Schooling Shows: What Are They?


Many large barns will put together and host things known as schooling shows. Schooling shows are fairly small events that often just include the clients and students of a certain barn. But what are schooling shows? Are there different kinds of schooling shows? What are schooling shows for?

What Is A Schooling Show?

A schooling show is a small show typically held at a training or competition barn intended to prepare both horses and riders for real horse shows. Schooling shows are pretty small and often will only reward competitors with ribbons or small cash prizes if they win. Schooling shows are a great place to start practicing the showing process or to just put your abilities to the test. Most of these shows will have just a small entry fee you need to pay to be able to compete.

Are There Different Levels Of Schooling Shows?

Yes. There are several different levels of schooling shows that you can enter and compete in. Smaller schooling shows, like those held at some barns, are so small that only their riding lesson students are able to compete. There are other schooling shows hosted that are a bit larger and are open to public entries.

An example of this would be the schooling shows held at a barn called Carefree Farms, an eventing barn that I used to volunteer at. This barn will often host schooling shows where the public is allowed to come and enter their horses for competition. At this show, you pretty much just win ribbons and the classes include flat classes, jumping classes, and dressage classes.

Are There Different Types Of Schooling Show Classes?

Yes! There are so many different types of schooling show classes though pretty much all of them run the same way. Some examples of different classes you might be able to compete in at a schooling show include:

  • Show Jumping
  • Hunter Jumper
  • Hunt Seat
  • Western Pleasure
  • Any Type Of Equitation Class
  • Saddle Seat
  • Cross Country
  • Dressage
  • Roping
  • Barrel Racing

Some schooling shows can also be classified as gymkhanas because they can have fun games and competitions that a normal horse show wouldn’t have.

Does Your Horse Need To Be Registered To Compete At A Schooling Show?

No! Actually, most horses don’t need to be registered with an association to be able to compete at a schooling show. Most of the time, the judges are looking at the rider and not the horse so really, it doesn’t really matter what horse you ride!

Some higher-level schooling shows held at breed-specific barns may require that the horse you ride is a purebred, but otherwise, it doesn’t really matter.

What Do You Win At A Schooling Show?

There are a few different prizes that you could win at a schooling show. Many barns will have rosettes and ribbons that they hand out to the winners of their competitions nad classes while some don’t hand ribbons out at all. The public schooling shows sometimes will not just give out rosettes and ribbons, but they also sometimes offer cash prizes to winners of certain classes.

Does It Cost Money To Enter A Schooling Show?

Yes and no. If the schooling show is small, just includes clients who are competing, and the public is not competing, then no it doesn’t cost anything to enter a schooling show.

Bigger schooling shows that are open to public entry and competition may charge a small entry fee to compete but that fee is tiny compared to what you might be charged at a professional horse show.

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

Recent Posts