Getting Started - Show Horse

What is Show Horse?

The overall principle of exhibiting in show horse is to exhibit a horse or pony that is beautifully conformed, of high quality, is a magnificent mover and that displays lovely manners and paces. Showing is subjective, and the judge will award places to the horses he or she feels most fulfills those qualities. Movement is very important because a show horse must move with balance, elegance, lightness, correctness and with the right rythym for the gait. If a horse is not conformed correctly it will have difficulty in moving with perfect rythym. This shows as carrying head too high or too low, displaing a short or choppy gait, too much knee action, not pushing through from behind, and many more imperfections.

The Categories of Show Horse

Show horses are exhibited in three divisions; Pony, Galloway and Hack.

  • A Pony Show Hack/Hunter must not exceed 14hh
  • A Galloway Show Hack/Hunter must be over 14hh and not exceed 15hh
  • A Hack Show Hack/Hunter is over 15 hh

A Show Hunter should possess more substance than the modern ridden Show Hack, but it must be emphasised they should be quality animals. A quality Show Hunter must create the impression that it is capable of hunting over a variety of terrain – this militates against any weakness in conformation which would prevent this, and he must do it comfortably and safely for his rider. 

How to Start

To compete in official events at any level, you must first become a member of Equestrian Western Australia. Becoming a member not only provides you with insurance, it also helps contribute towards the running of events and the training of officials without which these events could not take place.

  • If you are competing at EWA affiliated shows, you can join as either a Participant or Competitor Member. In the discipline of Show Horse only, EA affiliated Ag Shows are exempt from Show Horse entrants requiring EA membership. Entrants into all other official Club or affiliated events require EA Participant membership at a minimum.
  • If you are competing in "Official" classes, or will be competing at a National Championship, State Championship or Horse Of The Year, you must join as a Competitor Member, register your horse and obtain a Show Horse "Competition License" for your horse.

For more information on EWA membership, or to join, click here.

It is also a good idea to have lessons before going to an event. There are a number of excellent NCAS EWA qualified and accredited coaches. A list of current NCAS registered coaches near you can be found on this website under the "search" facility. Once you and your coach are confident that you are ready to attend an event, many clubs hold events that you can enter starting at the lowest height.  These are a good opportunity to familiarise yourself with a competition before progressing to the bigger shows.

Dates / Events

Click here to see a list of upcoming Show Horse events in WA.

Rules and Regulations

It is important for riders competing in show horse events to be familiar with the rules and regulations that govern this sport. Click here to view the National Show Horse Rules and Show Horse WA Handbook.