Give yourself plenty of time to warm up and walk your horse thoroughly when you warm up to let them take in all the surroundings, keep them relaxed and focused.
NINE. Keep your warm up to what you would do at home, don't jump too big to help keep you and your horse stay confident.
TEN. Most importantly take a deep breath when you enter the competition arena and if you have a spooky horse just pat him, stay relaxed and enjoy yourself!