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Horse Showing Fundamentals

horse showing 101


Participating and winning in horse shows are not as easy as they sound. Before you actually take part in a horse show or race, you need to understand and learn the basics about riding a horse. In addition, you have to learn how to maneuver the horse without agitating it and gain control of its movement. That’s why we have shed light on the basic knowledge you should have to qualify for a horse show and partake in it.

What Are The Different Horse-Riding Styles That Can Be Displayed In A Horse Show?

There are four major types of horse-riding methods that you need to learn for participating in a horse show. These are:


This is the basic horse riding step where you will simply allow the horse to walk leisurely at a very slow pace. It's one of the most important steps since it will allow you to establish a proper connection with the horse. Also, during the slow-paced walk, you will learn how to balance yourself on the horseback, hold the reins properly, and understand any unexpected action of the horse.


Trotting can be considered as fast walking where the speed is increased just by a little amount. But it doesn’t mean that the horse is running because, during trot walk, you won’t be riding at the horse’s full potential.


Increase the speed of the horse by three to five folds and the motion will be known as canter. It’s between trot and gallops and hence, you will be able to feel the wind against your skin while still having control over the speed of the horse completely.


When a horse runs over rough terrain and takes high leaps to cross the obstacles, it is known as galloping. Galloping is not an easy-riding style and it’s taught only to the pro riders who like to take their horses out in the wild.

Proper Gear Needed For Horse Showing Events

For participating in a horse show event, you need to have the proper gear. In the below section, we have mentioned some of the major gear equipment pieces that need to be used for horse shows.

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  1. Horse riding helmet: The horse riding helmet is made from a hard outer shell and inner soft padding which will protect your head from injuries in case you fall off the horse.
  2. Halter: The horse halter is usually placed over the snout of the animal and the forehead section. It’s made out of leather and is used to control the horse when you are not riding it.
  3. Knee and elbow pads: In case you fall down from the horse, you might hurt yourself badly. That’s why you need to protect your elbows and knees with proper padding that will reduce the chances of fatal injuries.
  4. Rope: The lead rope is connected to the halter of the horse and is used to tie them with their posts post riding activities.
  5. Horse riding boots: You will need a pair of proper horse riding boots which will help you to walk on different terrains, starting from the soft land within the fences to the rough terrain of the wilderness.
  6. Saddle: Lastly, you need to have a proper leather saddle where you will sit after mounting the horse. The saddle should be firm to provide the needed support to your buttocks.

Tips For Winning A Horse Show

Now that you know the riding styles allowed in horse showing and the gear you need to have, it’s time to learn about some tips that will help you win the competition.

  • Your horse should look amazing and elegant. You can use a curry comb or a hoof pick before the show so as to make your horse is presentable.
  • Always set goals to win the horse show. And do not forget to focus on those goals only.
  • Practice different movements with your horse according to the type of horse show you are attending. For example, if it’s a race, you need to practice increasing the speed of your horse while running without any break.

Final Words

Since now you are aware of how to ride a horse, the gear needed for horse shows, and the three most important steps to win the show, we are certain that you won’t lose under any circumstance. All you need to do is form a connection with your horse and then focus on winning the show without any hindrance.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Dakota Newman

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