Horse Show Beginners
The first few horse shows for a beginner can be a very intimidating experience. If possible before your first horse show just hang out and watch a veteran. If you know anyone who is experienced ask to tag along at his or her next show. It will be apparent pretty quickly who is still in the beginner category and who has the process mastered. Pitch in and assist if you can. That is the best way for a beginner to get a feel for everything that is involved.
Watch and learn. You will see a multitude of different styles. They will range from beginners who are not organized at all to veteran horse show participants who are extremely organized. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. You will notice the more organized groups will also be much less stressed. As a beginner you should try to make your first show casual and non-threatening. Try to enlist the assistance of an experienced friend.
If you are showing with a child draft a family member to help. Just someone to get the kids dressed and ready for you will be a huge stress reliever. Plan for your first show to be at a small local / open show if possible. Do not attempt to enter every event under the sun. Beginners tend to make that mistake. Pick a few classes that you know you excel at.
Know the rules for your breed or type of show you are attending. Are their age limits or requirements? Do you have to show proof of ownership? Do you have to have a veterinary certificate of health or proof of vaccinations? There is nothing worse than getting to the show grounds with your horse, your kids and all of your equipment, only to be turned away because you do not have all of the required paper work.
Trust me, telling them "I'm just a beginner" does not help. Most horse shows will print a show bill that will list the events and requirements prior to the show. Obtain a copy in advance. If you have any questions at all call them. The promoter should be able to answer all of your questions or at least be able to direct you to someone who can.
Your breed association is also a great place for beginners to obtain general information. Decide which classes you are interested in. This is especially important if you have more than one person riding and sharing the same horse or tack. Try to avoid back-to-back classes where a tack or rider change is involved. Unfortunately this is sometimes unavoidable.
If you have a tack change let the ringmaster or gate person know. Be prepared have everything ready at the gate so you can just switch out tack and rider without delay. Horse shows can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make them. My suggestion for beginners and experienced alike; keep it simple. You will have a lot more fun.
For more helpful information for the beginner and more experienced horse show participant go to http://www.horseshowprep.com .