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Who Does What at the Horse Show

How to be a Horse Show Parent


They are the stall cleaners, silver polishers, dusty boot wipers, gate assistants, cab drivers, makeup artists, personal organizers, point keepers, videographers, cheering squads, personal chefs, therapists, horse groomers, motivational speakers, bankers, and so much more. They are the unsung heroes of the show world: The horse show moms and dads, and without them, the horse show would simply not be possible.   So what exactly do they do?




Give your child appropriate responsibilities whenever you can.  Resist the urge to do things for them.


Use checklists to help get clothing, tack, and supplies organized and packed the day before the show.


Pack sunscreen, water and food;  Hats, shade canopies, and folding chairs;  Personal items, lip balm, safety pins.


Make sure your child remembers to eat and drink before the show.


Fill out online entry forms at home before the show.


Take a blank check to the entry booth and pick up your child’s number.


Horse shows are stressful.  Be supportive and as enthusiastic about as a tenth-place finish as a first-place finish.


Learn how show clothing and hair should be properly worn and help your child with it.


Have a dedicated horse show duffle bag.


Remember to take care of your trainer.  Offer to get them water or lunch.  


Remember to thank the older kids helping your child with horse warmups or trailer management.




Prepare and practice in the days and weeks before the show.


Horse owners must make sure their horse loads well into a trailer.


Clean their tack and groom their horse.


Make sure their gear is packed in the horse trailer.


Learn the courses.


Visualize their performance.




Prepare both riders and horses in the days and weeks prior to the show.


Manage and coach horses and riders at the show.




Preparation and Organization are the keys to success.


Judging is subjective and judges can’t see everything. They’re doing their best to be fair to everyone.


Remember that your job is support and encouragement; It’s the trainers’ job to coach and train.


Be mindful that your trainer is managing many horses and riders in several different arenas and multiple classes, often from six in the morning to dusk.


Enjoy the journey. You and your child will share experiences that few other activities allow. 

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