So your child's trainer asks if you want to show in the next horse show. You agree, but have no idea what is needed or where to start. Most horse show moms have been there if they weren't involved in the equestrian world. Here is the guide for what to expect.
Helmet - In the hunter world, the helmet is black. There are many styles ranging from matte to the traditional velvet/suede look.
Hair - For the little ones, pig tail braids and bows! Yes, bows!!! Trust me, this phase isn't long enough.
Hunter Jacket - Usually Navy, Black, or Hunter Green. Should have 3 buttons as that is the standard hunter style jacket.
Show Shirt - Show shirts can come in short sleeve and long sleeve. The shirt has snaps at the top to close the collar up.
Riding Gloves - Should be black and plain
Jods/Breeches - these are the riding pants. For young riders, they should be jods, which have the cuffs at the bottom that will go over the boots.
Jodphur Garter Straps - Yes - these are a thing. They are the leather straps you see below the knees in the picture to the right. I have found that they make ones with velco and I recommend those because they are easy! The regular straps have to be wrapped around the leg and early in the morning can be a test of your patience.
Paddock Boots - These boots come in brown and black and both are acceptable. This will complete your Hunter Uniform.
I know many young riders like bling...unfortunately Hunter Showing is all about tradition and everything is very plain. However, those hair bows can be big and colorful.
THE DAY BEFORE
Depending on the barn, this will vary. We would always wash our pony the day before the show. The young riders loved learning about how to care for their horse, and as a parent you get to also learn how to wash a horse! Enjoy these times...soon enough they won't let you help with anything.
TIP: Walk the horse around and let them graze until their coat dries, if you can. They like to roll if they are wet.
Whether its a show at your home barn or a show you are traveling to, it will usually be an early morning, so hopefully you are a morning person...
As a local barn, we do our own grooming so that will be part of your day.
YOUR HORSE WILL FIND A WAY TO GET DIRTY - especially if its a gray. Don't worry - there are tons of products to help clean the horse on show day.
Bring Folding Chairs - you will need them. The younger riders tend to go early in the day, but what I have found is that many of the young riders love going to shows and want to stay awhile, so be prepared....
Suncreen, Bring Sunscreen - you will thank me
Tide Laundry Stick - This is ideal to have, because not matter how careful, stains always happen.
The day consists of a lot of hurry up and wait and not every show is the same, so its always a new experience. You may be asked to hold water, the horse, and clean boots. But the pure joy on a young riders face when they are in the ring is priceless.