Show team points to ponder


Types of shows

Fun shows
Western or English, Cheaper, register day of show, more casual, ride in a group setting, may have to join a club

These are part of fun shows.  It is leading the horse in a pattern from the ground and you are judged on memorizing the pattern,  turnout of the horse, and turnout of handler.

Speed shows
Western style, Follow fun shows, ride alone in a pattern, faster the better.  These shows tend to run until around ten p.m. 

Dressage shows
English style, more expensive, formal dress, ride alone in a pattern, pre register

Hunter jumper shows
English style, Ride alone, more expensive, formal dress, pre register


Horse show preparations

The Horse
The horse must be bathed either the night before or morning of.  Manes must be trimmed, bridle paths and facial hair trimmed, hooves polished, tails brushed and possibly braided, eye and nose boogers cleaned, socks whitened.  The horse must be clean.   The stall must be clean.  Said bathed horse will roll in his own poop requiring a second bath. 

Saddles cleaned and polished.  Bridles cleaned and polished.  Bits clear of debris.  Silver polished.  Saddle pads clean and stain free.  Stirrup irons free of rust/mud.  All tack in good, safe, working order. 

The Rider
There is normally no place to change into riding outfits at a show unless you want to use the horse trailer.(there will be poop)  I suggest wearing an old shirt or clothes over the riding clothes or changing right before we leave.  Riders must be responsible for their own clothing, including a fitting astm certified riding helmet.  If you do not have the required attire, you may be disqualified or not allowed to compete.  Most shows require children under 18 to have a helmet on while mounted AT ALL TIMES. 

Black tall boots or brown jodphurs.  Tan breeches.  White long sleeve button down shirt tucked in.  Helmet.  Blue or black coat, recommended for formal shows.  Black gloves, belt

Helmet, although a cowboy hat must be worn for showmanship and halter.  Cowboy style plaid or checkered shirt.  Jeans, cowboy boots  OPTIONAL: chaps, bolos, bowties, vests, belt with cowboy style buckle

Anyone showing in showmanship must have a pair of black gloves

Long hair must be braided pig-tail style and/ or in a hairnet.  Showbows are allowed.  The reason is that contestants must wear a number pinned to their back.  The judge must be able to see the number. 


Coggins paperwork

Coggins is a contagious horse disease spread easily from horse to horse.  All horses are required to have a negative coggins paper while travelling.  The cost of this is $22 per horse from Greenville Vet Services.


Loading for the show

Each rider must have a checklist and be responsible for their gear.  Saddles, pad, bridles, brushes, etc. must be loaded and ready to go.  Each horse must have a hay bag loaded with hay in the trailer.  Once the horses are in the trailer, we will be leaving.  There will be no "I forgots", "I need to go back", or "whoopsies".  Once the horses are trailered, we leave.   


Leaving for the show

I prefer to arrive at the show at least an hour before the ride time/start of show.  We will need to register the kids and horses,  sign releases, saddle and  warm up the horses, get settled in, use the bathroom,  do last minute safety checks,  find parking, pin on numbers, etc.  There is a lot to do!  I would prefer if kids rode with their parents so that myself or whoever is pulling the trailer has no disruptions. 


What to expect at the show

Most shows are fairly well organized.   The horses will be in a new environment and nervous.   There will be new sights, smells, and lots of people and other horses.   The kids will be nervous also.  This IS a competition.  Not all parents/coaches/trainers play nice.  It is very important that the kids are paying attention to the task at hand.  They must remain with or near their horses.  The horses will be tied to the trailer between classes.   Parents must have a showbill and know when their child’s class is called.  Parents must LEAD their child on their horse to the arena for their class and lead them back to the trailer when the class is finished.  



The Highland Saddle Club expects good sportsmanship out of its riders.  Judges aren’t always fair, ribbons aren’t always won, and trophies aren’t always awarded.  Remember that everyone must start somewhere.  Poor sportsmanship on behalf of the riders OR the riders family will result in forfeiture of showing for the rest of the season. 


Leaving the show

All tack, brushes, ribbons, trash, etc must be loaded in the truck.  We leave the showground in the condition we came to it in.  All personal items must be loaded in the vehicle.  Some shows require your number be turned back in.  Everything must be loaded and ready to go before the horses are loaded.  Once the horses are loaded, we will leave.  There will be no going back, no stopping, no I forgots or whoopsies.  Once the horses are loaded, we leave the showground to return back to the barn.  


Returning to the barn

Your child will be tired.  You will be tired.  Michele and Kevin and Stephani will be tired.  There is still a lot of work to do.  First and foremost the horses must be returned to their stalls, fed and watered.   The horses’ health and well being are a priority.  After the horses are cared for, we will need to unload the truck and put stuff away.  If everyone pitches in, this can go quickly.  Finally the trailer must be cleaned out.  All manure/urine/hay/etc  will need to be removed to prevent rotting of the floor boards.  A clean trailer is a safe trailer!   The trailer will need to be parked and unhitched.  All trash will need to be cleaned out of Kevin’s truck. 


Helpful hints

  ● Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks.  Some shows have food, some don’t. 

  ● Pack a lawn chair(s)

  ● Sunscreen!!

  ● Younger siblings get bored quick!  Toys, games, etc.  are helpful.  A babysitter is better yet!

  ● Bring cash or checks.  Most shows don’t take credit/debit cards. 

  ● Bugspray!

  ● First aid kit



Loading and unloading horses is a time when kids must stand back, be under control and listening to Michele, Kevin or Stephani.  Some horses rush off the trailer, jump on, spin or get excited around the trailer.  Everyone must be paying attention to the horse handlers.  I suggest taking a moment to look at the maroon trailer with Michele, Kevin or Stephani.  See how the latches and doors work.  You may be asked to help out.   AT NO TIME ARE ANY KIDS ALLOWED IN THE TRAILER WITH A HORSE.  NOT NOW, NOT EVER, NEVER EVER EVER.   


Horse show checklist

  ● Saddle

  ● Bridle

  ● Reins

  ● Girth for saddle

  ● Saddle pad

  ● Brush box (brushes, hoofpick, etc)

  ● Hay/hay net

  ● Halter and lead rope

  ● Rags/towels

  ● Flyspray for horse

  ● Helmet

  ● Clothes/accessories/cowboy hat/gloves

  ● Boots/helmet

  ● Cooler/drinks/snacks

  ● Bug spray for humans

  ● Sunscreen

  ● Hair ties for kids

  ● Hair brush

  ● Coggins for horse

  ● Extra lead rope

  ● Pitchfork

  ● Muck bucket

  ● Water bucket



12118 Ellis Road, Highland, IL 62249
Owned & Operated by Kevin A Gleason

    Michele: 618-616-5154  |  Kevin: 618-567-5477