Many riders are lucky enough to be based at a venue that is also a competition facility. I am lucky enough to be one of those riders and regularly take part in competitions based at my yard. There are many benefits to competing at home, the first thing I noticed is myself and my horse were much more relaxed as we know the environment, we are in. A second advantage is I have trained over all the fences at the stables and therefore there are no new jumps or spooky fillers to put us off.
In the video below you can see myself competing at home. Meanwhile this was one of the worst competitions rounds I’ve ever ridden; I was at home so felt much better. After the prize giving, I was able to dismount the horse and walk about 10m back to the stable.
If you are stabled somewhere that isn’t a competition venue, my advice would be to travel to one regularly and hire the arena. This way you and your horse get a feel for the jumps, arena and space before you go to compete. Hiring an arena isn’t usually too expensive (Around £30 an hour) and is well worth it as when it comes to competition day there is less chance of your horse being spooked. You will also be less nervous which your horse will pick up on meaning they will also be more relaxed.