Farm Store | articles | Proper Horse Show Presentation

Proper Horse Show Presentation

Horse Etiquette: Be Prepared!

Proper Horse Show PresentationCompetition is a little like flirting, you only have a minute to catch the judge's eye and hold it long enough to entice them to write down your number. Make that minute count by following these pre-show ring tips.

Ready Or Not

You may be ready for the show ring, but is your horse ready? Make sure that you and your four-legged partner are on the same page when it comes to show goals. Competitive riders are usually ready to hit the shows after their first riding lesson, but some horses are not mentally or physically ready to show for many years. So, make sure your horse is as ready and willing as you are.

The art of putting together a show horse lies in the caretaker's ability to continually maintain or improve the details that "make" the finishing touches. The horse should be in competitive shape in terms of physical conditioning, but it's up to you to make him shine. There is no amount of spray-on coat enhancer that will make up for neglected hours of grooming.

Cutting Edge

An effective clipping job helps to achieve a refined and elegant edge. However, don't wait until show day to begin the clipping job. It's wise to clip at least a week prior to allow for mistakes to grow out. On show day, a razor can be used to clean up any rogue muzzle hairs. When clipping the legs, even up hairs around the coronary band and clip excess hairs on the pasterns and fetlocks (feathers are beautiful on a draft horse, but not on a western pleasure horse). White leg markings can be clipped to give them a brighter white, but make sure to blend the white line smoothly into the bordering dark hairs. While you're working on the legs, remove excess growth on the ergots and chestnuts.

A good show season mantra to post in your tack room, "Good luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity."

Another huge clipping endeavor, the horse's face: the muzzle, the short fuzz inside the nostril, long hairs under the jaw area, and the bridle-path (make sure to check with breed standards) should all be taken care of with clippers. Two areas of clipping that are a matter of personal preference and should not negatively affect you in the show ring if left natural are the long guard hairs near the eyes and the hairs inside the ears. However, the edges of the ears should be neatly trimmed.

Mane Focus

Whether you band, braid, or leave the mane natural, it should be brilliantly clean. A note about taking the extra step to band or braid – only take on this job if you have plenty of practice and can guarantee that the banding/braiding will enhance your horse's image. Don't forget the forelock! The forelock is usually presented in the same state as the mane (banded or braided) but always clean and tidy. The tail is another part of the horse that can tell on you if you didn't do your homework. The judge expects to see a clean and debris free tail. Leave the shavings in the stall! From head to tail, from start to finish, success depends on being prepared.

Dress "Tactfully"

Now for you and your tack. Remember the horse is not the only part of the show. You don't have to have the most expensive saddle to be competitive, but your tack should be clean and safe. The judges will notice if there's mold sprouting on your headstall, so give your tack the same attention that you give to your training and your horse.

Choose clothing that's appropriate for your event. Consider colors that complement your horse's coat and markings. Once you are fashionably ready, the real challenge can be to stay looking good until show time. Eat before you dress, and if you must have a quick snack, be sure to have wipes handy. It's always helpful to have a friend, parent, or trainer available for a last minute look over.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the show, keep in mind that you're there because you love your sport and are confident in your horse. No matter the outcome, always look your best and have fun.

Related Products

More Products Like This:
Grid View
List View
  • Thrush Buster 2 oz

    SKU 11400068
    Thrush Buster lasts for up to eight days without reapplication, even in the wettest, muddiest terrain. Thrush Buster stomps out thrush on contact. A single application not only relieves the agonizing, crippling effects of thrush, but also dramatically reduces the chances of reinfection.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Farrier's Formula Double Strength Horse Supplement 11 lb

    SKU 11402189
    Give your horse the essentials needed for strong, healthy hooves with Farrier's Formula Double Strength supplement. This special formula provides the nutrients needed for strong hooves, hair, and skin. Comes in a convenient 11 lb bag.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Decker Hoof Pick with Brush

    SKU 06621811
    The Decker Hoof Pick with Brush combines your most important grooming tools: a sturdy pick on one end and efficient brush on the other.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Shapley 's Original M-T-G 32 oz

    SKU 11401370
    Shapley's Original M-T-G is a time proven remedy for dermatitis problems. This special formula is a single source for fungus, rain rot, scratches, mud fever, greasy heel, girth itch, dandruff, itchy skin and tail rubbing. Shapley's Original M-T-G is recommended by veterinarians and is easy to use.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Kopertox 16 oz

    SKU 11431842
    Kopertox is recommended for the treatment of thrush in horses and ponies due to organisms susceptible to copper naphthenate. Apply daily to affected hoofs with a narrow paint brush until fully healed.
    to see pricing & availability
  • The Original Mane 'N Tail and Body Shampoo 32 oz

    SKU 11410012
    The Original Mane 'N Tail and Body Shampoo is an exclusive formula containing high lathering cleansing agents fortified with moisturizers and emollients. The rich, fragrant lather is perfect for removing all dirt and debris from your horse’s coat, mane and tail without stripping natural oils. A gentle pH balanced formula provides optimum body, shine and manageability.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Animed Biotin 100 Powder 5 lb

    SKU 11417013
    Promote hoof health with Animed Biotin 100 Powder. A water-soluble B-vitamin, biotin plays an important role in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism and aids in normal hoof hardness and growth.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Absorbine Showsheen with Sprayer 1 qt

    SKU 11455326
    Create the ultimate showing shine with Showsheen with Sprayer Quart. This formula will leave your Horses' coats looking smooth and sleek, while accentuating body tone and definition.
    to see pricing & availability

Find Your Nearest Southern States Location

Sales & Offers