You have finally made it to the show you have been anticipating for so long and it can be really hard to not get all caught up in the moment. While shows are a great way to show off your horse and your partnership, good etiquette makes a good all around competitor.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while at your next show:
First thing is pretty straight forward but seems to be the hardest one to remember. When walking down an aisle or a street don’t walk in the middle. This makes passing you 10 times harder and 10 longer. Also, if you see someone coming along on a horse or a vehicle of some kind, please get out of the way. I don’t know how many times I have seen people hold riders up because they didn’t want to move out of their way. You don’t know that person’s situation so please, no matter how good you look in those new breaches, hurry across the aisle or street if you see someone coming.
Second, make sure your equipment is working properly and that you have everything. Please don’t be that person with the broken hose that’s soaking everyone or the one who has to use everyone else’s stuff. Of course, it’s easy for something to break or to forget something here and there. Just be aware of what condition your stuff is in and try to make sure you have everything before you leave. Having a system in your trailer and at the show, things will be easier to keep track of and in good condition.
Third, be mindful of where you are in warm up. It can be hard to focus on your horse, coach, position, and everyone else all at once, but it does save a lot of headaches. If you see someone is repeatedly circling in one area, turn early if they are at the end. Also, if you are the person circling, try to do it in the corner and not the middle, it makes it much easier for people to stay out of your way. Jump warm-ups are a place that these skills are very important, especially in a smaller arena.
Jump warm-ups are a place that these skills are very important, especially in a smaller arena. If there are jumps in the middle and not much room around them, don’t cut your corners or circle, if possible, and call everything when you are jumping and passing people.
Also, call as much as possible. I have almost run into people and their horse because I didn’t know where they were or where they were going.Communication is key!
Lastly, know your horse! I know this sounds crazy, and a little obvious, but knowing your horse’s little quirks makes a big difference. If your horse has a problem standing still while you are washing them, don’t go where there are a ton of people at the wash areas, if possible. If your horse doesn’t like being in their stall for long amounts of time, hand graze and walk them often and see if there are paddocks available.
You are at shows to have fun and if you put your horse in a stressful situation unknowingly, it can make the experience a pain for everyone.