How To Prepare For A Horse Show

Aug 29, 2023 | Super Equestrian


How thrilling and breathtaking moments are when your handsome horse performs in a show! It feels like you will skip a beat for a second!

There’s no doubt how exciting and demanding horse shows are. But preparing a horse to compete in a show, and giving the best performance is more challenging than watching. It prepares not only your horse, but also you as a rider. Rather than a show, it's more like judging performance, understanding between rider and horse, good impression, and lots of effort.

Preparing for a horse show is a longing process. Choosing the right show, levels of competition, acknowledging the requirements, gathering necessary equipment, training and preparing your horse, planning the journey, and registering for the show. Most importantly, get there on time and give your best performance.

Wondering where to start preparing for the horse show and what necessary steps you might need?

Well, Let's take a ride then.

Choosing the right show

The important step before preparing and being a participant is choosing the right show. Where rider and horse prove their ability. The level of competition and types of classes are suitable for horses. 

Beginner, intermediary, and professional are types of classification for most horse shows. Dressage, combine events, show jumping, endurance tests, speed, hunter jumping, showmanship, reining, western pleasure, and so on are areas for horse performance. Make sure which class is suitable for your horses. It depends on participation and experience.

10 morgan horse show held in every year which is most popular among all horse show activities. Find out whether any horse shows are held in your area or nearby and offer preferable options for performing.   

Gather equipment and attire

Assemble all the necessary equipment for your chosen show. Without equipment, you won't be able to train your horse. Reins, blinkers, saddle pads, stirrup iron/leather, girths, bits, earplugs, etc are for horses. Make sure all those essential tools are collected before starting practice and training.

Horse shows are all about combined performance of rider and horse. So there is some equipment that riders need such as a helmet, uniform/suit, gloves, safety gear, goggles, rope, and whip. 

Performing a show also makes a good impression on your outlook. So wearing appropriate attire is important. Each show requires a different dress code and ensures that you have your exact outfit while performing. 

Though horses don't wear any suit/uniform like riders, they are the main focus of your show. So don't forget to make your horse look tidy and handsome! 

Training and practicing

Participating in a horse show is like showing a horse's ability, and having good physical condition is the key to the best performance. Make sure you feed your horse in time and keep him healthy. Nobody expects a good performance from a weak competitor. 

Train your horses and keep practicing in the disciplines you will be competing in. As each show requires a different quality, make sure you are practicing in an accurate way for the chosen show.   

As a rider, it's important to improve your horse's movements, ability, coordination, and stamina. Regular practice can enhance their qualities and ensure that horses are fully trained for your desired show.  

Prepare your horse

A good first impression can influence the judge’s assessment of your  performance. As for the show, your horse is the prime performer. Grooming is the first step when you are preparing your horse. 

Regular grooming can make a horse's coat shine and be healthier. Combining hair, washing and drying the full body, picking their hooves, and cleaning it. You can use professional trimming or braiding tools if desired. Use a soft comb/brush and handle with care.

This will make them more comfortable and create a warm and emotional bond between you and the horse.

Plan your travel and accommodations

Make a plan for your travel, after ensuring both rider and horse are ready to participate. Pre-arrange transport and a place to stay near the venue. It's important to plan your pathway to reach there in time. Check if your vehicle works properly and if horse boxes are safe and cozy for journeys.

The most important thing to check before starting a journey is to make sure your horse is comfortable to travel. If not, take some time and get them used to it. 

Register and pay fees

You can register for the horse show online. Visit the horse show website and follow the registration process. Once you sign up for the show, it will help you to keep a record of all your entries. Provide accurate information about the rider and horse to complete the procedure. 

Don't forget to pay the required fees. Items that are included in the budget are the entry fees, facility rental, show approval, advertising, judges' fee, and some additional staff like parking fees, administration fees, stall fees, and equipment and supply expenses.

Review the show schedule

Familiarize yourself with the schedule of events. Begin with the day and time; how long will the performance take? Plan your time accordingly. It will help you to be more prepared for the show.

Pack and organize

Having a checklist is a great idea to make arrangements accordingly. It will ensure you have everything and are proceeding as planned. All necessary items, including equipment, attire, and additional supplies for both rider and horse.

Pack and organize everything to make it easy to access at the show. It will help riders not to be distracted before the show.

Arrival at the show

Make sure you arrive at the event before it starts. Allow plenty of time to get set up and settle in. unpack yourself and set up an assigned stall. Offload your horse from the vehicle and take him to his stall.

Take your horse for a tour and get familiar with the equipment or structure he is going to use to perform. Make any final preparation before the competitions begin. Like final grooming, tacking him up. As a rider, you are also going to perform. Therefore give yourself some time to warm up. You can do some practice with your horses for the final touch!

Participating in the show

Follow all the rules and guidelines of the show. As soon as you enter the arena judges will start to observe you. Try to calm your mind and recap all the training and practices you've done with your horses. 

Do your best to perform to the best of your ability. Remember, it's a field where you will learn and get experience. 

And yes, don't forget to smile!

Winding up

In the end, it is obvious that having proper preparation makes a show successful. Choosing the right show, having all the necessary equipment, training your horses, planning, participating and the other staff will help make the rider and horse prepare for competition.

I hope this little ride will help to prepare you and your horse for the show. And please let us know how you want to get ready for an exciting horse show! 

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