Why do you like going to horse shows?

We attended our first horse show of the year last weekend in Springfield, Ohio. While walking around I got thinking about my favorite reasons for attending horse shows. As I formulated my own ideas I also began asking other people what they liked about going to shows.

Why do you like going to horse shows

These were some of the answers;

  1. the horses; preparing and taking the test, showing, the competition
  2. the horse people; hanging out with other people who love horses observing and learning
  3. vacation; away from home, no cooking or cleaning the house, traveling places

For years I didn’t like showing because I thought it was all about winning or losing. I became a believer in showing when I began to see the benefits of having a goal; my riding improved, my signals became more refined which translated into better communication with my horses. I learned how to use training cycles because of going to horse shows.

In addition to the horses, relationships with people were developed and it added a whole new level of enjoyment to the shows. This thought was confirmed in a recent conversation with a lady who is going to a show this weekend…without her horse. He isn’t ready but she still craves the atmosphere.

What do you like about going to shows?


  1. Rosie on April 14, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I love camping out with the pony, meeting up with friends and trying to do better than we did at the last show. It’s not about winning or losing but improving what you do and seeing how far your partnership with your pony can take you.

  2. Lori Thompson on April 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    My favorite thing about going to horse shows is sitting in the barn late at night after all the horses have been put to bed. It’s quiet, maybe a few people still there banding or braiding, and the only sounds you hear are crunching hay, whinnies here and there, and the occasional “thump!” of a hoof hitting the wall. Like getting rocked to sleep… 🙂

  3. Denise Jack on April 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Can not show anymore(double amputee). The horse people are a different breed of their own. They see you having a hard time and will offer to help. People will stand and talk to you and are as nice as they can be. Love all breeds. Love to take and look at pictures. So be kind to one another. One day you might get be able to pay it forward. Stacy your site does that for me. Thank you and God bless.

  4. Lisa on April 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    All of the above!! As a non-pro I love being able to escape to a show to spend time with my awesome horses and incredible friends!! This is my social outlet!!

  5. Alicia on April 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I love to go and watch the shows… To me, seeing a great horse and rider combo that performs beautifully also to see the mental connection between rider and horse is great for me to watch… I have 3 horses i ride but have not shown yet. I was going to start this year but I had to have back surgery. Recovery might mean I miss this show year again. I am hoping that me and my young mare can do a schooling show some time soon.

  6. Tina on April 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    To be able to drive away, whether you’ve won or not, knowing that you trained your horse on your own and he/she did what you asked all day. That’s it for me.

  7. Barb on April 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Might sound corny, but being a horseperson is a lifestyle and the shows turn into a celebration of that for many of the reasons listed above. From the smell of the diesel and the fresh plowed arena to the laughter and groans at the stalls after the class…it’s something that cannot be caught anywhere else.

  8. Linda on April 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    i just go to take pictures, love them shows

  9. Beth on April 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I attend horse shows and I do not own any anymore.

  10. laura on April 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I train my own horses, so I like to see how well I am doing with their training , what we need to work on, etc.

  11. Morgan Wiss on April 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Honestly, I hated to show. It meant a crazy horse and a stressful day. It took me a few years to realize how much learned and grew throughout each experience. Now that I have a much more laid back horse, I just love being in the show environment and hanging out with my horse. It is truly a great bonding experience!

  12. Becky Vissers on April 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    It’s social and a break from all the hard work at the farm! We camp at most of the shows, so a little vacation

  13. Jessica Martin on April 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Does your sons enjoy horse shows?

  14. Anna Thompson on April 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I only go to little small local shows, but still, I like to see what my horse and I have REALLY got going under a little pressure. It keeps me sharper when riding at home. And I love the social aspect – hanging with horse people all day!!! And, one of the best things is to watch my kid show and get better every year!

  15. Leslie F. on April 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The variety. horse people are like fingerprints. We all have our own unique styles and ways of doing things which allows us a huge knowledge pool for when one method doesn’t work. The common tie is that we all love horses and are willing to do what is necessary to make sure our horses are cared for well.

  16. Mary on April 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I’m a show mom who also rides and loves the lifestyle. For me it’s about the wonderful time spent with my daughters and their horses, watching them improve and have fun. The atmosphere can’t be beat.

  17. Amy Brandt on April 8, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Most definitely the friendships that are gained their! I miss most going to our local reining circuit, of course everybody hopes they win. But everybody is behind everybody! We all cheer on one another and help out where needed! And Never let a great ride go unnoticed! Someday soon I will have another reiner and be hitting the road! I can’t wait!

  18. Jess Foss on April 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    As a previous 4H member of 10 years, I LOVED going to shows to “show off” what I can do with my horse. The older I got, the less it became about winning or losing and more about, how can I improve (on a bad day) or what did I do (on a good day). I just loved the atmosphere, the smells of clean horses, show sheen, squeaky leather. Now that I’m in college, shows are few and far between for me and my mustang in training, but during the summer, I am able to go to a few, just to hold on to that excitement and that rush you get once you step into the ring.

  19. Heidi A on April 8, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    to reach and exceed the goals you set for yourself and your horse and to see my horse show family

  20. Rachael on April 8, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I do gymkhana with my mustang. I don’t have time to practice much and I don’t have a trailer so I ride to the events, but I do enjoy it a lot.
    I grew up trail riding and was never allowed to show til I moved out. I tried some open shows and met with stuck up snobs who just made rude comments about my appy not having a fake tail. I will occasionally attend an open show, but it is not enjoyable like gymkhana.

    At gaming I find less stuck up snobs…more friendly people. Less politics…it’s just about riding. No the best rider with the best horse is not always the winner…the fastest horse with a rider who stays on wins, but I can take pride in knowing my girl does her best.
    If you show only to win you will end up hating it. No one wins all the time….

  21. Terri Anderson on April 8, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I absolutely just love looking at horses of any kinds! But the main reason I compete, is that my goal is to be the best horseman I can be and the shows are a way for me to measure my progress. Part of the challenge is my mind set to remember patterns, ect, as well as the actual riding. And of course all the wonderful horsey friends I have made are just as important as the competition part…we cheer for and help each other….almost like a sorority of sorts! Sometimes when I get to the show with all the hustle and bustle, it makes me so happy, I almost cry:)

  22. Laura Rupe on April 8, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I honesty just love getting into the ring. It’s not about winning or loosing for me, but if I go out there and feel like I’ve had a good ride then I know that it was worth it. If I have a bad ride and we do horrible I use it as a learning experience for future shows. I’ll be prepared next time for that scenario. Showing through IHSA taught me that even bad rides can be full of learning experiences.

  23. Kirsty on April 8, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Like you say Stacy to have a goal always improving my skills and that of my horses. I find it very rewarding even when it wasn’t such a good day, there is always something positive to take from it 🙂

  24. Sam on April 8, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I actually like watching my kids do fun shows.

  25. Sam on April 8, 2014 at 11:44 am

    All the above. To keep my horse thinking, hanging out with friends, and NO HOUSE CLEANING. See you at the EQ Affair. lol

  26. Yvonne on April 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I like going with my horse it sets goals for me to attain….sometimes I get to my goals and don’t go…lol I also enjoy the visiting with other horse people.

  27. Dave Hayes on April 8, 2014 at 11:36 am

    To see how well they have trained there horse and taken care of there horses.

Leave a Comment




100% Private - 0% Spam

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

No one taught you the skills you need to work through these things.

Riders often encounter self-doubt, fear, anxiety, frustration, and other challenging emotions at the barn. The emotions coursing through your body can add clarity, or can make your cues indistinguishable for your horse.

Learning these skills and begin communicating clearly with your horse.

Click here to learn more.



Get the free printable guide

    Download now. Unsubscribe at anytime.