I recently learned about this at a clinic. There are massages for your horse called “t-touches” and they help calm your horse down, relax, and be more trusting.
-Racoon touch: very light touches with your index finger on the forehead and start to rub in a circular motion
-Forelock Strokes: put the whole forelock in your hand and bring it all the way down
- Mouth touches: ONLY IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THIS: put your thumb inside your horse’s mouth right where a side of the bit will go, put your index finger and middle finger on the outside or viseversa then rub in a circular motion
- Lick Of A Llama: starting from the shoulder or neck, spread your palms out and back in touching your horse with only your finger tips and move in a zigzag motion until you reach the hind quarters.
- Cows Tounge: one hand goes on the chest and the other will go in the girth area. With the hand that is at the girth, move outwards and upwards until you reach the top of the back.
- Ear Rubs: simply rub your hand over the ears in both directions. You can go inside of the ear if your horse will allow it ;)
There are more of course. Each one you can do before saddling up. Ears and mouth worked wonders for me and my horse. Continue the massage until your horse starts to chew and lower their head. If you do one on one side make sure to do another on the other. If my horse is nervous at a show I hand walk her for a while until she chews. And keep talking to your horse:)
I try to get to the show early and lunge them for a while so they are pretty tired, then I take them out for a long walk around the show grounds so they can see everything and not see it for the first time as I am headed to show. I try to get on at least an hour earlier than I will probably have to show and just trot for a while and get them as tired as possible. After that they should be pretty tired and do good in the show ring.
Walk around so He doesnt just stand and get nervous. If He does it every time make sure to practise on normal days. Ask other riding places if you Can cone by and just ride so He gets used to being different places/ environments