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Mama is worried about the rain.... first BN for her DD

The forecast says rain for the next four days and I wonder how I prepare my daughter and horse for a performance in the rain. I have searched prior post on slippery reins, tacky gloves, and just saw a post about wrapping stirrups in vet wrap. The thought of slippery stirrups scared me into writing this post wondering what else I may have missed in keeping her safe. We are new to horses and new to eventing.

Best way to keep her foot in the stirrup?
How to see in the rain? safety glasses?
tacky gloves?
I need to buy new reins as she just told me her present reins are to long and drape over her foot. Little pony plus short girl = shorter reins…

Other suggestions… clothes? rain jackets? hoods/neck? saddle covers? Keeping warm before or after the ride?

Do you do different things for dressage vs jumping? if the stirrups are wrapped is that OK for dressage?

Thank you for helping us prepare for a safe enjoyable HT.

Oh, she’ll be more wet than dangerous, don’t worry.
Rain coat, certainly. Safety glasses, not unless she wears glasses regularly.
Tacky gloves, definitely. This is a good thing for eventing generally - if not rain, there will be sweat. SSG makes good inexpensive ones.
DO buy her grippy reins that are the right size. Rubber are good but can be very bulky so I would be careful about the chunkiness of the rein.
And the best extra rain thing you could get is Saddle Tite or similar sticky spray (there’s one in an orange can with a German name – works great). Spray that on the inside of her boot where it contacts the saddle and she won’t slip at all.

Have fun!!!

So first things first: if it’s not fun, don’t go. If it’s pouring down rain, if it’s cold and deep mud, if the kid’s-and-pony aren’t going to enjoy it, there’s always another event. Seriously, talk with kid’s coach/trainer and don’t over think it.

That being said, I’ve had some of my best events in the rain. Most horses do just fine in it and couldn’t care less, and there’s always the scrappy pony who thinks making the biggest splash possible in the puddles is the Best Thing Ever. Some concrete suggestions for your questions:

Yes, you can wrap stirrups in vetrap, though depending on what kind of inserts she has in her stirrups already, she may have a non-slip surface there. I like these (http://www.doversaddlery.com/super-comfort-pads/p/X1-0752/ ) which wrap around your existing stirrup and zip-tie into place; others like the sandpaper or metal inserts (more like these: http://www.doversaddlery.com/supergrip-stirrup-pads/p/X1-0737/). I leave these pads on my stirrups all the time - they’re fine for dressage and jumping.

No need to buy new reins, just tie a knot in the end of hers. Will give her something to hang onto and will shorten them appropriately.

Jackets: I like a fitted rain shell that isn’t too noisy - think Patagonia style rather than big-and-crackly. Have the kid ride in it once or twice beforehand if she’s not already so she’s comfortable.

Gloves: I actually sometimes go bare hands in the rein as I feel like I have better purchase on the reins, but there are gloves that have either a tacky or a pebbly grip that some folks like. I find pure leather gloves to be way too slippery but most of the fabric ones are fine. The knot on the end of her reins is going to help her here too - keeps her from losing them even if her hands slip.

How to see in the rain? Well, if it’s raining so hard that she can’t see, suspect they’ll either suspend competition or you/her coach won’t send her out in it! Most of the time it’s really not an issue. If she wears glasses normally, she may want to think about some of the wipes you can get that can keep them from fogging up.

Staying warm afterwards? Throw a cooler or rain sheet over the pony and put it back on the trailer or in the stall to tack/untack. Throw a fleece over the kid. Apply hot chocolate to kid; hot coffee to adults. Repeat as necessary.

You’ll be great. She’ll be awesome. Have FUN.

Welcome to eventing!

Big deep breath for you, relax, and don’t make your daughter worried about rain.

Hopefully her coach/trainer is going over this in lessons when it is raining/inclement weather.

Your daughter will see in the rain at the show just like she sees in the rain when riding.

She can wear a rain coat over her coat, both for warm up and dressage/jumping. For XC, make sure her pinney is over her rain coat if she has one. Armbands go on the outer garment.

For BN there should be no need for studs, etc.

As far as stirrups, my students don’t make any changes. They already ride in safety or peacock stirrups.

It’s just rain - we are eventers, we ride in the rain!

And if she hasn’t been riding in the rain–shame on y’all.

Thank you for the wonderful advice. I feel much better about her ride this weekend.

Ready for fun and rain!

Also - just a personal opinion, but practice with whatever gear you plan to use. I have a personal rule that I never use anything for the first time in a competition.

Sometimes something new doesn’t work out as expected. You don’t want to find out that vetwrap on stirrups is a) falling off, b) a big distraction, or c) something else bad, on her canter from the start box to Fence #1. Same for new reins, gloves, etc. Make one ride at home the “new gear ride”, when and where you can take the time to make adjustments. :slight_smile:

Depending on the rain, of course, riding in the rain is not that big of a deal - or shouldn’t be. I agree that people should ride in the rain and find this out! Horses don’t care that much.

But - One big distraction the leather on many saddles can become sticky and very different from the usual if it gets quite wet. I don’t know what others use, but before a rainy outing I clean the saddle and use mink oil as a conditioner, instead of the usual conditioner. Mink oil repels the rain and keeps the leather from becoming sticky. It can make the saddle feel a bit differently, though, so that is another thing to try at home an know what to expect. Some tacky substance could go over that if you wish.

The Navy has what they call a shake-out cruise, and it’s a good habit with something as gear-intensive as eventing. Before a long sea voyage, the ship is outfitted and sailors prepared for everything as it is planned to be on the voyage. Then the ship and entire crew goes out for a short trip, a practice run, with the plan to let everything go wrong that can go wrong! It can be adjusted back in port, before they are out on open water for a long duration and it’s not so easy to run back to the tack room … :winkgrin: Especially if I am using new gear or haven’t competed in a while, I have a few rides with both self & horse outfitted exactly as I’m planning on competition day - just in case.

Part of what makes eventers eventers is riding in icky weather. I am not a fan of riding at all costs (and will scratch if the conditions are not appropriate for me and my horse…and that varies, depending on how experienced the horse is and what we’re trying to do), but I have ridden and been ground support in some pretty incredible weather.

Everyone has covered everything. The one thing I will add for after care is dry clothes for the kiddo…including dry underwear. Nothing worse than having dry clothes on and wet undies (or no undies, depending).

If the footing isn’t horrific and the rain isn’t bone numbing cold and kid is game, go and have fun! Remember, it’s BN. She doesn’t have to go fast, make tight turns, or jump anything complicated. She can trot if she needs to and still make time. It’ll be fun, and make her tough. Tough kids are cool.

SLOW DOWN. Now is a good chance to teach her to be mindful of her footing. She should be aware that wet grass is slippery, mud is slippery, galloping paths and take off/landing spots could be deep, etc. Educate her on the chance for injury or fall. On her course walk keep a watch for areas for concern and establish a plan that might be different from one in better weather.

Can she adjust her take off spot to avoid deep footing? Should she trot in a few places? Etc.

Welcome to the Mamas Whose Daughters Event Club! I don’t actually think there is one, but there should be!!!

My daughter did an event a few years ago in really horrible weather. It was our State Interschools Championships and we kept waiting for it to be cancelled! I remember driving to the venue thinking that we were nuts, the organisers were insane or both.

In the end, I let her go cross country because she was on a pony. And ponies tend to be pretty sure-footed and self-preservation is high on the their agendas. Daughter was under strict orders to ride according to conditions and not to make the time. They were fine, had a great run and made the time.

As someone else said, eventers seem to just get on with it. We went to a dressage comp a few weeks ago and it was very windy. One of the arenas blew apart and someone fell off. They cancelled the rest of the day! The eventers who were there were of the opinion that they could have just put some sandbags on the letters and continued. LoL

ozjb thanks for ending this thread on a light uplifting note. My smile will carry us this weekend. We are ready for fun, rain, and a great time with friends. All of the advice has been noted and we are prepared. Yea! Pine Top!!!

Nothing useful to add except that I am exceedingly jealous of your daughter competing already… Still thawing up here. :wink: best wishes for a super fun day and good luck!