angle-left Horse-Show Checklist

Horse-Show Checklist

Get these must-do’s out of the way to stay on track to a successful show season!

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From The American Quarter Horse Association

While you are scheduling shows to attend, we compiled a checklist of key to-do’s to get you and your horse ready for horse-show season:          

1. Plan your show season. The new AQHA online events calendar is a great tool for finding shows near you. Search by event, date and state to map out your show season.

2. Find your level. You and your horse can compete with other horse/rider teams of a similar skill level. Find your level online

Note: If you are planning on showing in Level 1 classes, make sure you fill out a Level 1 application.

3. Brush up on qualifying methods. If it’s your goal to go for gold at an AQHA world championship show later this year, you’ll need to make sure you’re on track to qualify. Simply log-in to AQHA member services and click on World Show Qualifying Points under Showing. Select the AQHA championship show for which you are looking up your points and enter either the American Quarter Horse’s registered name or registration number, then select Search. 

4. Get the 2019 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. You can download a PDF version of the 2019 Rulebook, download the iOS or Android app or request a print version.

5. Practice patterns. Check out the AQHA Horse Show Patterns Pinterest board for patterns to practice at home, or download our free e-books: 40 Horsemanship Patterns and 40 Showmanship Patterns. Or purchase the Practice These Patterns e-book. AQHA Professional Horsemen break down three patterns – showmanship, horsemanship and hunt seat equitation – and provide step-by-step instructions, plus insightful tips for how to excel in those classes. Go to to download the patterns featured in the AQHA rulebook. 

6. Prepare your arsenal of show tack. Dust off, clean and polish your show tack and double check the AQHA Rulebook to make sure everything is legal.

7. Get your horse current on vaccinations. Shows are a breeding ground for disease transfer. Practicing good biosecurity helps minimize the risk of season-ending disease from spreading to your barn. Read this great article from AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis about tips to help protect your horse’s health while traveling. And sign up for equine disease alerts from the Equine Disease Communications Center.

8. Do your homework. Our News and Blogs feed and AQHA Pinterest boards are great resources for learning new training and showing tips, and everything in between! 

From all of us at AQHA, best of luck in 2019!