horse riding jumping hurdle

Everything You Need to Be Ready for Your First Horse Show

Studies conducted over the last several years show that over 6.9 million commercial and recreational horses in the United States. The following is an approximate breakdown of specific categories where these horses are being utilized:

  • 725,000 are involved in race horse breeding and racing
  • 1,974,000 horses are shown annually at shows
  • 2,970,000 are utilized for recreational purposes
  • 1,262,800 horses are used on farms, ranches, the rodeo, polo matches, and police work

In addition to utilizing portable horse stalls at your next show, this article will also focus on everything you need to be ready for your first equestrian event. Consider the following checklist when making preparations for participation in your first horse show, so that everything will be a success.

With the variety of activities for horses in the U.S. today, more people are utilizing portable horse stalls as self-supporting, transportable equine containment units. Portable horse stalls can be utilized in the equestrian field for horses for the following four events:

  • Shows
  • Fairs
  • Clinics
  • Exhibitions

These stalls are made from sturdy construction materials, even though they are portable units. Those in the equestrian field who are utilizing these stalls for shows will be thrilled to know that the assembly is easy and generally takes approximately five minutes per stall. Many dealers of these portable stalls make them available to consumers for rent or purchase at reasonable cost. Some beneficial features of most portable horse stalls include the following:

  • Constructed with heavy wall round tubes that are effective in eliminating injury to horses
  • The unit dimensions are generally around the size of 10’x10’ with 7’ high walls
  • All seams in the units are welded, which offer optimal strength and superior appearance
  • The panels come fully assembled for quick set up and tear down
  • Units have a durable fail-safe latch to ensure that the horse is secure inside the stall
  • Each unit is extremely lightweight and portable for the average individual to handle
  • General construction guarantees that each unit is easily loaded into trailers
  • Unit manufacturing is effective enough to withstand use as a permanent stall
  • Designs look natural, with a variety of colors to choose from
  • Many facilities offer to deliver the stall to your site for initial assembly

Equestrian Show Checklist

There are a variety of things that you need to have in place when preparing for your first horse show. These items include things such as the following: event paperwork, travel information, personal items, items your horse needs, grooming products, and show apparel. When making your preparations, ensure that you carefully review all the items listed in the following checklists.

  1. Event Paperwork – Make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you at all times. Remember to bring the following information with you:
  • Showground map
  • Event rulebook
  • Equestrian group membership cards
  • Health certificate and horse registration
  • Veterinary records and contact information
  • Personal identification and checkbook
  • Dressage rider’s test booklet (if applicable)
  • Reiner’s NRHA patterns information (if applicable)

horses looking out of stall window

  1. Travel Information – Traveling with your horse is an involved process. It is important that all safety requirements are in place, and that you have all equipment properly stored for travel. Review this checklist prior to traveling to the horse show:
  • Valid registration for the truck and trailer used to transport your horse
  • Spare tire, jack, first-aid kit, water for horse, and emergency contact phone numbers
  • Manure fork, buckets, lead ropes, ties, leather or breakaway halters
  • Head bumper, tail bandage, stable sheet, shipping boots or wraps, and tail bag and wrap
  1. Personal Items – While it’s important to remember to bring all pertinent equipment and supplies for your horse, you cannot forget to come prepared with your own appropriate personal items. Check out this listing while packing for your horse show:
  • Comfortable clothing or shoes to wear when the competition is over
  • Hat or cap, sunblock and sunglasses
  • Healthy snacks and beverages, including water and hydration drinks
  • Personal first-aid supplies like Band-Aids or aspirin
  • Sewing kit, safety pins, apron for grooming, toiletries, and make-up or cover-up
  1. Items for Your Horse – In addition to the travel items for your horse, don’t forget to bring the following equine items to your event:
  • Sufficient supply of drinking water, hay, feed and treats, a bucket, and equine first-aid kit
  • Bits, bridles, saddles, saddle pads, cinches or girths, and legwear for warm-up and show
  • Permitted auxiliary tack and martingales, breast plate, whip or crop, spare stirrups
  • Spare leathers, halter and lead, stud chain, spare blanket for your horse and cooler
  1. Grooming Items – In addition to proper grooming for everyday care and health of your horse, you also want to be prepared to groom your animal for the best appearance at the show. Don’t forget to include these grooming items when preparing to travel:
  • Buckets, sweat scraper, fly spray, shampoo and conditioner or detangler, and brushes
  • Curries, hoof pick, coat polish, whitening products or spot removers, sponges and rags
  • Grooming tote, leather cleaner, hoof dressing or polish, and cordless clippers
  • Spray bottle with water, banding or braiding supplies, ribbons for mane, and scissors
  1. Show Apparel – Finally, you need to take careful consideration in packing all of your show apparel. You don’t want to forget any detail, so take care with reviewing this checklist:
  • Jeans or show pants, breeches or jodhpurs, chaps, boots, boot pulls and jack, and boot socks
  • Polish for boots, knee guards, shin spurs, and protective gear items
  • Outerwear like jacket or coat, vest and show shirt, hair accessories, scarf, tie, helmet, and gloves

Preparing for your first horse show is an involved process. However, if you follow the checklist described here, you should be able to make the packing and planning stage easier to complete. Good luck on your first horse show!