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Mock Horse Shows: 10 Essentials

Think about the way you practice with your horse. You probably ride with less intensity and face fewer negative consequences if you make a mistake.

That’s why a mock horse show can be the perfect tool to hone your riding.

Making the Most of a Mock Horse Show

  • If you ride with other competitors or if your trainer has other clients you compete against, set up competitive situations at home.
  • If you ride alone, invite some friends for a mock show.
  • Outside distractions can change how your horse responds to you and, in turn, how you handle problems during competition. If he’s not used to banners flapping from the fence, hang some in your practice pen. Playing a radio helps him get used to loud noises while he performs.
  • If your horse spooks at cattle or other horses, take him somewhere he can get comfortable around the other animals. Knowing your horse is “bomb proof” helps you keep your nerves in check.
  • Intra-barn rivalries will make everyone step up a notch. Develop a situation similar to vying for positions on a varsity sports team. Coaches often choose their team based on who practices the hardest and best. Even though players are on the same team, rivalries develop for the top spots.
  • Have your trainer or someone else from the barn judge. Similar to a football scrimmage, it allows you to become more familiar with the areas that need work.

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