Category Archives: Shows

The “Fun” Show

I think we need a new term for the unsanctioned shows in our Miniature Horse world.

I’m a big believer in the value of unsanctioned shows. With less expense involved, it’s a great opportunity for beginners to “get their feet wet” in the show ring and see if it’s something they’re truly going to enjoy before they embark on the higher entry fees, fancier equipment and more intensive time requirements of a sanctioned show.

For several years, I was involved in the organisation of the Wild N Wooly show, and I never once called it a “fun show” because I believe all shows are fun. If you’re not having fun, then why on earth would you be spending all your money and vacation time on them? In the horse world at large, these entry level, unsanctioned events would be known as “schooling shows” and that’s the term I would much prefer we use.

The implication of the currently used term is that if unsanctioned shows are “fun” then sanctioned shows must not be, and that is completely untrue. Continue reading


10 Tips for Your Horse’s Show Driving Debut

Driving your Miniature Horse is one of the most fun things you can do with them, and if you’ve been busy training your horse yourself, you’re probably extra excited to show him off this summer, and I don’t blame you! Training your horse to drive is a great accomplishment and hopefully you’ve become close partners during the process.

A show is different than driving at home though, and you owe it to your horse to do everything you can to prepare them and make their first show a pleasant experience to set them up for a long and successful driving career.

You can never be sure of what you might encounter at a show, but here’s 10 things that you can do to set your horse up for success. Continue reading

Check It Out


H. Safety

5.   Blinders and overchecks or sidechecks are required.

That’s the rule of the American Miniature Horse Association. A similar one graces the pages of the American Miniature Horse Registry rulebook, and many other breed organisations.

Rules for Pleasure Driving Competition

207.3 Harness

H.  Check reins and martingales (except false martingales) are prohibited in Obstacle classes. Failure to comply will incur elimination. In other classes, check reins and martingales may be appropriate turnout for certain vehicles. See Appendix PD-C. Turnout and Appointments.

Rules for Combined Driving Competition

940.5 Auxiliary reins

5.1 Auxiliary reins (including any type of check reins) are not permitted when in harness. At ADS-recognised events for Training division only, side checks may be used at the Driver’s discretion.

And that’s the rules from the American Driving Society.

So why is there such disparity in the rules of organisations that both create rules for the well being of the horses competing? Continue reading