We have had a good influx of show horses here at the Stables over the last few months. There are some definite perks to managing show horses: they are usually very good about settling in to a new routine, and are great about loading on trailers. There are some definite drawbacks: they can be very high-spirited and spooky, and are usually large enough and confident enough that they can be bossy.
I have recently purchased a horse that is being trained to be a junior show horse, but she came spookier than I'd like. The first thing I did was put her on a supplement called U-Shield, made by Choice of Champions. I have had amazing results with this particular supplement in preventing ulcers and helping horse calmly accept new surroundings and settle their minds. I gave her a month to settle in to her new surroundings. After that it was time to move past the barn sourness and spookiness. Our head trail guide played some with tarps (see picture above :), and she had to work all over the property, not just in arenas. She wanted to walk slightly ahead of me at all times, so we had ground training on basic manners.
I'm a big believer in my horses being exposed to many different situations, and creating a humble confidence in them that allows them to deal with circumstances positively and safely. Teaching all horses, even those that don't travel, to load is a good idea. Ensuring that your horse stands in cross-ties is healthy; they will need to at some point in their lives. Making sure that they are ok with clipping is a safe bet. We strive to make our kids well-rounded, so why stop there? I personally would like a horse that has an education in many different things: a true Renaissance Horse.