Excursions into the countryside do not spell the end of learning with the mother. Attending different shows can also enrich the life of a foal, as long as the hectic activity usual at such events is not transferred to the youngsters. It may be sensible not to visit a horse show as a first outing as show classes can cause a great deal of stress for rider and horse. a great deal of stress for rider and horse. Taking a foal along in such a situation invariably increases the stress levels of the rider as well as those of the dam. This, in turn, will be transmitted directly to the psyche of the foal. The result will be that the foal will always associate horse shows with stress: a negative experience which should be avoided at all costs.
Attending a horse show is acceptable provided the rider and the owner of the dam don’t attend with the sole aim of winning, but rather put the interests of the foal first. For this purpose, it is quite sufficient just to ride the mare in the collecting ring without actually riding in a class. The foal cannot differentiate between its dam competing or not. The stress level, on the other hand, can be reduced considerably. The foal should learn through play and therefore it is advisable to undertake trips for the sake of pure pleasure. Many events are suitable for this purpose, for example, charity rides and small gymkhanas with demonstrations and mounted games. Quite apart from the fact that taking the foal along is a new and interesting experience for the horse owner, the mother and foal are sure to catch the eyes of other riders and spectators. Without a doubt, the foal will be the darling of every event, which is always a bonus.