What is your favorite song to play before you show? Let us know. Photo © Parris Rice

We Ask Exhibitors: What is Your Favorite Song to Listen to Before You Show?

For many exhibitors, listening to music has a similar calming effect as riding horses. Music is capable of relaxing and giving confidence to anyone, whether it be before the World Show, Congress, or a weekend show. Our favorite tunes can “pump us up” and help us perform to the best of our ability.

Sometimes, the artist who sings the song serves as an inspiration and motivates an exhibitor. Music may even embody an emotional component, which triggers fond memories. No matter the reason, listening to your favorite tunes is therapeutic. Exhibitors and trainers discuss their favorite songs to listen to before hitting the show pen.

Parris Rice (picture above) – I don’t have a pump up song, but I like music that is quietly motivating. I’m really into “Dig Down” by Muse right now.

Natasha Blanchard – Florida Georgia Line’s song, “This is How we Roll” because it just helps you get in that show mode.

Sarah Finkel – I have this one country playlist I listen to when I am getting ready to show in the morning. The songs on the playlist are always changing as I add new ones and delete the old ones as I get sick of them. There are about 20 of my favorite country songs that wake me up and get me pumped for the show day. I’m always in the mood for country, but especially when I am at a horse show. I like “Dust” by Eli Young Band. It always pumps me up and gets me excited to get on and ride.

Meghan Tierney“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. It’s such a “pump up” song and gets my competitive side going.

Elizabeth Breene – Missy (her trainer) always tells me when I go in the ring, get your game face on, be serious, and I always sing to her that “Back Dat Ass Up song or Ludacris.” We enjoy dance music before we go in the arena. I also love “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard. We do this “caw caw” thing to each other before we go in (laughs). Missy has a lot of funny things she’ll tell me before I go in the ring. So, usually, it’s her voice we hear.

Emma Schaefer
– Without a doubt, the song that I enjoy listening to before I show would be, “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack. Earlier last year my mare, Sheez So Good was diagnosed with a career ending injury, so when I listen to this song, it reminds me that bravery is an option I choose in life. The lyrics ‘Never settle for the path of least resistance. Livin’ might mean taking chances, but they’re worth takin’ inspire me to take the next step, reach out to the next person, and keep trying to be heard over the noise that surrounds us.’

I’m sure I’ve heard this song a million times before I actually listened to the lyrics but when I did, it connected with me on an emotional level after everything that had happened. I even went so far as to use this song for my freestyle ride at the buckskin world show when I ran for the youth representative. I try to listen to this song whenever I can, in and out of the show ring, because it also reminds me that everything can change in a blink of an eye. I think this is extremely important to remember as I enter the show ring.

Teresa Christensen – My favorite song to listen to on my way to the pen is “Hall of Fame” by The Script.

Natalia DeVencenty – My favorite song to listen to before I show is “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele. I love Adele because she’s so strong and powerful that it gives me an extra boost of confidence when I need it most.

Courtney Suthoff
–  I have a whole playlist…but I really like “It Was A Good Day” by Ice Cube. I can always use the positive thoughts.

Julian Harris – Music is a great outlet for me, and with each horse I have in training, I pick a genre of music that I think best fits the horse’s movement. So, when I have time before I show. I play the song that best goes with the horse. It could be Pavarotti for one and Beyoncé for another.

Carly Kidner – Although I do not typically listen to music before showing, there is one song that I listen to in my head, especially on showmanship morning. That song is Cinderella’s, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes. My trainer, Melissa Maxwell, and I chose Cinderella as my character for showing, and as a result, this song has become my theme song. Sometimes it is sung during showmanship practice. It keeps my nerves in check for showmanship. My horse, Lopen Assets, fits the character of the handsome prince charming. So, anytime I get nervous, I just listen to this song in my head and it allows me to enter the show pen and just enjoy the dance.

Olivia Tordoff – Before each competition, I try my very best to make time to collect my thoughts and reach my right state of mind. While doing so, I like to listen to the song “Unstoppable” by The Score; I feel as though the song gets me excited to show. I most definitely believe that music is an excellent way to get yourself pumped up.

John Falls – Coming from an all around background, I find that my style of music varies depending on what I am showing in. For example, when I was showing trail, I would listen to songs that have a good beat to match my horse’s pace so that I could replay the song in my head to keep my timing going over poles. For other classes like pleasure and horsemanship, I would listen to anything from traditional country like George Jones and Johnny Cash to more contemporary upbeat songs by Future or Kanye. However, I now have a new horse, Tom Kruzer, who I am showing in the ranch riding under the guidance of Steve Meadows. Typically, we just put Pandora radio on the speaker, and everyone in the barn just listens to country or even some hip hop (when Steve’s not around) to get us pumped up and ready to show.

Dominique Gautier – I don’t have a specific song, but I do listen to dance music or remixes that get me up dancing and feeling good about my class.

Rachel Nissen – Before I show, I like to listen to a video on YouTube called, “I am a champion.” It is a motivational speech given to a football team before a big game. The words spoken resonate with me in many ways and get me pumped up to bring all I got to the arena. If you want something to drive your competitiveness, give it a listen. “Who am I? I AM A CHAMPION!”

Ali LeeAnn Eidson – I’ve always loved “How bad do you want it” by Tim McGraw. The lyrics resemble the life of showing and the dedication it takes to be successful.

Kacie Scharf –  I like to listen to “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple because it was the song that played during my western riding pattern the year I won Congress, so now I consider it lucky.






What’s your favorite song to play when you show? Let us know.

About the Author – Cat Guenther of White Lake, Michigan is in the 11th grade at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has ridden horses for the past eight years and has been showing Quarter Horses for two of those years. When Cat is not at the barn, she focuses on her small business “Behind the Bit Tack Sales”. She hopes to one day attend Michigan State University and study to become an equine veterinarian.