Spring Horse-Show Checklist

Get these must-do’s out of the way before show season really ramps up.

American Quarter Horse Association

From all of us at AQHA, best of luck in 2017!

Spring is in the air, birds are chirping… and AQHA exhibitors know what that means – horse-show season is getting into full swing! 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 AQHA online show calendar is a great tool for finding shows near you. Search by month and state to map out your show season.
  2. Find your level. You and your horse can compete in with other horse/rider teams of a similar skill level. 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. Whether your goal is to attend one of the AQHA Level 1 Championships in 2018 or go for the gold at an AQHA world championship later this year, you’ll need to make sure you’re on track to qualify.
  4. Get the 2017 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. You can also download a PDF version of the 2016 Handbook, request a print version or get the app.
  5. Locate your American Quarter Horse’s registration papers. If you’ve misplaced your horse’s certificate of registration, have no worries: AQHA has you covered! You can file for a duplicate AQHA certificate, which can be sent to you by mail.
  6. Practice patterns. Check out the AQHA Horse Show Patterns Pinterest board for patterns to practice at home before your next big show. Right now, you can also get the “Practice These Patterns” eBook for free if you subscribe to The American Quarter Horse Journal. 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.
  7. Prepare your arsenal of show tack. Dust off, clean and polish your show tack and double check the AQHA Handbook to make sure everything is legal.
  8. Get your horse current on vaccinations. Shows are a breeding ground for disease transfer. Practicing good biosecurity also helps.
  9. Do your homework. AQHA Daily and the 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 2017!