Choose your first graded ride by looking through the handbook or the list of rides online, entries for a ride can be made online or sending in a ride entry form with a SAE. Send your entry in before the Ride Close Date, then a week before your ride, your ride details will arrive so that you can plan your journey and your ride. You should have your horse passport with you as the law requires but it probably will not be checked at the ride.
(Photo by Esther Young and Kerry Dawson)
Aim to arrive at the Venue a good 30-45 minutes before your vet time. Before you unload check in with the Secretary, take your membership card, horse registration and log book with your master card already filled in. Collect your numbered bib and check the notice board for any changes to the route or last minute rider instructions
Put out buckets of water and hay net up for your return. Put a bridle on or a controller head collar to ensure your horse is under control. Remove any bandages or travel boots. If cold or clipped leave the rug on. Put your numbered bib on!
Take your horse and vet sheet to the farrier for the
shoes to be checked. Then on to the vet who will ask you for your
vet sheet. Any rugs will need to be removed. He will take your horse’s
pulse, check his legs and back and then ask you to trot the horse up for approximately 30 metres and back. Hopefully all is well and you can start! They will keep the vet sheet ready for your return.
Walk back to the trailer and tack up. Put an emergency sticker on you and on your horse’s tack. Remember to take your map
case and map, talk round and mobile phone (on). Attach your drink and holder to your saddle if needed.
Walk to the start, the timekeeper will give you your start time make a note of this time. Set off quietly and try to ride at a consistent pace. You need to be riding between 8 and 15kph, around 10kph is a good target speed (ie a mixture of trotting and cantering, with not very much walking!) So 40k will take 4hours at 10kph.
On returning to the venue (finish) give the timekeeper your number, they will tell you your finishing time. Dismount and walk back to the trailer. You have up to 30 minutes to get the horse’s pulse down to below 64 - hopefully a lot lower. Untack and put head collar on, tie up to trailer. Offer him a drink but do not feed until after vetting.
Check the horse’s pulse then depending on the reading and the weather, pour or sponge water over neck, back and the big veins on the hind legs unless it is cold and wet!
Try and reduce his heart rate.
Check there are no stones in the horse’s feet. Keep checking the pulse and, when it is as low as you think you can get it, walk quietly to the vets for your final vetting; the same procedures will occur that happened at the beginning.
Remember you must present to the vet within 30 minutes or you will be eliminated. You may have to queue but, providing you have told the vet steward you are there, that is fine. You may need the 30 minutes to begin with but the sooner you can present with a low pulse the better.
After vetting go back to the trailer, feed, let your horse relax before loading.
Allow at least 30 minutes before going to the secretary for your mastercard, vet sheet, grade and rosette after your final vetting.
File your master card and vet sheet in your log book for safe keeping.
We hope you have a great time but remember if you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org