With the fun of the Christmas festivities over, we thought we’d blow away those winter blues with a chat with top professional groom and Fan Of The Brand, Kevin Witteveen.
In this interview, Kevin reveals how he prepares their string of horses for a show and shares his top tips for competition success.
1. How do you prepare the horses for a show?
The horses we are taking will always be jumped at home, or taken to a training venue a few days before leaving to go to a show, and I clip them one or two days before, to have them looking at their best.
2. How do you keep the horses healthy and sound during travel?
The horses all wear protective leg wear to protect them whilst travelling, I try to make regular stops to check them, give them water, feed them carrots and apples and make sure they are not too hot or cold. I’ll also refill the hay-nets to keep them occupied during the trip.
3. How do you keep the horses calm in a busy warm up arena?
I always try not to rush the preparation before going to the ring. If I’m rushing and stressing, the horses pick up on it so it’s important for me – and them – to keep calm. The same goes for the warm up. We try not to rush the warm up, giving them time between flat work and jumping to take a breath and relax.
4. Have you got a couple of top tips to pass on, for turning out the horses so beautifully?
I always allow myself time to prepare the horses properly, so being organised is probably my best tip. My second tip is using the Renwick & Sons Grooming Kits. These brushes produce an outstanding finish, are fantastic to hold and use and really improve your daily grooming routine: better results in less time and the horses, even the sensitive skinned horses love being brushed with this kit.
5. What is your secret to being organised?
Having a plan and good team work.
6. What do you think are the keys to keeping them healthy and happy at a competition?
Routine. So that means giving them their regular feed and trying to maintain their usual feeding times; and getting them out of the stalls for a walk and hand grazing to give them time to relax.
Plan ahead for the competition season with our top tips and advice in Are You Competition Ready blog.Back to Journal