Ask an Expert: How Do I Take My Young Horse to His First Show… and Survive?

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ven for the most seasoned competitor, horse shows are fraught with nerves and tension for both humans and horses alike. Add in young horses that are just beginning their careers, and the thought of getting them on the trailer and taking them to a completely new facility can be downright overwhelming.

“I start prepping a young horse to go for a show when they’re two days old,” says Australian horsemanship guru and founder of the TRT method, Tristan Tucker. Unless you run a breeding operation, chances are you won’t get the opportunity to start working with your horse that young – but that doesn’t mean you’re SOL. According to Tristan, horses of any age can go to their first horse show and have a successful, positive experience.

Begin With the Basics

For Tristan, working with young horses is all about giving them the tools to properly manage themselves. “I start with a series of patterns and exercises that gives them good self-awareness: awareness of their body, and the order in which they should move to be able to be stable and confident,” Tristan shares. “From the beginning, this sets up the...