Pony Mom Show Survival Guide

Pony Mom Show Survival Guide

If you’re a new horse show pony mom, congratulations! Showing can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a lot of work.

Here are some things that will help you navigate your first Pony Finals or Horse Show

There are two critical components of being a pony mom…

  1. Showing up for your rider.
  2. SHOWING UP FOR YOURSELF! Because, who said the kids should have all the fun…

Here are some things you might need for your horse show pony mom starter pack:

For your rider.
It’s never a bad idea to have an extra pair of jods or breeches on hand. The footing at horse shows is dusty and gets watered frequently. This means there’s going to be some mud around, and the littles always seem to find it at the worst possible time, either on purpose or on accident. Either way you’ll be prepared! Keep a designated show tote (this tote from Ariat is super popular at the horse show, lots of pockets and zip compartments inside and out so everything has a home) handy with all those little things that disappear like gloves, garter straps, elastic jod straps, riding crop, spurs, etc.

For yourself.
Long days outdoors can take their toll on your skin! Dress smart and look the part with a long sleeve Tailored Sportsman Icefil Sun Shirt. These trendy shirts will keep you cool and protect you from the sun!
Wear appropriate footwear if you plan to be at the in-gate with your kiddo! That means leave the Toms or sandals at home and zip up a pair of paddock boots. – Trust me you don’t want toes like mine. My youth was full of bad decisions where horse hooves and my toes are concerned #crooked #iwontbeafootmodel . Don’t forget lots of your favorite sun screen, some bug spray and a nice sun hat to keep the sun off your face and those locks from bleaching or fading.

Show clothing: Your child may need specific show clothing for this event, like a shadbelly for the over fences part of the pony finals. This could include a specific type of show coat, show shirt, jodhpurs or breeches, boots, and a helmet. Make sure to check with your trainer several weeks before hand to make sure you have the right apparel in the right colors to compete. No one likes standing out for the wrong reasons!

Typically girls showing in paddock boots (short boots) with garter straps will wear their hair in braids with ribbons outside of their helmet until they graduate to tall boots. Once your child moves up to tall boots, it’s time to say goodbye to braids. She will need to put her hair up into her helmet using a hair net. Most girls graduate to tall boots somewhere around 12 – 14 years old or sometime in middle school.

Grooming supplies: Grooming is an important part of horse showing, and your pony needs to look their best. Make sure to have a good set of grooming tools, including a hoof pick, curry comb, stiff-bristled brush, soft-bristled brush, mane and tail comb, seam ripper, ace bandage for tails, as well as a towel and some coat stain remover for the pony. Be sure to ask your child’s trainer if the pony will need to be braided and how to secure a braider for the pony so you aren’t scrambling around trying to find a braider at the last minute.

Tack and equipment: Make sure to get familiar with your pony’s equipment. Early horse show mornings can be chaotic, knowing which tack is yours will keep the mayhem to a minimum. You’ll need to have the right tack and equipment for your pony, including a show bridle, saddle, martingale, as well as a clean girth and saddle pad. Make sure everything is clean and in good condition before the day of the show.

First aid kit: It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand for any emergencies that may arise. Your kit for the pony should include items like vet wrap, gauze, wound disinfectant, and a thermometer, and for your youngster essentials like band aids,Tide wipes or pen for last minute stains, sun screen and an extra set of clothes should cover most small emergencies at the horse show.

Snacks and drinks: Horse shows have a lot of “hurry up and wait”. This can make for a long day, and you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand to keep your pony jockey’s energy up. Pack some water bottles, protein bars, and other healthy snacks to keep your rider going throughout the day. Don’t forget about yourself, be sure to stay hydrated!

Pre show prep: A few things to be aware of for first time pony moms headed to their first show. If you don’t own your own trailer, be sure to discuss transportation costs and arrangements with your childs trainer. Clarify if you will need to be at the barn the morning of the show to help get the pony ready and loaded onto the trailer as well as pack up show gear. If you are attending an overnight horse show, check to see if the trainer needs help setting up and / or tearing down the assigned area for your barn at the show grounds.

It’s a good idea for the littles to avoid caffeine and sugar the morning of the show. Soda and coffee can add unnecessary anxiety to your already nervous rider. Their emotions can transfer to the pony causing the pony to believe there is reason to be concerned or stressed. Competing horses is just like any other sport, some days you win, some days you learn. Keep in mind that the top placing kids at any Finals show where this many competitors are present are splitting hairs where points are concerned to go home with a ribbon. Making sure your child understands and has healthy expectations of competing at this level will help keep the emotions in check when mistakes are made.

Once the day is over, typically at over night shows everyone gathers for dinner out together as a team to rehash the day, discuss mistakes and make plans on what to work on to correct the mistakes. Post show dinners are always a fun way for your barn family to engage as a team and support one another as you and your child make new friends with other pony riders and pony moms.

In summary, being prepared is a great way to put your best foot forward at a competition. That said, if you choose to ignore all of these suggestions and simply show up with snacks to share, red solo cups and a bottle or two of wine, you’re sure to make some new friends and earn high marks with the rest of the parents and trainers at the show!

Take a look at our horse show checklist for an easy way to stay organized when packing up.

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