Horse shows are the best “first” outing for students. We attend approximately one per month. They offer a very controlled atmosphere where the teachers are allowed to coach from the sidelines. At a show, students usually show one level below what they are doing in their lessons.

An example would be if your child was learning how to canter, they would show in the walk-trot classes, jumping 2’ at home, we would still show in the crossrails class. Horse shows have divisions: some are based on the rider (equitation) while some are based on the pony (pleasure and hunter).

Often two or three people can show the same pony because they are in different divisions. Sometimes the same pony can go in a jumping equitation class two or three times, with a different child each time.

Usually the student meets us at the show, dressed and ready to ride unless they need to hitch a ride with the van. Remember to bring snacks, lunch, and/or money, as shows can take a long time!

All riders in a class with no jumping go in the ring at the same time (on the flat). The judge is looking for control, relaxation, and good position (called equitation). Indicators of being in control are having the correct diagonal at the trot, the correct lead at the canter, and being able to keep appropriate spacing.

In classes judged on the pony (sometimes called “hacks”), the judge looks for a relaxed, pretty way of going and a pony that does whatever it is told to do without a fuss. For Jumping, each rider goes in the ring alone and performs over a course they have already memorized and rehearsed with the teacher.

The judge watches for heels down, eyes up, and good turns at a steady pace (often riders get going too fast). The teachers decide which horse or pony each student will ride because they know the animal's “show” behavior and therefore can match up the best rider/pony combinations.

Signing Up:

Discuss the show with your teacher. If they approve of it, write down your name on the clipboard sign-up sheet (located in the main barn) for that horse show. Adults can pay their own entry fees when they arrive at the show grounds. Children are entered and paid for by Rivendell. These entry fees appear on the next monthly billing.



  • Jodphurs (preferably rust or cream)
  • Jodphur boots (polished)
  • Garters (straps under the knee; optional)
  • Pants (worn over top of the boots and secured with heel straps)


  • Black or brown high boots
  • Rust, grey, or tan breeches
  • Turtleneck or button-down oxford-type shirt (white, pale pink, or pale blue) with a tie
  • Riding jacket (navy/black/dark green/grey). Rivendell has many jackets available to rent for $4.00, which covers the cost of dry cleaning
  • Black hard hat with harness (ASTM standard)
  • Brown or black gloves
  • Dark jumping bat (optional)

All outfits should be conservative, neat, and tidy. Long hair should be braided or in a hair net with all whisps tucked in!