Riding: Competition vs. Training

On Saturday, I had a horse show at a farm 10 minutes away from my barn. I arrived at 6:15AM to ride my horse, Gideon, in the ring where we would be showing a little later in the day. I jumped all of the jumps in the morning so there would be no surprises for him once we went in to jump them while being judged. He was a little strong (or fresh as we call it), so I rode him for about 35 minutes to try and tire him out. If I was at my home barn riding the way I was at the show, my blood sugars would plummet and I would most likely have to either drink a juice before I got on, or get off of Gideon and wait until my blood sugars came back up. However, because I was at a show and my adrenaline was getting going, I had 0 carbs prior to riding and I was 200 when I got off with my blood sugar originally starting at 110. That’s a huge jump due to merely adrenaline and nerves!

Gideon and I showed a few hours later. Everything went as planned and we did very well! After showing, my blood sugar was still on the higher side. Once I was done for the day, my trainer asked if I would go back to my home barn and exercise another horse for her since she had to stay at the horse show with some other people from our barn. I said of course and got to my barn 10 minutes later. This was very interesting though because earlier that day when I had been showing, I needed 0 carbs nor any basal reductions in order to not go low. However, when I was done showing and was riding at my home barn, I rode for a fraction of the time and still went low. After starting at 140, I was 50 when I got off. This was fascinating because it highlighted the effect stress and adrenaline can have on my blood sugars.

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