How to Prepare Yourself for a Horse Show

Five Parts:Creating a listPreparing yourselfPreparing the gearPreparing your horseOn the day of the show

Preparation for a horse show includes both you and the horse. Having a list will keep you focused and reduces the nerves that you'll forget something.

Part 1
Creating a list

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    Make a list of all things that are needed to be done and that you need to take to the show. Do this a week or so prior to your horse show, no later than 5 days beforehand.
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    Make sure that everything you need is placed on the list. This might also include extra halters, show clothes and food.
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    Review the list under "Things You'll Need". This very detailed list will assist you in making your own personalized list.

Part 2
Preparing yourself

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    Remain calm or you will make your horse nervous. Horses can sense your attitude, so keep confident!
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    Keep your show clothes clean. Get bags to carry all of your show clothes in and to keep them clean and wrinkle-free. You spent a lot of money on those clothes, so take good care of them.
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    Carry your makeup and hair stuff in garment bags.
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    The day before the show, have everything packed in the car. Check off what is packed in the car.
    • Always have extra water for yourself and healthy foods so that you have energy throughout the day(s).

Part 3
Preparing the gear

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    Clean all things properly with the correct cleaner so that nothing gets ruined. Wash saddle pads, iron and wash clothes, and everything else.
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    Have a clean neat place to put it all, like in your tack box (if big enough), or in your spare room in the house.
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    Bring your work saddle and your show saddle. If you use the same saddle you work in to show, be sure you clean it good before your classes.
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    Get an under pad for showing to prevent your saddle blankets from slipping off or getting all wrinkly.
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    Bring an extra halter and lead rope just in case you lose your halter or it breaks.
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    Make sure that you bring bucket hangers because a lot of the show stalls are portable and will not have bucket hangers. They will not allow you to screw or nail anything into/onto their stalls so make sure the hangers are portable (wire, bailing tyne, etc.).
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    Get some sort of a grooming box. This could be a toolbox, tackle box, or some other sort of box. It is intended to help you carry around your brushes and to stay organized.
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    Have more than one hoof pick. They are easy to lose and you should always carry one in your pocket.
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    Put all of the bathing items in some sort of bucket or a bag. This will help you stay organized and makes it much easier to carry around the items.
    • Have two different colored sponges so you won't get them mixed up. One should be to wipe your horse's face and the other one should be to wipe your horse's behind.

Part 4
Preparing your horse

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    Try to keep your horse as clean as possible. Always take all cleaning items with you, to fix last minute mishaps and messes.
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    Have your horse clean a day before the show and put him in a place where he won't be able to get dirty again. Or, put a light sheet/fly sheet over him, if he is not able to be kept inside.
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    Make sure the mane bands match your horse's mane color.
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    Do not put show shine in the saddle area of your horse or you will lose your saddle during the show.
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    Bring plenty of fly spray.

Part 5
On the day of the show

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    The day of the show, make sure that your horse has hay and water if it is a hot morning or a long ride.
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    Make sure your horse has the proper protective gear on when trailering. This is important, in case they hit their feet on each other, and for safety precautions.
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    Always leave early in case there is an accident, traffic, etc. Give yourself adequate time for sign in.
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    When at the show, make sure you have help. The horse is the number one priority. Have the stall ready if one is available, or if you have a place it is set up with hay and water.
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    Feed your horse at least 1 1/2 - 2 hours before a show starts. Give your horse some time to digest.
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    Before classes, start clean up your horse and yourself.
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    Don't be late to any of your classes.
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    Don't panic when something goes wrong. Just stay relaxed. Travel away inevitably brings up new situations and challenges; just be ready to deal with them.
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    When ready, go into the arena. Be confident and stay happy. Smile and think positive.

Tips

  • Sit relaxed but alert in the saddle don't scrunch up your shoulders and tighten your rear end.
  • Smile and feel confident so the judges know that nothing can bring you down!
  • Remember to give a carrot or a treat and some water to cool it down afterwards.
  • Always tie up your own hair as well and make sure you have comfortable riding clothes.
  • Do not let someone borrow anything that belongs to you (unless you know them and trust them) at a show; there have been cases where people steal or forget to return things.
  • Maybe if your horse isn't using the right gait take the bridle and hit him/her softly on the neck to make him speed up.
  • If you will be braiding your horse's mane or tail, bring yarn that matches your horses mane color.
  • Once you're in the ring take a deep breath and start the show!
  • Always remember if someone else is using your horse be patient; they have every right as you do to be in that saddle.
  • If you horse has a refusal, misjump etc., don't get mad at it; your horse, as well as you, are very stressed.

Warnings

  • Never yell at your friends or leave your cell phone on ring.
  • If a horse has a red ribbon in his tail, that means that the horse may kick.
  • If you have a hot-tempered horse warn the emergency people at the show just in case your horse may buck or rear.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothing:
    1. Show hats
    2. Helmet, boots, jodhpurs, riding crop, mouthguard
    3. Gloves
    4. Shirts
    5. Ties
    6. Scarves
    7. Jackets
    8. Blazers
    9. Vests
    10. Pants
    11. Chaps
    12. Belts
    13. Buckles
    14. Boots
    15. Socks
    16. Pulls
    17. Hairspray
    18. Brush
    19. Comb
    20. Bobby pins
    21. Other hair stuff
    22. Makeup
    23. Mirror
    24. Rain gear
    25. Safety pins
  • Tack:
    1. Saddle
    2. Saddle blankets
    3. Work pad
    4. Under pad
    5. Breast collar
    6. Bridles
    7. Work bridles
    8. Show halter and lead
    9. Extra halter and lead
    10. Longe/lunge line
    11. Longe/lunge whip
    12. Leg wraps (or some other type of leg protection)
    13. Tail bag
    14. Stable sheet
    15. Tail wrap
    16. A slinky
    17. Shipping boots
  • Feed:
    1. Water buckets
    2. Feed buckets
    3. Hay bag
    4. Carrots
    5. Grain
    6. Mineral salt
    7. Treats
    8. Bucket hangers (the portable kind)
    9. Hay
  • Grooming:
    1. Grooming box
    2. Metal curry comb
    3. Rubber curry comb
    4. Hard brush
    5. Soft brush
    6. Hoof pick
    7. Hoof polishes
    8. Sandpaper
    9. Mane bands
    10. Mane clips
    11. Comb
    12. Braiding supplies
    13. Show shine
    14. Face oil
    15. Towels
    16. Clipper box
    17. Clippers
    18. Blade oil
    19. Shampoo bucket
    20. Shampoo
    21. Conditioner
    22. Sponges
    23. Rubber scrubber
    24. Sweat scraper
    25. Fly spray
    26. Baby oil
    27. Baby powder
    28. Yarn
  • Miscellaneous:
    1. Registration papers (or a copy of them)
    2. Membership/amateur cards
    3. Rider first aid kit
    4. Horse first aid kit
    5. Folding chairs
    6. Tack cleaner/polish
    7. Coolers
    8. Vet papers (or a copy of them)
    9. Stall fans (in summer time)
    10. Stall shavings
    11. Extension cords

Article Info

Categories: Horse Showing and Competition