Show Responsibilities

Showing with JPH

If you are new to horse shows don’t let my “Show Responsibilities” scare you.

We have everything you need for your first shows and we will be there to hold your hand. JPH has a great group of riders & parents and a wonderful support team.


I think shows are great fun, a wonderful place to show off your riding skills and a lot of hard work. Here are a few comments to make our shows run smooth and help the new comers.

Please go over our show schedule let me know as early as possible which shows you will be attending. You will want to get your entries in to avoid late fees. Remember to note on your entry for that you will be stabling with Johnson Performance Horses and cc me a copy of your entry. If you are showing a JPH horse or pony I will send you a copy of their papers so you can get the information for the entry form.


Entry fees, memberships, stall and show fees paid to the Show Manager are your responsibility. In most cases I can leave a JPH check at the show office when I check in so I can receive your exhibitor’s number, however, before you leave the show grounds please settle up your account at the show office. Please go over your bill before paying to confirm you showed in the classes you are being charged for. Some larger shows require entries paid prior to event. I will collect checks and mail them in together with the entry forms.

At multiple day shows I usually bring horses the day before. I will bring feed, buckets and hay. If you are available, it is to your advantage to school in the show arena before the show starts. During one-day shows, I try to have the horses at the shows grounds at least 1 hour before the show starts. For most riders and horses, plan to spend about 45 minutes schooling before the show. Please briefly go over your courses first, you will want to see if there are any difficult jump combinations you would like to practice. If you are showing in one of the first classes you will want to be in your show cloths with your horse properly groomed, if you are showing later in the day, schooling cloths are fine and you can give your horse a show groom after schooling. 


TIP: For most riders, if they are showing before noon, it is safe to arrive at the show with show breeches/jodhpurs and boots on. If you put on your shirt please cover it with a t-shirt or something to keep it clean. If it is hot, your jacket is best left on a hanger until just before you show. Make sure you know where your jacket is if you need to send someone for it and have your name in it. I also like to keep my show gloves in my jacket pocket so I know where there are. If possible, bring an extra pair of show breeches or Jods. An early day fall in the mud can ruin you appearance for the day. 

Whether you school your horse in the morning or not, you will need to warm him up for a few minutes right before you go in the ring to show. I will always try to be there for your warm up, to go over your horse and equipment before you show, go over the course or other class concerns and be there when you enter the ring & show. I also like to spend a minute with you after you show just to talk about it.


Many of the following show responsibilities will not apply to our Walk/Trot riders (our youngest and most beginner level riders). 

It is your responsibility to groom and tack up your horse, be dressed with your hair securely put up and have your exhibitor’s number. Horses need to be warmed up and schooled before showing. Keep me posted on when your class is coming up and were you will be so I can find you. Please learn your jump courses & patterns as early in the day as possible. If you or your horse is having a problem with something, please let me know in time to help you fix it before you show. Please don’t wait until you’re ready to walk in the ring to inform me of a problem.


Some of the shows we go to have more than one ring showing at a time and I often have students in each ring. Show management usually tries to accommodate trainers so they can be there for their students by holding a class until the trainer can get there. If the ring steward is calling for your class and I am not there, please let them know your trainer is at another ring. 


Water, Water, Water. Please offer your horse water several times during the day. If he has a bridle on, you may need to slip it off so he can drink. If there are other horses tied to the trailer or in stalls please check their water too. It is best to keep water buckets full. Giving cold water to a hot horse is hard on their system, it is better if it is room temperature. If your horse is very hot, limit his drinking to no more than a half a bucket at a time. 


More show information: I require all horses be clipped, bathed and manes pulled before attending any show. This service will already be provided for you if your horse is in our training program. Otherwise, if you need me to clip your horse or pull a mane please schedule it with me. Manes are braided at major events and rated shows. We are glad to offer those services for you, please go over our price list for the cost. I realize that showing horses can become expensive and I would like to make it as affordable as possible. I will happily spend time with anyone who wishes to learn to properly prepare their horse for a show by teaching to clip, pull manes and braid. If you do not wish to use our show prep services, you will need to purchase clippers and the proper blades, pulling combs and a braiding kit. I recommend Oster’s A5 or Andis AGC Super clippers and #10 & #40 blades.


If you own a saddle you will need to purchase a white fleece show pad. I prefer synthetic over real fleece for the hunter ring. You will need to know the style and size of your saddle to get one that fits properly or bring your saddle with you when you go to buy one. There should be no more than 1 or 2 inches of fleece showing around the entire edge of the saddle. Please take your pad home with you after the show so in can be washed and ready for the next show. Have your name on your show pad, they get mixed up easil. Please consider buying a good half back pad or gel pad for your horse’s back and a grip liner for under the saddle pad helps prevent the saddle from slipping.


When attending multiple day shows, we request you have a large Kobalt Mobile Job Box (it is approximately 36” and is black w/blue-purple lid and wheels). It is available at Lowe’s for $68.00 plus tax .  If I am hauling your horse for a one day show I will have supplies available for you in the trailer. I do not have room to take trunks for one-day shows but you are welcome to bring it yourself. Also, Sorry but I do not have room at the barn for trunks if you do not lease or own a horse at JPH


Show Supplies for your trunk:

  • Saddle, bridle, show pad, clean schooling pad, girth
  • Grooming tools; curry, body brush, stiff mud brush, finishing brush, hoof pick, tail brush, comb
  • Rags (hand towel size)
  • Fly spray
  • Show sheen (coat polish)
  • Pepe or Champion hair finish
  • Hoof oil or dressing or clear polish 
  • Hair spray for you and your horse. (Everyone knows how I hate those wispy hairs and it prevents your saddle pad from slipping).

Additional Supplies for Overnight Shows:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Wash bucket, sponge & scraper
  • Leg wraps & Bandages (for open hunter/jumpers)
  • Show sheet and/or blanket

If you board your horse with me and I am hauling for you, I will bring feed, hay and buckets.


If you haul your own horse from home please make sure to have these things. Also remember that stalls will need to be bedded and tended to during multiple day shows. We usually have groom(s) for this but I do encourage young riders to be involved in caring for their horse/pony at shows.


If I am hauling a horse for you please have for tack trunk packed (with saddle too). It is also helpful when you can to bring your own tack trunk if space is limited in our trailers. Please leave things from your trunk that are not needed for the show at the barn. I expect all tack to be cleaned and your boots polished before you get to the show. Also, I don’t suggest bringing new tack to a show. If you have something new, try it on your horse at home to make sure everything is okay. 

Show Cloths


If you are primarily a “hunter rider” your cloths should be well fitted and conservative. If the judge is distracted by bling, loud colors or big bows they are not watching your pony! 


Children under 12 usually wear jodhpurs; they are long riding pants with a cuff. They are worn with either black or brown paddock boots and leg garters. Older children and adults wear breeches and they are worn with tall black riding boots. In the disciplines we show (hunters & jumpers), field boots are customary. Field boots have laces on the instep. Both breeches and jodhpurs should be buff, tan, gray or khaki. No white, rust or dark colors. Full seat breeches are for dressage and white breeches are for formal, jumper (not hunter) and dressage events. 


The most traditional color for hunt coats is navy, either solid, striped or herringbone. If most of the shows you attend are Welsh rated, tweed hacking jackets are very nice. There are a lot of other great fabrics and colors for jackets available; however, they are always conservative. Black is primarily worn in dressage and formal events, but they are acceptable at most shows.  

Shirts are to be light, conservative colors or white. No sleeveless or short sleeved shirts or at least keep a long sleeved one with you in case of a hot day and the judge excuses jackets. White shirts are always worn in equitation and medal classes at rated shows. Boys and men wear a dress shirt and tie. The tie needs to be held down with a clip or tucked in your shirt so it doesn’t flap in the wind while you’re riding. 


Hunt caps have to be ASTM/SEI approved. They should be black, dark gray, navy or brown. The synthetic fabrics on the Charles Owens, Sam Shields and GPA helmets are the most popular in the show ring these days. 

Hair must be up and neat, with no wispy hairs. Girls under 12 can wear braids and bows. Older girls and women need to have their hair up in their helmet. Hairnets are necessary for this.  I do not like buns in hunter classes, they tend to flop around and come loose when jumping. Make sure anything you do with your hair does not affect the way your helmet fits. 

Black or Brown gloves are expected, and I require them for equitation classes. Please ride with them at home so you are used to them. Please have your name in them.


IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS; I know this is really thinking ahead for some of you, but I think it is an important opportunity to think about. In 1998, equestrian was classified as a recognized sport by the NCAA. With Title IX/Gender Equity rules, many universities are seeking out female equestrian athletes to fulfill their gender quotas. It is my understanding that many universities are adding equestrian to their sports offered, apparently title IX as been a big motivating factor. Good news for us! So if your kid loves horses, here is a great reason to support it.

Some schools that do not have NCAA teams do have Intercollegiate Equestrian Teams. This is a fun, team activity for horse loving college students and usually much less expensive than showing your own horse. 

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