How to Go to a Competition With a Horse

There are many kinds of riding competitions, but all require careful planning. You need to know what to take and how to travel, and what to do when you get there.


  1. Image titled Go to a Competition With a Horse Step 1
    Know what to take. You will need different things for each kind of competition. There may be special rules on dress and presentation, so check beforehand and make sure you have everything you need. Checklist:
    • Tack, Including spares
    • Protective boots and bandages
    • Head collar
    • lead rope
    • rugs to put on your horse while waiting
    • enough money for entry fees/phone
    • Grooming and first aid kit
    • Haynet
    • bucket and water
    • Riding clothes.
  2. Image titled Go to a Competition With a Horse Step 2
    Travel to the competition. You may be able to hack to a local competition, if it is not too far away. Plan your route so you have plenty of time and don't need to hurry. Take what you will need in a backpack, or arrange for someone to bring your things by car. If the competition is further afield, you may need to take your horse in a trailer or horsebox, pulled by a car. Some horses don't like travelling like this, so practise this before the day of the competition, so your horse can get used to it.
  3. Image titled Go to a Competition With a Horse Step 3
    Load your horse into the trailer. First, line the trailer with straw so your horse doesn't slip. Hang up a haynet too, for the horse to eat on the way. Lead the horse slowly and calmly up the ramp into the trailer. Let him stop and look at the ramp if he wants to. Once inside, tie him up fairly short. Leave the trailer by the jockey door in the side and shut it behind you. An experienced person should raise the ramp and check everything is secure before you set off.
  4. Image titled Go to a Competition With a Horse Step 4
    Be prepared for the trip. If you are going to a local show, you probably won't need to stop for any breaks. On a longer journey, just take a halfway break. Never enter a horsebox/ trailer when it is moving.
  5. Image titled Go to a Competition With a Horse Step 5
    Try to arrive early, so you have time to smarten up and warm up. If you travelled by horsebox, let your horse stretch and move around or tie him up on a long rein by the horse box. Don't leave to horse, tack or equipment unattended. If you are early, put a rug on your horse.
  6. Image titled Go to a Competition With a Horse Step 6
    Settle your horse. Tie up your horse in a sheltered spot and offer him buckets of water. Do not let your horse touch muzzles with strange horses, which can lead to infection. Once you have tied him up, go to the Secretary tent to find out when you are competing and where you need to go. You may need to wear a number badge on your uniform while riding. Make sure you are ready in good time, and go to the collecting ring. This is where you wait for your turn.


  • Practice before the show.
  • If it is cold, a horse should wear a rug while waiting
  • Its all about riding, compatibility and presentation.
  • Reassure your horse.
  • Train your horse to not be afraid of horseboxes.


  • Make sure the horsebox is secure.
  • Ask an experienced person to raise the ramp

Things You'll Need

  • Poll guard
  • Rugs
  • Special boots and bandages
  • Tail guard and bandage
  • Horse box
  • Tack and spares
  • Protective clothing for you and horse.
  • Head collar, lead rope.
  • Money
  • Grooming and first aid kits.
  • Haynet and water bucket.
  • Riding clothes

Article Info

Categories: Horse Showing and Competition