Countdown to Show Season


As you count down the days until summer show season, be sure to visit every week through the end of May for additional articles and features to help you succeed in the show ring.

Week 1: Choosing the Right Show
Selecting the right show is a key step in having the most enjoyable and successful season. Here are some helpful articles to guide you toward finding the right competition for you and your horse.
Show Where You’ll Shine
Get Started Showing
Rating the Competition
Week 2: Grooming to Perfection

Thorough, daily grooming will lead to a better result on show day. Here are some tips for regular grooming that bring out a healthy, shiny glow in your horse that will help him stand out in the show ring.
Grooming Guide
30 Grooming Tips to Transform Your Horse
Grooming for the Health of It
Primp My Ride
Week 3: Tips from the Judge

What exactly are horse show judges looking for? We went straight to the source to find out. Here are some insights from the judges themselves.

The Softer Side of the Hunter/Jumper Judge
Dressage Judges’ Pet Peeves
Hunter/Jumper Judges’ Pet Peeves
Western Pleasure Perception
Saddle Seat Myths and Misconceptions
Week 4: Battling Nerves

Being nervous before competition is normal, but don’t let it get the best of you. Read on for advice on staying focused and channeling your energy toward having a great ride.

Fixing the Fear Factor
Horse Show Nerves
Get Your Head Together
Rider Fear: Show Strategies
Week 5: Tack and Attire for the Show Ring

You don’t have to break on new tack and clothing to win at horse shows, but your turnout needs to be neat, clean and correct for your circuit. Here are some guidelines for what to wear (and what your horse should wear) when you’re riding for the blue ribbon.

Show Ring Turnout
Save with Pre-Owned Show Clothes
Show Clothes Splurge or Steal
Affordable Ways to Look Like a Winner
Tack Advice for the Show Ring
Week 6: Tips from the Top

Even if you only show locally, knowing what the top riders and trainers do on the A-circuit can help you up your game. Here are some tips from some of the most successful competitive equestrians.
Showing A-Circuit Hunters
Jumping Cross-Country Obstacles
Dressage Tips at a Glance
Guide to the Slow Jog
A Winning Horsemanship Ride
Western Pleasure Headset
Week 7: At-Home Practice Sessions

The most important part of preparing for a show? Practice, practice practice. Here are some things you can do at home to get yourself and your horse ready for competition.
Riding the Pivot
Four-Way Stop
Outside in: Practice cross-country in your arena
Cavaletti for Dressage and Jumping
Half Halt How-to
Week 8: Bits of Wisdom

By now, you and your horse are ready to take on the show ring. Before heading off to your next competitive destination, here are some final thoughts to take with you as you ride for the blue ribbon.
Show Survival
Horse Show Top 10
30 Blue Ribbon Tips



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