Got My Horse

Mastering the Essentials: A Guide to Horse Show Preparation

Horse Show Paperwork:

Horse shows can be exciting events for both horse riders and spectators alike. It’s important to understand that there’s more than just showing up to compete with your horse it’s equally essential to have the correct paperwork in hand.

Whether it’s your first horse show or your hundredth, its important to know which paperwork is required at each event. Required Paperwork:

Every horse show has a set of paperwork requirements.

The most common pieces of paperwork required include a completed entry form, a current coggins test, and a health certificate. The entry form is usually found on the horse show’s website and contains the details of the horse, rider, class, and contact information.

Make sure to fill in all the essential details and double-check for any errors and oversights. The coggins test is essential and mandated by the state.

Its a blood test on the horse that checks for equine infectious anemia (EIA). The test result is required to prove that the horse does not have the disease and is safe to attend the horse show.

Lastly, a health certificate is an official document issued by a licensed veterinarian that attests the horse is free from disease and in good health. It’s valid for only 30 days from the date of issue and must remain with the horse throughout their traveling and stay at the horse show.

Many horse shows also require proof of vaccinations as part of the health certificate procedure. Paperwork Binder:

It can be a challenge to keep track of required paperwork, especially if you participate in several horse shows each year.

By creating a paperwork binder, you can ensure all the required documents are kept safe, organized, and easy to locate. The paperwork binder should be a three-ring binder that’s easy to carry and has pockets to hold the horse’s documents.

Its also recommended to use dividers between each show, class, and stall. Label the dividers using show dates, horse name, and class entries.

In addition to essential paperwork, it’s beneficial to include any updates related to the horse’s health records, show records, and entries in the binder. It’s best to keep the binder in a safe place, preferably with the horse’s tack, at all times.

First Aid Kit:

Horse riding is a physical sport that comes with its risks. Horses are prone to unexpected injuries or illnesses, which is why having a first aid kit handy is essential.

A properly stocked first aid kit can help you provide immediate treatment to your horse after minor injuries and before professional medical help arrives. Vet Kit:

Having a vet kit close by can also come in handy in case of an emergency.

The vet kit should contain supplies, including latex gloves, scissors, petroleum jelly, and thermometer. An emergency drug kit can also be included in the vet kit in consultation with your veterinarian for injuries or illnesses that can’t wait for professional help.


Its crucial to have medications on hand to treat injuries or illnesses on the spot before professional help arrives. Essential medications to include in your first aid kit are Banamine (an anti-inflammatory), bute (phenylbutazone, which is used for pain relief), and triple antibiotic ointment.

Administering Medication:

Its important to know the rules and regulations related to administering medications at horse shows. Rules vary from horse show to horse show, and an unauthorized use of medication can lead to disqualification or banning from future shows.

In the United States, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) regulates medication and drug use for horse competitions. Their rules include restrictions on the use of various drugs in horses, including stimulants, depressants, and tranquilizers.

In case of an injury or illness that requires veterinary prescribed medication during a horse show, it’s essential to follow and report it according to the rules of the competition. Conclusion:

Participating in horse shows can be a fun and rewarding experience for both horses and riders.

However, it’s crucial to stay organized and prepared before you attend an event. Having the right paperwork and a properly stocked first aid kit with a vet kit can make all the difference.

By following the rules and regulations of horse shows, both riders and horses can compete safely and give their best performance. Trailering:

In the world of horse showing, transportation is everything getting your horse from point A to point B safely is essential.

Whether you are transporting your horse to a show or a veterinarian’s appointment, it’s important to be well-prepared and well-equipped. In this article, we will discuss some necessary trailering supplies that can ensure your horse travels comfortably and safely.

Shipping Supplies:

Before starting your journey, it’s crucial to ensure that your trailer is equipped with all the necessary shipping supplies. Firstly, assure that the trailer tires are well-inflated, and the spare tire is in good condition as you never know when a flat tire may occur.

Its also important to make certain that the trailer hitch and brakes are functioning correctly. Other essential items to carry when trailering a horse are wheel chocks, trailer ties, and a trailer emergency kit.

The trailer emergency kit should contain items such as a flashlight, jumper cables, a tow strap, and flares. Water/Food Supplies:

When trailering horses, it’s important to provide them with fresh water and food.

Dehydration and hunger can cause anxiety and discomfort to horses during a long journey. For shorter journeys, horses may not need water and food supplies, but it’s still recommended to keep them in the trailer in case of any delays.

When transporting a horse, make sure you have enough water and food to last the whole journey. A sufficient supply of hay and high-fiber food along with a few apples or carrots can help prevent dehydration.

It’s also important to consider how your horse will drink during the journey. If your trailer doesn’t have a water tank, make sure to provide a water bucket thats adequately secured.

Ensure that the water is refreshed frequently, and the bucket is clean. Other Supplies:

Along with water and food, there are other supplies you need to carry when trailering a horse.

For instance, bring an extra halter and lead rope to use for emergencies. It’s also essential to carry a manure fork to remove the horse’s waste during rest stops.

A good dust filter mask is also beneficial for both horses and humans as it prevents airborne dust particles from causing respiratory issues. Additionally, carrying fly spray can make your horse more comfortable and at ease during the journey and prevent fly bites.


Grooming is an essential aspect of horse care. It’s a great way to bond with your horse and ensure they’re clean and healthy.

Besides maintaining hygiene, grooming is essential in preventing illnesses and injuries as well. Grooming Supplies:

The essential supplies for grooming include a curry comb, stiff-bristle brush, soft-bristle brush, hoof pick, and a mane and tail comb.

It’s also essential to have a bucket and sponge for bathing the horse. While grooming, ensure that you check the horse’s body for any cuts, bruises, or lumps.

Regular grooming is the best time to perform a quick health check-up on your horse. Clipping Supplies:

Clipping is an essential aspect of grooming and can make your horse look more presentable and professional.

Clipping is also beneficial during the summer months as it helps with temperature regulation. The essential tools for clipping include clippers, blades, and lubricating oil.

Clippers available for purchase come in different sizes for various clipper jobs, including trimming the fetlock area, bridle path, and body clipping. Before clipping your horse, ensure that the horse is clean and dry.

Start slowly as some horses may require more adjusting to the noise and vibration of the clippers. Keep the blades sharp and lubricated and follow the horses hair growth direction.


Trailering and grooming are necessities in the world of horse showing, and having the right supplies can make a significant difference in ensuring your horse travels safely and looks its best. In conclusion, when trailering, remember to carry enough water, food, and other necessary supplies to cater to the horse’s needs.

During grooming, ensure you have the necessary supplies such as curry combs, hoof picks, and clippers to maintain your horse’s hygiene. Finally, remember to take caution when transporting or grooming your horse, ensuring their safety and comfort are your highest priorities.


Keeping your horse clean and presentable is an essential part of horse showing. Bathing your horse is one of the most effective ways to keep your horse looking its best.

Besides improving your horse’s appearance, regular bathing helps it feel fresh and healthy. In this article, we will discuss the necessary supplies required for bathing and provide a tutorial on how to bathe your horse correctly.

Bathing Supplies:

Before we begin with the tutorial, it’s essential first to have all the necessary bathing supplies at hand. The primary supplies include a hoof pick, rubber curry comb, horse shampoo, sponge, and a bucket.

A rubber curry comb is the ideal tool for loosening dirt and debris on your horse’s coat before shampooing. A horse shampoo designed for your horse’s specific coat color and hair type is crucial to obtain the desired results.

A sponge is used to apply the shampoo and for rinsing, while the bucket holds the water. Other essential supplies for bathing include a sweat scraper, a soft-bristled brush, and a towel.

The sweat scraper helps remove excess water from the coat after rinsing, while the soft-bristled brush helps bring out the natural luster of the coat. Bathing Tutorial:

Now that you have the necessary supplies ready let’s dive into the bathing tutorial:


Secure the horse in cross-ties or have someone hold it for you. Cross-ties are the most secure way to keep your horse in place and prevent it from pulling away during the process.

2. Use a rubber curry comb to loosen dirt and debris on your horse’s coat.

Start at the neck, rubbing in small circular motions, and make your way down to the legs, chest, and belly. 3.

Use a hoof pick to remove any dirt and debris from your horse’s hooves. 4.

Wet the horse’s coat thoroughly using a hose or a bucket of water. 5.

Apply horse shampoo, starting at the neck, and work your way down to the horse’s legs, back, and tail. Use a sponge to apply the shampoo and work it into a lather.

6. Rinse the shampoo off using a hose or bucket of water, making sure to remove all soap suds from the horse’s coat.

Use the sweat scraper to remove any excess water. 7.

Using a soft-bristled brush, brush your horse’s coat’s direction to bring out the natural luster. 8.

Use a towel to dry the horse thoroughly. Braiding:

Braiding is an integral part of grooming for horse shows.

The art of braiding your horse’s mane and tail can give them a sleek, formal appearance. It’s a crowd-pleaser and shows the level of care and attention you give to your horse.

In this article, we will discuss the necessary supplies required for braiding and provide a tutorial on how to braid your horse’s mane. Braiding Supplies:

Before beginning, let’s go over the essential supplies required for braiding.

The primary supplies include scissors, a mane comb, braiding bands, and a spray bottle of water. You’ll also require a stool, mounting block, or anything that provides a stable surface for you to stand on while braiding.

Braiding Tutorial:

Now that we have all the necessary supplies prepared let’s dive into the braiding tutorial:

1. Braid from the horse’s withers.

Separate a small section of the mane- approximately half-inch width. Sprinkle some water on the hair, which will help to slick it.

2. Divide the strand of hair into three equal parts.

The secret to great braids is to braid tightly. 3.

Cross the right section over the middle section, making the right section now the middle section. 4.

Repeat the same with the left section. 5.

Add more hair on the right side; cross it over the middle section. 6.

Repeat on the left side. 7.

Keep alternating between right and left, adding hair as you go down. 8.

After you have completed a few sections, secure it using a braiding band. 9.

Repeat the process until you finish the entire row of braids. 10.

Spray the completed section with water and use the comb to smooth over and straighten any bumps. You can also apply some hair gel if it’s windy or humid outside, to help keep the hairs in place.

11. Repeat the same process with the next row, making sure to keep the braids even both sides.


Bathing and braiding are essential aspects of horse showing, and properly maintaining your horse’s appearance can make all the difference in the world of competition. By following the necessary supplies and tutorials, you can give your horse the proper care and attention it deserves.

Remember to always consider your horse’s comfort and safety, and ensure you’re well-equipped for the task at hand. Saddle/Tack:

In the world of horse showing, having the proper saddle and tack is essential.

They ensure a comfortable ride for both the horse and the rider. The right saddle and tack will also guarantee that the horse performs at its best.

In this article, we will discuss the necessary supplies required for the saddle and tack and how you can maintain them. Saddle Supplies:

The most vital piece of equipment for horse riding is the saddle.

Before choosing a saddle, its important to ensure that it fits the horse properly and it’s the correct style for the type of riding you do. Adding a comfortable saddle pad underneath the saddle can prevent the saddle from making your horse uncomfortable.

Maintaining your saddle is crucial to ensuring its longevity and maintaining its appearance and function. Keep the saddle clean using a damp cloth and saddle cleaning soap.

Use a leather conditioner or oil regularly to keep the leather supple and extend its lifespan. For added protection, cover it with a saddle cover during storage.

Other necessary saddle supplies include stirrup leathers, stirrup irons, and a girth. Make sure the stirrup irons are correctly sized for your boots and that the stirrup leathers are adjusted correctly to your leg length.

The girth should also fit the horse comfortably, without causing irritation. Tack Supplies:

Tack is any equipment used for riding, such as bridles, bits, reins, and halters.

Before choosing any tack, ensure it fits the horse comfortably and is the correct style for the horse and riders requirements. Maintaining your tack is essential for its longevity and the horse’s comfort.

Clean tack using a damp cloth and saddle cleaning soap. Use leather conditioner or oil regularly, and store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

Other necessary tack supplies include a lead rope, lunging equipment, and a halter. The lead rope should be sturdy, fit comfortably in your hand, and be at least 8 feet long.

Lunging equipment, such as a whip and lunge line, allow you to exercise your horse without riding them. The halter should fit the horse correctly, without causing irritation.

Rider Apparel & Gear:

Besides having the proper saddle and tack, investing in quality rider apparel and safety gear is essential for the horse rider’s comfort and safety. Apparel:

Wearing the right clothing for horse riding helps the rider stay comfortable and free from injuries.

Wear clothing that fits appropriately, without being too baggy or too tight. Opt for comfortable footwear with a low heel to prevent slipping off the stirrups.

Wear a helmet that fits correctly, and consider wearing a protective vest for added safety. For showmanship events, dressing formally is a must.

For men, a suit or formal shirt and pants with polished shoes are recommended. For women, a riding jacket over a crisp white or light-colored shirt, breeches, and polished boots, coupled with a helmet, completes the look.

Safety Gear:

Body protectors or air vests are essential safety gear used to protect the rider in case of falls or accidents. Body protectors are a foam padding that covers the rider’s torso, while air vests are inflated when the rider is thrown off the horse.

Both are efficient in reducing injuries. However, it’s essential to ensure that they fit correctly before buying.


In conclusion, having the proper saddle, tack, rider apparel, and safety gear is essential for a comfortable and safe horse riding experience. Maintaining these supplies, such as cleaning and proper storage, helps extend their lifespan and ensures their functionality.

Remember to prioritize your horse’s comfort and safety, as well as your own, when choosing the correct equipment and apparel.

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