365 Days in Horse Country – Take in a Horse Show
Horse shows are both entertaining and educational, they are also a must for every horse lover. Whether you are an avid competitor or just a casual rider, you can learn a lot by being a spectator at a show.
Get a copy of a local equine publication or find a local equine community calendar on the internet to get a list of upcoming shows in your area. Pick a show to attend that is completely out of your realm of knowledge. For example, if you are a Western rider, go to a show that features hunt seat, jumping, or dressage. Read up on these competitions beforehand so you have a sense of what is going on as you are watching. You’ll be amazed to see these equine athletes in action.
If you are an English rider, go to a Western show. You can watch a gymkhana event where horse and rider teams run barrels and bend poles. Or you can attend a show with trail classes, such as Western pleasure, horsemanship, and trail classes.
Feeling really bold? Go to a breed show. Pick a breed you know nothing about, and do a little advance reading on the types of classes you’ll be seeing. If you select a breed with a strong connection to its natural heritage, you’ll likely be treated to a display of costumes and traditions you never knew existed.
While attending these shows, talk to the exhibitors and other spectators. Most of the people in the stands will know someone who is competing, and they can tell you about the sport or breed. You can also learn a lot about the types of horses used in the event and spend time meeting these equines.
After you’ve spent the day at a horse show learning about different disciplines or breeds, you’ll be an even more well-rounded horse person.