How to Prepare for Your First Online Horse Show

Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Allison Price

In-person horse shows can be difficult for average riders to attend. These shows can be time-consuming, especially for multi-day shows, and are very expensive (trainer fees and showground fees, etc.) and require transportation for both horse-rider. For some horses and riders, it can be intimidating and stressful to ride away from their home. There is hope! You can take part in online horse shows from the comfort of your own home.

Online and virtual horse shows make it easier to show horses online. Online horse shows have been around since before the pandemic. However, they are even more popular today. A virtual show is a great alternative to traveling, especially if you don’t want to be in cramped spaces or places. Virtual horse shows are fun and easy to organize (everything is done in your own stable), and they allow equestrians all over the world to compete and connect.

You might be wrong to think that participating in an online horse show is like giving up your big, beautiful rosettes. Online horse show competitors can still compete for rosettes and trophies as well as prizes. Some show series allow you to accumulate points which can be used towards awards and championships at the end of each year.

Online Horse Show

This quick guide will help you prepare for and plan for your first competition, whether you are just signing up for your first horse show online or looking for some tips and tricks for showing online.

How do you prepare for an internet horse show?

First, locate the online horse show that you would like to compete at and then choose your classes. Online horse shows are designed to offer a mixture of skillful competition and fun classes. One show could include English and Western hack, equitation classes and conformation and in hand exercises. There may also be fun competitions such as the “Best Friends Photo” class hosted by the online horse show or the “Fun in the Sun” class hosted by Horse Show Online.

You can even find breed-specific shows like those hosted by American Paint Horse Association. There’s an online show for every type of horse and rider, regardless of class.

After you have signed up for your classes online, preparing to show your horse at an online show will be similar to preparing for an in person horse show.

It’s best to begin your show grooming at least a week before your classes, just like in-person shows. Make sure to give your boots and tack a thorough clean. Polish any metal buckles. Wash your saddle pad, polo wraps and any other items you plan to use.

It is important that your horse is calm and confident when it comes to training and preparation. You can access online courses that will help you and your horse prepare for your virtual competitions. Another useful tool to keep track of your progress is an equestrian diary.

Virtual horse show:

You can say goodbye to long horse show packing lists, boots and traveling wraps, trying to coax horses into the trailer and messing with hay nets. All you need to prepare yourself for an online horse show is already in your barn. All online entries for horse shows are submitted via photo or video. You will only need a smartphone with a camera or a standalone camera and someone to operate it.

You don’t need to have a show coat or show shirt if you are not able to show horses. You can wear your normal barn gear at some shows like The Mane Show. This is a UK-based online show. You are welcome to wear your regular horse show clothes, just as you would at an actual show. Make sure you read the rules online for horse shows to make sure you are properly dressed for the classes in which you will be competing.

8 Top Virtual Horse Shows

These are eight popular virtual horse shows worth checking out.

Tips to film and photograph your performance

It is a great idea to have another horsewoman photograph your performance or film it. Horse photography is something our barn friends are very skilled at!

Your friend should film horizontally your competition. This will ensure that you and your horse remain in the same frame throughout the film. This also helps judges feel more space when they are watching you compete.

Film at a time when the judges can see the video clearly. The judges may not be able to see the video if it is dark or in the morning. Be aware of any shadowy areas or brighter areas when you are filming indoors. This can cause camera glare. You might consider turning on the indoor arena lights to allow judges to see your video clearly.

It can be difficult to predict what activities will take place at your barn on the day that you are filming your class. This is especially true if your stable is larger. You should make sure that you film the test in a quiet area, away from any distractions such as dogs or loud music. To avoid any sideline coaching, you’ll want to record the sound while you record.

Online horse shows don’t allow photos or videos to be altered in order to maintain fair competition. Although everything works on the honor system and you can try it multiple times, make sure to only submit your best efforts.

Send your video or image to the correct email address or upload site, and wait for the results.

Final tips

Online horse shows are great for keeping in touch with the equestrian community and making new friends. They can also be a wonderful way to check how your horse is doing before you go to an in-person show.

Online shows can be a great way for new riders to show and practice for their first shows in person. Have fun, above all things!

Do you think about entering a virtual horse show? Please comment!

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!