Oct 5, 2016

Horse Show Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts for the Junior Rider

by Maggie Junkin

I'm thirteen years old and have been horse showing since I was four. I started doing the rated hunter shows when I was seven.  It hasn’t been that long, but long enough for me to have a few pet peeves. So here they are... my list of Do’s and Don’ts for the Junior Rider.

Do: Say please, thank you, and excuse me.

Don’t:  Be entitled; the world doesn’t owe you a thing.

Do: Be thoughtful and courteous to horse show personnel. Most work longer days than you do.

Don't: Forget to congratulate fellow competitors when they do well.

Do: Wish others Good Luck… and mean it.

Don’t: Critique others ringside for all to hear. 

Do: Pick up after yourself. No trashing the show grounds.

Don’t: Whine, scream or throw tantrums. No one wants to hear it.

Do: Thank your parents.

Don’t: Cry unless you are hurt or bleeding. (Disclaimer: Unless you have had the worst trip of your life, then sneak into the nearest porta potty and break out the tissues.)

Do: Show good sportsmanship.

Don’t: Show a temper.

Do: Be prepared. Get up early, stop by the ring and take photos of your courses and learn them. Be ready.

Don’t: Hold up the ring when after what felt like a 100 trips, they are finally ready to jog.

Do: Thank your trainer.

Don’t: Talk back to your trainer.

Do: Thank your siblings if they got dragged along.

Don’t: Gossip or spread rumors.

Do: Love your pony or horse even when things go wrong. I would like to see the big kiss or pat on the neck of an animal that missed a lead, knocked a rail, or spooked a little in the corner. Love them even when you don’t win!

Don’t: Create drama.

Do: Thank your parents, again.

Don’t: Obsess about your score or placing. Furthermore, don’t worry about your competitor’s scores either.

Do: Set personal goals and conquer them.

Don’t: Take your anger out on your horse.

Do: Be humble. Some of us look up to you!

Don’t: Blame your horse or pony for your mistakes.

Do: Be a positive role model.

Maggie Junkin competes in the Children’s Hunters with her horse, Tommy Bahama. She lives with her family, 5 dogs, and 3 cats in Jenkintown, Pa.