Most people who own and ride horses are only interested in riding for enjoyment, but some choose to compete with at horse shows. While the most talented riders mounted on horses that are well-trained are able to garner the highest awards, 4-H and open shows offer classes for amateurs. Youngsters and beginner equestrians are able to hone their riding skills to prepare for a higher level of competition in their future.
While having the ability to properly ride a highly trained horse is the most important requirement for successful equestrian competition, getting the judges eye comes in at a close second. An impeccably groomed horse carrying a rider in an attractive turnout gets the judges attention so an outstanding performance will be noticed.
There are a lot of details that go into a competitive show performance, and preparation begins with proper care of the horse. A shiny coat and good grooming can make even a poorly conformed animal make a good impression on the judge. Young equestrians should learn the proper grooming techniques, and understand that the first step of upgrade is bathing their horse.
Using the proper equipment for each style of riding is essential for the best turnout. Western riding is a popular discipline for beginners since western style saddles offer the most secure seat. A saddle that correctly fits both the horse and rider is important, and the tack should be trimmed with at least a few touches of silver. The color of the riders clothing should compliment the color of the horse, and a bit of glitz doesn’t hurt in this department either.
The turnout of the English rider is considerably more subdued, although proper clothing and tack is still very important. While winning is thrilling to the young competitor, every rider can and should learn every time they enter the showring.