First EVER show - help please! (I’m an adult novice rider with my own horse)


New Member
Jul 6, 2023
Hi all,

I have had my first horse now for 7 months, and we are ready to start getting out to local venues. I will add that I learnt to ride as an adult and have lots of support, but my instructor is mainly jumping focused. My yard owner is helping me out together a basic ridden show and I am watching YouTube videos. Riding is my hobby, I share my mare with my husband, everyone keeps telling me we need to take her ‘showing’ because she has the perfect look.

Now I have tried to research this but I am getting SO confused. Please tell me what we need to wear for our first local show. Mare is 17 years old and a Hunter type (pretty bay Irish draught cross with 4 black legs and a white star). Do men and women dress the same? Google keeps telling me men are to wear top hats, this can’t be right at this level haha. I’m thinking tweed jackets, cream breeches, red tie, black boots for both of us. Is black tack okay (I only have black!!) and if so, can I use a normal snaffle bit and bridle? Is a micklem bridle allowed? Hat wise, I know velvet is preferred. Currently we have: skull caps, Charles Owen Halo in matt and champion classic hat with silver logo. Will any of these be okay or will we need to get new specifically for very low level showing? Is a showing cane necessary?

It seems I can tell you exactly what the ‘perfect’ showing attire is for both horse and rider but as we are entering our first and may not enjoy the discipline, I don’t want to invest in all new everything, but also don’t want to look like I don’t know what I’m doing 🤣 sorry for the rambling post!!
I’m no showing person, but if I we’re doing it to see how I enjoyed it, I would wear a white shirt and whatever colour tie I had, tweed jacket, cream jods and whatever colour boots I had, I wouldn’t worry too much about the hat, stick a silk on if it finishes the look better.
I’d use whatever colour tack i have, and a plain cavesson bridle, numnah same colour as horse or none at all and a plain stick - I wouldn’t worry about it being a show cane initially.
If you enjoy it you can look at others there for ideas to get more kit for next time!
What you have sounds fine, ideally tack should b brown but at a local level it's not going to matter. Ideally for a hunter you should show in a double or pelham with two reins, but again it's local and a bit of fun so if you have a plain snaffle bridle with a cavesson noseband and plain browband that will be fine.

Top hats are for evening performances, worry about it when you get to HOYS!