Attending your first horse show can be nerve-wracking but exciting. You must be prepared and put together before the event, which can be a lot, especially for a young rider. But it’s a beautiful experience that you and your horse can have together. From feedback and travel to just having fun, a horse show can be an event in your life you will never forget. Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a horse show:

You will get out of your comfort zone.

As humans, we tend to get into the habit of doing the same things every day. You see the same people, work on the same tasks, and ride where you usually ride. It can be hard to step away from your comfort zone, so going out to ride somewhere new and take on new challenges will give you the ability to break out of your usual patterns and even advance you to the next level of riding.

You can get feedback from others.

It’s a whole new experience to get feedback from an “outside view.” Many of the people you meet at a horse show, whether it be a judge or another rider, won’t know anything about you or your horse. They won’t have any bias based on your riding history. The things you learn from people at horse shows will help you grow. They can point out small things that you might have missed to help you improve.

You will get a deeper understanding of what being a rider means to you.

You can learn a lot by watching other people ride and seeing them perform. Each person has a different style or approach to doing things and a unique bond with their horses. At horse shows, you can consider your method and technique to decide how you want to portray yourself when you ride. What kind of clothes do you want to wear, what kind of music do you want to use during your performance? Attending many horse shows can help you to see the various possibilities.

You can spend time with other people from the horse community.

Enjoying the company of people from neighboring barns is always a fun experience as you spend time with those who share your same interests. You can ride around with other riders to talk about shows they have attended and share your own stories with people who speak your language. It’s a time to relax and enjoy life in a setting where everyone —including you— is doing what they love most.

You will have fun.

The number one reason to attend horse shows is to have fun! Sure, you will learn and become a better rider as you observe each show, but the emphasis will be on fun while you’re learning. At the very least, try to enjoy each horse show experience as much as possible while also seeking opportunities to grow, so you feel somewhat accomplished when you return home. Horse show days exist for you and your horse to enjoy, sit back, and spend some quality time together.

In addition to all the best reasons to attend horse shows presented here, there are still many more reasons out there for you to discover! Don’t let your fears overpower the experience you could have. We invite you to attend an event at The Cottonwood Equine Center by checking out all of our events here.

If you are participating in your first horse show and need success tips, you can check out this article by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (Fédération Equestre Internationale / FEI). For horse show planners seeking the best horse show venue in the western United States, please visit The Cottonwood Equine Center for information about booking an arena.

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