staying well while showing

It’s been a minute!

I just got back from my first show since the Palm Beach Derby this past March! I was so happy to get back into the ring and exercise that test-riding muscle again. As much as I love showing, the travel and busy days definitely disrupt my normal daily routine. It can be hard to stay oriented and focused on my own wellness away from my home-base. Showing in Florida, I was only five minutes down the road from my house, so I felt that I was able to maintain my healthy habits with more ease rather than working out of a hotel. It’s been over a year since I’ve shown outside of Wellington!

Showing last weekend was a great learning experience, not just for my riding, but also for my health. While my system isn’t perfect, it definitely helps me feel more energized, grounded, healthy, and internally organized. I thought since many of you are just getting into the ring again as well, these tips might help you too. 

1. Exercise Before You Go

working out at shows can be difficult, so take advantage of the time you have at home to stay on your exercise program. While I understand that mornings before shows can be hectic, I try hard to prioritize moving my body before long travel; whether it’s yoga, cardio, or muscle building.  

2.  Eat Smart 

The food provided at horse shows is often expensive, unhealthy, and unsatisfying.

I get so busy during the day that I often have to just resort to whatever is on hand. While okay in moderation, these convenience foods aren’t ideal for fueling my body for the long days of riding and working in the heat. I try my hardest to make sure that I have sources of protein, greens, and good fats whenever I can, even when I lack the resources to cook. 

3. Hydrate

I’m not sure who decided to put horse show season in the dead of summer, especially considering the manual labor, physical exertion of horse and rider, and layers of clothing we’re required to wear for our sport (good thing Annie’s jackets are lightweight!). It’s vital to stay hydrated at shows. As an avid coffee drinker who stalks the Hampton Inn coffee area like the Lululemon sales rack, I have to remind myself to always reach for water first. Drinking plenty of fluids promotes energy and regulates body temperature… always helpful during a show day. 

4. Use Excess Time Wisely

My trainer always uses the expression “hurry up and wait” to describe showing. It’s so true!

At times we’re rushing to get ready, other times we’re just sitting in front of our stalls watching riders go by. I find it helps me to make a list of things I’d like to do during the idle hours. Whether that’s school work, studying my tests, spending time with my horse, watching friends show, writing this blog…whatever feels beneficial. Sometimes checking Instagram and answering messages is what I deem most rewarding for that moment, but other times being productive takes priority. 

Until next time…