- Make sure your pony has a small drink between classes and has electrolytes added to feed or water at end of day. If your pony is reluctant to drink away from home, try adding a little apple juice to the water.
- Do not use any show sheen or oil as these stop the pony’s skin being able to breath and can cause dehydration or collapse. Lack of make-up will not change your ponies placing.
- Do not use baby oil or Vaseline on muzzle or eyes as this will burn the ponies skin and can cause peeling and hair loss.
- Only use light hoof oil and do not use the paint on-hoof polish as this also does not allow the horn to breathe and hooves will become brittle.
- Make sure ponies with pink skin on nose or dock have a good covering of 50 factor sun cream.
- Remember that the temperature in a stationary, closed horsebox or trailer can be 10 degrees higher than the outside temperature, so long as ponies will stand safely leave all ramps open.
- Limit the number of classes in which the same pony competes and those competing in Working Hunter or Performance Jumping should be mindful that there is no need to warm up over the practice jumps more than twice over each.
- The most important thing is to remember that your pony cannot tell you it is too hot, tired or thirsty until it is becoming stressed, so look after it before the needs of the rider, who can tell you he/she needs a drink!
The President of the The Irish Pony Society Philippa Mansergh