How do I prepare my horse for the eventing season?    

With the eventing season fast approaching, now is the time to get yourself and your horse prepared over the next few months to ensure you’re both show ready. Here’s our sponsored rider Tamsin Drew’s top tips for preparing your horse for the event season.

2-minute read

Eventing Season Tip 1 - Plan your Season

Set up some realistic goals or horse events you want to aim for. Putting a plan together helps you focus on how to get there and what fitness and training you need to do to prepare. I usually put a short-term plan together, my first aim is Chatsworth International Horse Trials in May and I work backwards from there with an event plan.


Eventing Season Tip 2 - Event Scheduling

Plan ahead, know when horse events are open for entries and when they close. Some horse events are on a first come first serve basis, so put some reminders in your calendar. If you really want to attend a particular event you may need to enter straight after it opens! Also ensure you have back-up plans in case certain events don’t run or you don’t get in.

Eventing Season Tip 3 – Horse’s Fitness Plan

Plan ahead with fitness, know your horse and their fitness, for lower level riding 5 to 6 days with long cantering, hacking, jumping, schooling and lunging in the week may be enough. For Novice and above, I increase fitness and suppleness with trips to gallops and water treadmill for suppleness work. Show jumping training, local competitions and XC schooling are all important parts of getting your horse fit. Make sure its varied work and interesting to improve all round fitness.


Eventing Season Tip 4 - Be Prepared

Focus on each phase, prepare with training or local competitions. Use the run-up to the season to work on any weakness areas. My winter was focusing on our flatwork and hoping this will pay off when we start eventing.

Local show jumping shows and clear round show jumping days is a great way to improve your technique, or British Dressage to improve your scores. Competing at local shows is lower pressure and helps put all that winter training in practice without being in a ‘big’ competition.

Another top tip, learn your dressage test before the event, go through some of the movements at home, though not the whole test as your horse may anticipate the movements. Also ensure you know your test before you arrive on the event day.

Eventing Season Tip 5 - Plan your Eventing Day

Write a list of everything you need to have on the day. Check you have booked in stud holes (if you use studs) with your farrier. Check your stud box and studs are clean and ready. Check your air jacket, body protector and hats are in full working order. Make sure you’re British Eventing Legal - you can find details in the British Eventing rulebook online. You will need to have your hats re-tagged on event day this year, so leave extra time for this.

On the day - Leave plenty of time to arrive, leave extra time for delays, put a timetable together of your day, this will help keep the day calmer and structured. Leave time to walk the course both Cross Country and show jumping, know where you are going but also what you are doing at each fence.


Eventing Season Tip 6 - Enjoy your day and Good Luck

If you have planned and ticked all the preparation boxes your day should be smooth running so enjoy it! This is a hobby to most so win, lose or a training day, come home with a big smile and a pat for your horse. All levels have learnings, note some takeaways for homework and work on these before the next event.