my barn hosted a horse show this sunday and I figured I'd tell a little about it. It's a barn show so it's not all high and fancy like most horse shows people think of. But it still had those annoying white pants which I disdain. The two main groups of riding that people think of are western and english. Western is the one with the horn on the saddle, some of the events are reigning, barrel racing, and calf roping. English is the one with the white pants and black boots. In english we jump over fences, when you have to jump fences in a certain order that's called a course. A course usually consists of anywhere from 7-12 jumps the typical course is about 8. There's three types of disciplines all judging on different aspects of the horse and rider.
Equitation- it focuses on how well the rider is able to control the horse with as little struggle and obvious cues (telling the horse to do certain things) as visibly possible
hunter- it mainly judges the horse and how it moves. They judge on the fluidity of the horses movements and how well they are able to deal with the course.
jumpers- my personal favorite are the jumpers. It's completely objective with just a timer as the judge. It is almost exclusively for advanced riders because it requires the horse and rider to be knowledgeable in knowing how to get around a course well and fast. There is a set time limit and whoever completes the course with the least faults and lowest time wins. It's a rediculus amount of fun because it's a race of who's the fastest and who can turn the quickest. Though it's the most dangerous of the three it is by far the most fun to watch and participate in.
I did a few hunter courses and a few jumper courses at this show. Though my horse is technically a hunter he is much more suited to be a jumper. Both of us like to go fast and we love to jump. But, jumpers requires intense amounts of skill to be able to do it at a significant height (ie. 3+ feet). It requires being able to turn tight turns while still balancing the horse. So there's the basic gist of a horse show.