Tips for a Successful Online Horse Show

Tips for a Successful Online Horse Show

Equestrians across the country are facing much different 2020 show seasons than planned. Tons of shows have canceled and others are operating at a much lower capacity than normal. Our current environment is making online horse shows more popular than ever. If you want to continue to work towards your riding goals this summer, showing online may be your only option. 

What is an Online Horse Show?

There are tons of options for online horse shows. Everything from trail obstacle to western pleasure, to dressage and jumping. Each show has different requirements, but they all ask you to submit a video or photos of you showing your horse, and a panel of judges critics your submission and places the winners. 

Online horse shows offer prize money, ribbons, saddles, and trophies, just like in-person ones. Entry fees to virtual horse shows are typically much lower than in-person ones so you can test the waters without making a large investment. Some shows also offer the option to purchase a private critique of your ride so you can get personalized feedback from the judges. 

A fun advantage of virtual showing is that you can compete in any show you qualify for. Location is no longer a factor. If you’ve always dreamed of competing in Europe, all you have to do is find a show that’s accepting US entries and submit your video. 

Video Tips for a Successful Virtual Submission

Make sure you review your show’s requirements before you tape your submission. Some are extremely detailed, requiring you to shoot your ride within a certain time frame, dictating what you wear, where you put your camera, and more. Others are extremely relaxed and even let you submit old footage if you can’t see your horse right now or have an old ride you want to use. 

If you are recording a new ride, be aware of the lighting in your arena. You want to find a time of day where the arena is either fully lit or fully shaded. If you are riding in and out of shadows your camera won’t be able to get clear footage and the judges will have a hard time seeing the entire ride.

Have someone record the video for you if possible. This way they can zoom in and out as you get closer and farther away from the camera. Don’t be afraid to practice a few times so you and your videographer can work out the kinks. If you don’t have anyone to record for you, purchase a tripod and attach it to the arena railing with zip ties. This way you don’t have to worry about the camera falling over in the middle of your ride. 

Record from a spot with a clear background. While not very pretty, a manure pile is a lot better background than a busy barn with people and horses coming and going. You don’t want the judges to be distracted by anything in your video. You want them focused on your riding. 

Having a video camera is great, and you can even purchase ones that track your movements around the arena, but if you are just getting into online horse shows and not ready to invest in specialized equipment your phone camera will work just fine.

Once you start recording your videos for your online horse shows you may realize you are ready to take your riding or your horse to the next level. Use the GoHorse map (by entering your address in our search bar) to find riding instructors and horse trainers near you.