I would like to start Showing. How do I get started?
Fantastic! Showing you Arabian or Half-Arabian is a lot of fun and a great way to meet other passionate horse people! You may have a lot of questions about Showing. We're going to cover some of the basics to help you get started.
First, make sure your horse is Registered with the Arabian Horse Association and that you have a copy of the papers showing you, a family member or your farm name as the Owner. This is mandatory for all levels of competition.
There are different levels of competition. What are your goals and aspirations?
Local Level-Unrated Shows:
- It is relatively inexpensive to compete at this level and MAHA does offer the “Unplugged Show Circuit”, where the only requirement is to ride a Registered Arabian or Half-Arabian and be a member of MAHA. At this level of competition, the entry fees are low and primarily this is a one-day show that is held in an outdoor arena at a local fairground. (Lake Elmo)
- Many exhibitors work out of their horse trailer for the day or get a stall for their horse. No Regional or National qualifying points are earned at this level of competition.
- Membership to MAHA/AHA must include a Competition Card, which is in addition to your MAHA membership. This fee covers your insurance at the horse shows and the point record keeping through AHA.
- Membership to USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) is also mandatory. Included in this is a declaration of being a Youth, Adult Amateur or Professional exhibitor. The Amateur rules are very strict on what you can and cannot do with other people’s horses, so be sure you are up to date on the regulations. There is also a “Safe Sport” testing that must be completed if you are 18 or over.
- Many exhibitors who compete at these shows will be working towards qualifying for the Regional Championships and/or National Level Competition. There are some exhibitors who train and show their own horses without a Trainers input, but a lot of the competitors at this level are associated with one of the local barns. Most Trainers will assist you with all the paperwork and legalities of competing at this level, so you don’t have to worry about it.
If you are on your own and not associated with a local barn, ask any MAHA Member for guidance and mentoring and they will be happy to help you.
The benefits of competition, like many sports are immense and Horse Shows provide the following:
- A sense of achievement and accomplishment as well as a deeper partnership and appreciation of your horse and the work and effort to be successful.
- Each show creates amazing memories with new friends and new experiences where you learn all about good Sportsmanship, setting goals and accepting criticism.
- Showing horses is a family sport and a great opportunity for skills such as organization, budgeting, responsibility, where compassion for your horse and others become important in your success.
- Showing horses is an athletic sport where it is possible to earn future opportunities such as College Scholarships and High School “letters”.
- It builds self-esteem and confidence.
Most of all, showing horses is FUN!
Best of Luck and we hope to see you at our MAHA Shows!