In past writings and talks we have always tried to project the importance of attention to detail in riding.  However, on horse show day there many other details to consider before going up the centerline.   When these details are ignored or mismanaged, it may create stress between horse and rider which then carries into our test riding.

First of all, make sure to double check the day sheets on the morning of show day to confirm your ride time.  It is possible that show management can adjust times from what was posted even just the day before.  It is the RIDER’S responsibility to check the current day sheets and be on time for their ride.

Plan ahead and know how much warm up time you will need.  Weather conditons can play a role.  Very hot – maybe less warm up – if it’s particularly cold or if you know your horse needs lungeing anyway,  know where designated lungeing areas are.  

When arriving in warm up, you should check in with the ring steward so that they know you are there and can tell you if the arenas are running on time.   It is NOT the ring steward’s job to chase you down!  It can also be helpful in planning your warm up to know which horse goes immediately before you so you can more easily plan the timing of your final moments in the warm up. 

Make sure if you have bandages or boots on your horse that you have your groom (or someone!) on hand to take them off so that you are not suddenly warmed up and then stressed over the details that may disturb the success of your warm up. 

It is polite and customary to pass by the judge’s box at ‘C’  before your test so that the judge and/or scribe have an opportunity to verify your bridle number. 

Although you are not judged on the outside of the arena, it is the judge’s first impression.  Try to show a good point about you and your horse, not a negative.   Ie:  If you know your horse doesn’t have a clear walk rhythm, then try not to show that on the outside of the arena. 

Should you know before warming up that you are not going to ride your test, then you should go to the show office to officially ‘Scratch’.  If you are already in the warm up and decide (for whatever reason) that you are not going to ride your test, then you should inform the ring steward that you are scratching.  This is a courtesy not only to show management, but to other competitors as well.  Riders who do not ‘scratch’ properly, are considered ‘no shows’, which is not appreciated. 

See you soon on the centerline!!