Your First Horse Show

Most riders, at some time or another, will want to enter a horse show.? It might be that you are looking for a fun experience, and a chance to learn more about your riding by having a judge score you, or that you are wanting to start out a competitive show career.? Regardless, for your first show, you?ll want to be as prepared as possible to have a good experience, for both you and your horse.

First you?ll need to decide what classes you are going to compete in.? This may sound simple, but most horse shows have a large variety of classes.? For your first time, you?ll probably only want to choose one or two, to minimize stress for you and your horse.? You might decide to show your horse in a halter class, where you work with him on the ground in front of a judge.? If you are more comfortable in the saddle, then there will probably be several amateur classes that will be suitable for you and your horse.

Before heading to the show, make sure you have a complete checklist of everything that you?ll need.? Don?t forget grooming supplies, tack, feed, first aid kit, and such paperwork as the show registration papers, proof of ownership, Coggins test results, and veterinary records.? Pack as much as you can the night before the show and check off each item individually.? Don?t forget the things you?ll need to be comfortable as well, including snacks and your competition outfit.

Once at the show, expect that your horse may not perform up to his usual standard.? He?ll be in a new environment, with many distractions, so you?ll need to be patient.? Your first horse show is not the place to be intent on winning a blue ribbon.? Consider your difficulties to be opportunities for learning.? By making your first show pressure free, you?ll pave the way to creating a positive experience for both you and your horse to remember for the future.


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