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Horse Articles :: How to Prepare for a Horse Show
How to Prepare for a Horse Show
When you're getting ready for a horse show, it's always best
to have a list of things you need to take with you. Invariably
everyone forgets something, so it's best if you have your
own list of tings to bring and your trainer has his or hers.
Don't depend on someone else to organize you or remember to
your tack or show clothes. Clothes and tack change with the
type of show you're riding in or the discipline -- western
riders don't have to braid their horse's manes; whereas most
hunter classes require horses be braided. Various disciplines
have different requirements, but you'll still need to have
the basics covered.
You'll need a copy of your Coggins test, which needs to be
updates each year. Horse shows won't take last years' Coggins
test. If you're traveling out of state, you must have an interstate
health certificate which includes a negative coggins and a
veterinary exam. Also, make sure all your vacccinations are
up to date. When you travel with your horse and are at a horse
show, there are many opportunies for diseases to be picked
up from other horses. Class choices, paperwork and stall fees
can be mailed in a few weeks ahead of your show date. This
gives the show staff a rough count of how many horses and
riders to expect.
Make sure your tack -- saddle and bridle -- is clean and polished
and take extra soap, oil and a cloth in case you need to do
a last minute clean up. Take an extra bridle if you have one
and a couple clean saddle pads. If you need a martingale for
jumping classes, take yours just in case. If your trainer
is taking a group of riders to a show, there will probably
be extras of everything, but that doesn't mean it will fit
you or your horse. Check to make sure your horse will be braided
if needed. Most barns have a braider lined up to do all the
The discipline you're showing in requires you to dress a certain
way and have a certain look. Hunter shows tend to be more
formal as do some western pleasure classes. Saddlebred and
dressage shows are also formal in their horse/rider turnout.
Riders are required to have safety helmets for hunter/jumpers,
endurance riding, and eventing. Britches, coats, shirts, and
boots are also required for dressage and hunter shows. Endurance
riding, some western classes, jumpers, and some phases of
eventing have more relaxed requirements. All riders and horses
need to be presentable and clean in their appearance.
You or your trainer will need to make sure your horse gets
to the show. Usually your trainer will organize shipping for
you. Make sure you have clean wraps ready for shipping and
have someone wrap your horse if you don't do it. You'll also
need to reserve a stall for your horse.
It doesn't matter what level you show at or what discipline
you're in, showing your horse is expensive. The more prepared
you are for a show, the more relaxed you'll be and hopefully
the more fun you'll have. And chances are, you'll bring home
some well deserved ribbons for all your effort!
About the Author
Philippe Wiskell is a writer for HorseClicks, classifieds