Top 10 Horse Show Tips

Here is a summary of the top 10 horse show tips:


Number 10– Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Nothing sells your horse better to the horse show judge than riding it. And what I mean by riding is making the performance count. Don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on the positive aspects of the round.

Number 9– Get a Show Ring Shine. Looking your best is important at a horse show.

Horse show tips, horse riding, hunter judge, laura Kelland-May, thistle Ridge Skill Builders

Get a Show Ring Shine

Having your horse look its best is also important. Get your horse ‘spiffed up’. Bathe, trim and polish everything which needs to be bathed, trimmed and polished.

Number 8 – Educate Yourself. When you go to a horse show, make sure you are educated with respect to the requirements and specifications of the class. Know the rules, tack requirements or restrictions, and the class specifications. Being educated is half the battle of showing your horse. If you know the requirements then you will know how to prepare your horse.

Number 7 – Your Equipment is Not Being Evaluated. While at a horse show, it is your performance which is being evaluated, not your equipment. As a Judge, I have never said, “That horse shouldn’t win because it has the right type of saddle,” or, ” That horse shouldn’t win because the rider isn’t wearing XXX brand helmet”.

Number 6 – Have a Neat Clean Appearance. Your horse show turnout counts. If you don’t have a big budget for expensive horse show clothes, then stick with conservative, traditional colors. Your turnout need not be expensive or trendy. It needs to be neat, clean and in good repair.

Number 5 – Act Like a Winner. While at the horse show act like a winner. If you act like a winner and think like a winner they you will be half way to being the winner you were meant to be!

Number 4– Put Your Personality into Your Riding. While at the horse show, don’t be

horse show tips, What the judge is looking for in the hunter ring, hunter judge, Laura Kelland-May, Thistle Ridge Stables

Act Like a Winner

afraid to put your personality into your riding. Your personality will shine through and ‘sell’ yourself and your horse while in the horse show ring.

Number 3 – Consistency is Key. When at a horse show don’t expect winning results when you are riding 1 or 2 times per week. As with any type of training, you need to be consistent.

Number 2 – Horse Performance Trumps Horse Quality. When at a horse show, your horse’s performance is paramount. Your horse show results depend on your performance. Your horse’s performance is far more important than your type of horse. Focus on your performance first.

Number 1 – Get to The Jumps. When riding in a horse show, you must get to the jumps. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your horse is, if it doesn’t jump the jumps, you won’t place.

I would like to ask a favour of you – Suggest Number 11 – Post it in a comment. Do you have a tip which has helped you at your last horse show? We’d love to hear from you. Please put your tip in a comment below because other equestrians may benefit from YOUR experiences.



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About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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