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Preparing for Your Debut: Tips for Your First Schooling Show at Beverly

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

When it comes to horse showing, practice makes perfect. Our schooling shows provide riders with the practice and training they need to succeed in the competitive world of horse showing. Our relaxed, yet professional atmosphere allows riders to focus on refining their skills and building their confidence in a low stakes setting. Here are some tips on how to get ready for your first schooling show.

Can You Jump A Course At Home?

Before going to your first show, practice a course at home. Make sure that you can memorize a track of at least 10 fences with many changes of direction. Beverly courses have between 9 and 11 fences, so you want to be sure you have the mental and physical fitness to ride a full course.

"If you didn't bring it to the show, don't expect to find it there." – Anonymous

Find a Date and Pre-Register.

Once you are confident doing a course at home, pick your first schooling show date. Beverly has a show almost every month and the dates are posted on the website, social media, and Strider.

When you know your date, pre-register on Strider. You must have a negative coggins for your horse to register. Do not wait until the last minute to check your coggins because if it is expired, it can take some time to get a new one. Make sure you have sent in your release (minors need a guardian to sign on their behalf) because signing on show day is a needless distraction.

Memorize Your Course Before You Get to the Show and Check for Updates.

Course maps are posted ahead of time on the Beverly Google drive. Download the course maps (and look at past courses for more practice) and familiarize yourself with the track and fence numbers. Knowing your course in advance will increase your confidence.

The day before the show, check social media for any updates about the weather, timing, and other relevant information. The show secretary will post the number of pre-registered rounds the day before the show to give riders an idea of how long the classes will take (estimate about 2 minutes per round). Keep in mind that many riders add rounds on the day, so this number will likely increase and stretch out the morning.

Show Day Tips.

You do not need to wear show clothes, but you and your horse should be turned out appropriately for the weather. It is good practice to have a preshow prep routine by packing your show things and checking and cleaning your tack the night before.

When you arrive at Beverly, check in with the show secretary and get your bridle number. You can always change the type and number of classes you want to do at the show. Just let the ingate know and settle up with the show secretary before you leave.

After you get your number, walk your course and match course map fence numbers to the actual fences in the ring. Go over them in your mind to be certain of your track. Also, make a plan for how you will start your course, if you will preview any fences on the course, and how you will approach your first fence, off the left or the right, etc. This is your PLAN.

Keep an eye on the ring to estimate when your class will start. The show secretary will update social media with ring and class status and results as frequently as possible. You can also check in with the ingate about numbers and enter your number in the order of go. Like everything else, the order of go is flexible, so no pressure.

Warm Up and Head In the Ring.

When it is close to your class time, warm up. Once you are warmed up, go to the ingate and get in the order.

Once in the ring, just focus on your plan. Don’t rush: there is no starting buzzer or bell so just start when you are ready. The clock will start when you go over your first fence. If your round doesn’t go to plan and even if it does, you can always come back. Beverly has shows every month.

Checking Out & Prizes.

After your classes, check out with the show secretary to pay for any added rounds and check on your results. If you can return your bridle number, it is appreciated and helps keep costs down.

Remember to have fun! Just getting to the show is an accomplishment in itself and an important step in your riding journey.

Have a great ride!

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