5 Things A Horse & Rider Gain from Showing, Other Than Ribbons

Artwork by Lori Ann Thwing, entry in the 2015 USDF Arts Contest.

By Amanda Ciejko

It’s always exciting to bring home a ribbon after a successful show.  However, the value of showing can’t be measured by prizes you bring home.  Here are five other valuable things a horse and rider gain from showing.


Whether it’s your first time in front of a judge or your 100th time, each ride allows you to gain more experience in the show arena. This can also be said for your equine partner(s)! Experience is what allows you to grow as an equestrian and allows you to gauge yours and your horse’s ability.


Knowing where you are with your horse as far as showing goes can help you plan for the future – whether it’s going up the levels, reaching a certain score, or perfecting one movement.

Networking and Friendship

When you get to the show grounds, there are many horse and rider combos just like you with plenty of potential things in common- what level you are showing at, what breed your horses are, common acquaintances, etc. It’s nice getting to know who you are competing with, and helps familiarize you with the show environment. If you are a seasoned competitor at the show, it’s also nice to meet new faces and greet old show friends!

Support and Encouragement

Usually when traveling to a show, you’ll have someone along for support and encouragement, be it a spouse, a friend, or a groom. Whoever it may be, you know they’ll give you a good pep talk before you walk into the arena, then a cheer and pat for your horse at the end of your test. Knowing that you have someone cheering on your equestrian endeavors is priceless!

Self Confidence

Above all, self confidence is a great gift to receive whether at the end of a test or the end of a show week. You and your horse showed up, put on your best efforts, and rode that test. YOU DID IT, and you know that you could do it again.

Leave a Reply