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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have unanswered questions about horse showing? Read answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

How many days does a horse show last for?

Depending on the show rating and style of riding, horse shows can be short as one day long, or could span over five days. Hunter/jumper horse shows are either categorized as unrated, or rated C, B, A, or AA based on class specifications and prize money awarded, according to the United States Equestrian Federation. Typically C and B shows are one or two day shows that cater to those who wish to compete in less challenging divisions, and trainers who are either trying to help their students accumulate points or give young horses exposure. A and AA shows, on the other hand, may run from Wednesday to Sunday and attract exhibitors who are willing to pay the higher entry fees to compete against more seasoned horse and rider combinations and have a shot at prize money should they place well. Show days typically start at 7 or 8 a.m. and can end anywhere from as early as 12 p.m. to as late as 10 or 11 p.m. Most ring gate crew will continue to put horses in the ring for as long as the judge is willing to stay at the show so that the show day can be fully completed.

What is a typical day like at a horse show?

Who best to answer this question than a trainer himself? David Loman is the head trainer of Cornerstone Show Stables in Harwood, Md. and has 34 years experience working with horses. He has been running his own barn for the past 18 years.

David Loman of Cornerstone Show Stables sends a horse into the ring at a show at Swan Lake Show Facility, Littlestown, Pa. (Photo by: Brittani Bowling/Towson University Student)

“I don’t know that there is a ‘typical’ day at a horse show because there are so many variables,” Loman said.

“Usually I start early, at the show between 5 and 6 a.m. to oversee and participate in the preparation of the horses for that day.  Because they are away from home and out of their normal routine, i.e. no turn out etc., some need to get rid of excess energy and others need to loosen stiff muscles, while they all need to continue whatever training process they are going through – which never ends – all of which is organized the night before so that every horse gets what they need for that day.  Then I have to check in with the rings, again part of organizing the day.  I go to the starter, or in-gate person, and let them know what I have showing in their ring and attempt to head off any conflicts that might come up during the day. Someone during the morning gets “the numbers” for each ring so we have an idea of when we need to be where based on an average of 3.5 minutes a trip.  I also need to find out from show management if there is a primary or priority ring and plan my day from there.  I have to have help doing all of this, and part of my job is oversight and communication so that everyone and everything is where they need to be at the right time.  The bulk of my day at a show is spent preparing riders for the ring and/or showing horses.  I don’t try to ‘fix it’ at a show, we just show what we have that day.  There is typically at least one horse that is not showing that is there to deal with whatever particular issues need to be dealt with, and lessons are given at the show to people that are not showing that day, but that is something that is fit into the day. At the end of the day is all about repairing anything from that day and preparing for the next day, or getting everything and everyone home if the show is over.”

I want to learn how to ride. Where can I find a local barn to take lessons at?

The following barns are located in Baltimore county:

  • J-Mar Stables: 410-472-4475
  • Spring Hollow Farm: 443-904-0666
  • Pleasant Valley Stables: 410-882-0388
  • Camelot Farm, Inc.: 410-472-2256

What about for those who wish to be more serious and competitive?

The following show barns are located in northern Maryland and show up and down the east coast, including a few who spend several months in Florida for the winter circuits.

  • ESP Farm: 301-260-0050
  • Caves Farm: 410-998-3999
  • Rolling Acres Farm: 301-774-4604
  • Loblolly Farm: 443-507-0325

Where can I find horses for sale or lease?

Popular websites for horse sales and leases include the following:

Written by brittanibowling

June 23, 2010 at 12:28 am

One Response

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  1. […] brittanibowling 12:29 am Visit the frequently asked questions page to answer lingering questions you might have about horse showing. […]


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