hints and tips
- Learn how to pace your ride - work out times to checkpoints, for example, over a range of speeds. Make a table and attach it to your map/talkround.
- It is a good idea to practise taking the horse's pulse at home. Stethoscopes can be obtained quite cheaply either from a chemist or on the internet (try ebay),
- Make sure your horse is used to being handled all over before the ride, will allow you to check inside his mouth, and pick his feet up when asked.
- As part of the veterinary check you will be asked to trot away a certain distance, normally marked with a cone, and then trot back, to see if your horse is sound. When you trot up, make sure you give your horse plenty of lead rope. Run alongside the horse, so you do not obstruct the vet's view. At the turn stay on the outside of the horse, again so you do not obstruct the vet's view.
- Practise trotting up at home. Make sure your horse will trot out smartly alongside you and does not trail behind you.
- Essentials for your horse include tack; sweat sheets/ rugs as necessary; water buckets & water (most venues do not have a supply) and a haynet for the way home.
- Basic map reading - understand the map, look for specific landmarks that you will pass, eg church, cemetery, telephone box, school - this will help you to know where you are on the route.