Preparing Your Stable To Host a Horse Show

December 21, 2021
By Jesse Armstrong
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Stable owners know they can gain new clients by inviting them to their property. One fun way to do that is to hold a horse show on your grounds. This is a big project that requires several weeks of advance work to pull off, but the rewards can be great. There are three major areas to consider as you plan for your big event.

Preparing The Ring

The riding ring is your major focal point, and time spent working on this area will help ensure a good experience for your visitors as well as improve safety. You need a tractor with an arena rake to smooth the riding surface. Checking that ring-fencing is well maintained will not only improve the appearance of your grounds but will also keep both horses and spectators safely apart as show events occur. If jumps are set up in your ring, you can remove them with a mobile pole caddy, clean the arena, and then use it to make easier work of returning the jumps. Preparation of warm-up areas might also utilize the mobile caddy for help setting up practice jumps. Shows held in the summer months may necessitate the rental of a water truck to keep riding ring dust down. Other rentals could include a public address system for the show announcer to use, as well as seating for show viewing areas.

Preparing The Grounds

Groundspeople will make up an important crew both in preparation for as well as help on the day of the horse show. These individuals use tractors to mow large areas as well as lawnmowers and weedeaters for trimming driveways. Now is also the time to guarantee that there will be adequate water access for multiple horses as well as make arrangements for portable potties rental.

Preparing the paperwork

Early on recruit a show secretary and treasurer. The secretary creates the show class list, show rules and takes care of competitor numbers, among other tasks, requiring adequate printing services. The treasurer handles entry fee collection, payment for professional services and more.

You can seek sponsors, event insurance, order ribbons, and rent walkie-talkies. Shows call for parking attendants to help trucks and trailers safely find spots to stay. Hire and prepare contracts for judges, ringmaster, gatekeeper, announcer and veterinarian. A call to the local paramedics alerting them to your upcoming show is in order. Press releases to local advertising sources and social media along with notification to local riding clubs should be done four weeks in advance.

With careful preparation, your horse show can bring in many new visitors, several of whom you may convert into clients who desire training and boarding services.