Frequently Ask Horse Show Questions

We show horses to showcase what we have worked on, and when hard work pays off you win! Horse shows are such a great way for students to see where they are in their riding and gives them future goals to work on. Here are some frequently asked horse show questions, answered.

Horseshow – February 16th

What time does the show start? 9:30am

What time should the student arrive? 8:30am (each student will participate in getting the assigned horse show ready)

What should the student wear? Proper fitting riding attire, neat hair (back in a pony tail if applicable) a fitted jacket or sweater -Horses will be assigned by Katie on Sunday morning -Katie/Danielle will inform you what classes each student will be participating in.

What time can we enter? Entries will open at 8:30, each parent must sign a waiver and pay for the classes prior to student entering the arena. You will receive a ticket for each class. The ticket will be given to Danielle upon entry into the arena.

How do I pay? Cash, cheque will be accepted on Sunday morning. Etransfer can be sent prior to Sunday to westcottequestrian@gmail.com

How much does it cost? Entry fee is $45 which includes use of the horse and instruction from Danielle and Katie -Classes are $12 each minimum of three classes per student (excluding lead line participants)

Will there be food? There will be a concession that includes warm food, drinks, and snacks. -Family members are encouraged to come cheer on participants!!! –

Who is judging? Kari Brown

Class Info

Equitation: Riders will be judged on skills,  balance, correct posture/position and control while riding the horse. An Equitation class will group riders together in the ring while they perform the walk, trot, and canter in each direction. 

Pleasure: Which horse looks like the most pleasurable to ride? They should look smooth, comfortable, agreeable, pleasant, fun, and easy to control. It is up to the rider to make them look this way. Horses are judged at the walk, trot and canter. 

Hunter Under Saddle (U/S): Horses judged in groups on the flat (no jumping) at the walk, trot, and canter. Horses in this division should show forward movement, willing attitude, and good manners. It is up to the rider to ensure that they do! 

Hunter Hack: Riders will jump 2 fences up to 2’6”. Then, the group is judged on the flat, both directions, walk trot and canter.

Hunter Over Fences: 8 jumps to be performed at a canter. Courses are pre-set and riders must follow the order of the set jumps. Riders are allowed 2 refusals before being ask to leave the ring. Jumps up to 2’ 6”.

Ride-A-Buck: Riders supply their own $5 bill, which is placed under their seat. An elimination game – last rider to still have her $5 takes home all the money! 

Gamblers choice: Riders jump as many jumps as they can in a pre-determined time limit. Jumps range from 18” to 2’ 6” (all jumps optional). Most number of jumps/ points collected wins! 

The Famous “Hurry Up and Wait”

One of the most often quoted phrases in the horse showing world is “hurry up and wait”.  There are very good reasons for this.

The “hurry up”part comes from having to be at the show grounds in plenty of time to get prepared for each class.  (A “class” is the specific event that you have entered.  There are jumping classes and “flat” classes in hunters and jumping classes in the jumpers.)  So you get up at the crack of dawn, or before, and get to the show facility oftentimes before 7 a.m. if you have an early class.  Your trainer might ask you to exercise or bath your horse before your class and you want them to have plenty of time to complete the tasks before the actual competition.  So hurry up, get there, look after your horse, and then wait.

The waiting part is frustrating for riders, judges and trainers.  When a show schedule is printed up for the day, you might see an approximate time that your class should start.  (This is calculated by the number of riders in the classes and an approximate time per round.)  But the inevitable ring conflict (a rider needs to be in two rings at the same time), trainer conflict (a trainer needs to be in two places at once) or a variety of other delays usually means that the class won’t start when it is supposed to.  So you wait.  And wait.

It’s Okay to Be Nervous

It’s okay to be nervous—most of us are at our first horse show. That is totally normal. Use your warm up to work on relaxing. Ask your instructor if you have any last minute questions about what to do. Take a deep breath, enter the ring, and do your very best!

Doing your best and having fun is what the first horse show is all about. Each time you go to a show, you will feel less and less nervous. Remember, everyone else is probably feeling horse show jitters on some level as well. Remember to SMILE!!!

After You Ride

Be proud of yourself, no matter what place you came in. You got through your first horse show—that is a big step. Make sure that you ask your instructor for feedback on what they think that you did well on and then, of course, constructive criticism of what you need to improve on.

Even though you are finished showing, we encourage that you stay the day to support and watch your fellow barn mates ride. You can learn a lot about how shows work just by being there and watching. Not to mention, we always want to display good sportsmanship and cheer on our friends!!


Horse Show Lingo 101

Your first Off Property Horse Show

Don’t see your answer?? Please email any questions to westcottequestrian@gmail.com