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First show ever at the end of October!
I'm taking my mare to a local show to ride an intro level test at the end of October. She's still pretty stiff and doesn't bend as well as she should, but I wanted to get at least one show experience for both of us before weather starts to be an issue, even if we aren't going to score well. I have never shown before, and I have no idea whether my horse has, but we trailer to lessons and she's pretty calm about it. I'm not a beginner rider, but I'm very new to dressage. Any advice for our first show? Any idea what I should expect?
Try to get there a bit early, so your horse can get used to the new surroundings. It will also help you stay calm too if you're not running late and rushing to get ready. Warm up as you would at home since your horse is a creature of habit and it will help her stay calm if she'd doing the same old thing. Know that many horses find the judges booth (or car in many cases) scary. If you can, practice riding down the centerline at home with people sitting in lawn chairs or something in front of your so your horse can get used to trotting toward people. When you warm up at the show, take your horse past the judge's stand on her spookier side first. That way, if they ring the bell before you have gone by in both directions, you will have the more difficult one out of the way. Relax, breathe, and have fun.
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