Off-Site Showing Guidelines

A Guide to Get You Started Showing Off Property with Full Moon Farm


It’s four am and the alarm clock is going off.  Why?  Because we are going to a horse show!  Again, why do we do this?  Because it is fun!  The experience of showing helps us to show off our progress and the progress of our very cool horses.  All of the hard work is worth it at the end of the day.  Really, it is.

Riding in outside shows with Full Moon Farm is a privilege and should be treated as such. It can seem really intimidating to go off of the farm and ride in front of people you don’t know and who don’t know you.  There seem to be lots of rules and ways that things are done.  Full Moon Farm has very specific ways of doing things that we have worked out over the years to make it possible for you and your horse to perform at your best. Some things may seem to be a bit of overkill, but there is a good reason for every thing we do and if we can keep everyone safe and have fun, then it is a good day.

This clinic is designed to prepare you for your first shows off of Full Moon property.  We will go through all of the preparations necessary for the shows and what is expected of you and your helper at the show.  The home shows have a flexible format and are more tailored to learning about the idea of showing.  The outside shows are more competitive and require a new level of “spiffiness” 

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  • Sign up – You must sign up on the sheet hanging in the barn on the events board. Once you have signed up, you are committed to go to the show.  You will be responsible for all fees, even if you don’t end up going, so be sure that you want to go to the show.  Kids – ask your parents before you sign up.  There is also usually a sign up for the potluck lunch that we do at the shows.  It usually appears on the board about a week out, if we don’t forget.
  • Fees – Horse use fees, coach fees, and trailering are due before we leave on the day of the show.  See the sign up sheet and Ms Karen’s show notes for details.
  • Entry – Lehigh, Hunter and Jumper shows – We don’t need to enter until the day of the show.  Your instructor will decide which division and fill out the entry form.  You must bring a blank check to pay for your classes at the end of the day.  The number of classes may vary depending on how things are going.

Horse Trials are different.  Entries open about six weeks before the event and close about two weeks before the event.  You need to print the entry form and fill it out.  Next bring it to the barn and we will fill out the division and sign the trainer line if necessary.  Then you mail in the entry.

1.  The Day Before the Show – Check with Ms M or Ms K as to when you can start on your horse. Remember that the horses may be in lessons.

  • Bathe your horse – There is only one wash stall so get in contact with the folks going to the show and sort out who gets the wash stall when. Do not take forever to bathe your horse.  It is inconsiderate to others who also have to bathe.  If your horse poops clean it up immediately.  If you wash it down the drain you will clog the wash stall.  Put yourself in the next person’s shoes.  If it is cold ask one of the instructors if you should bathe. A little dirt is better than a sick horse.
  • Braid your horse – Horses’ manes should be braided when showing off of the farm.  If you don’t know how set up a time with Ms M to learn how. WARNING: It takes practice to braid well.  Practice as much as possible by doing a braid or two every time you ride.  Ms K doesn’t mind rubber band braids. Ms M thinks that you look like a hick if you braid in bands.  Take the time to learn to braid in yarn.
  • Put out shipping boots that fit for your horse.  You don’t need to be searching for them in the morning. Also locate a good lead rope.  If your horse needs a chain find one and put it on his stall.
  • Clean your tack.  If you don’t know how, ask.
  • Make sure you have 2 clean appropriate saddle pads.  Hunter shows require a fitted pad that fits ½ -1 inch around the edge of the saddle.
  • Load the tack in your car.
  • Help set up hay nets and collect muck supplies for the show day.
  • Go home and make sure you have all of your stuff clean, together and in your car.
  • Set at least two alarms and get some sleep.  Go to sleep early. No slumber parties etc. Tomorrow is a long day and being tired is no excuse.  
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2.  The Big Day

  • You must have a designated helper of sufficient age and size to help you on the day of the show.  Be nice to them.  You will need them.  You and your helper need to be helping others if you are not riding.  This is a team endeavor.
  • Give yourself more time than you think you need.  Running late makes for poor performance.
  • Arrive at the farm and feed your horse if necessary.
  • Pull your horse out, put studs in if necessary.  Groom and fix the braids that your horse tore out last night.
  • If we are going tacked up put on your saddle and tie the stirrups up.
  • Put on shipping boots.  Make sure that they are tight.
  • All horses should be wearing a leather or breakaway halter.
  • Make sure you have an appropriate lead rope.
  • Fill water jugs and load on trailer
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3.  Full Moon Farm Ritualistic Loading Dance – Loading can be quite dangerous, so follow instructions exactly.  We want do everything          possible to prevent injuries to horses and humans.

  • The Fultons will tell you that we are ready to load.
  • Promptly bring your horses out in the order requested
  • Do not try to cram your horse through the small side next to the truck. 
  • NEVER and I mean NEVER stand or walk directly in line with the ramp unless you are at least 60 feet back. That means the width of the indoor.  A horse can travel back more quickly than you can get out of the way. Trust me.  I’ve been run over.  It hurts.
  • Only Mr. Steve, Ms Karen, and approved people may load and unload horses.
  • If you are asked to catch your job is to take the lead rope from the loader while he/she locks the horse in. If the horse pulls back LET GO.  Do not clip the horse to the tie until the horse is locked in.  Bad things can happen and people can get seriously hurt if you mess this up.
  • IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG – Get out of the way and wait for instructions.  Follow them immediately and don’t question them. There will be time for questions later.  If a horse gets loose someone should go to the feed room and get some feed in a bucket and deliver it to the nearest FMF owner/employee.
  • After your horse is loaded go to your car and wait for the trailers to pass.  There is usually a designated car to follow the trailers and block for them.  FMF rigs go first followed by trailers in order of size, then blocking car,  Do not pass the trailers unless you are instructed to do so.
  • While waiting, leave your car in park with your foot off of the brake. It is a bit nerve wracking driving a trailer past a car that looks like it might back into you. 
  • If you are car pooling please park behind the indoor.
  • When you arrive at the show get your stuff and get to the trailers asap.
  • Unloading is the reverse of loading.  Be ready to receive your horse when he comes off the trailer and take him out of the vicinity of the ramp.
  • Horses are NOT allowed to eat grass off of FMF. Not even one bite.  Your horse could contract a disease that will kill it.  Seriously.
  • No nose to nose contact with other horses.
  • Watch your spacing with other horses when leading.  Do not get within two horse lengths (Titan size not Bubbie size) of another horse.
  • Warm up plans are made for each show depending on what we are doing.  Make sure you know the plan and are prepared to do your part when you leave the farm.  Example: If you are schooling immediately upon arrival, be wearing boots breeches and helmet when you get to the show.

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4.  Show time!

  • Remember that you represent yourself, your horse, your family, and Full Moon Farm.
  • If we catch you being rude or unfriendly to anyone, especially your parents, we will kill you and bury you in the manure pile.  Actually, you will wish you were dead.
  • No tears allowed unless you are bleeding or something is broken. You are now a horseperson.  Suck it up!
  • You might fall off or not win a ribbon. It happens to all of us.  See rule 7c.
  • Do the best you can.  Set goals for yourself that are not defined by ribbons.  It is entirely possible, even likely, that you will have the ride of your life and not get a ribbon at some point in your show career.  It is also possible/likely to have a horrible ride and win the class.  You never know.
  • Pay attention to spacing because most of the other riders won’t.
  • Take care of your horse.  Make sure that you loosen girth between classes and give them water frequently.
  • You and your helper must stay all day and help/cheer on the other riders.  No hiding in your car.  Reference rule 7b.
  • No eating lunch before the official start of the potluck unless permission is granted beforehand.
  • You will probably be holding your horse for most of the day.  We usually do not load and unload horses frequently during the day. If you think your horse needs to come off, ask once.  Do not ask over and over again.
  • If you are done early you may take out braids and studs, then boot your horse. We sometimes don’t reboot if it is very hot.

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5.  Time To Go Home

    • Yes you are exhausted, but your first responsibility is to your horse.
    • Help clean up the trailer area and pack up
    • Follow the trailers to the barn and get up to the unloading area asap.
    • Unboot and unbraid if necessary.  Make sure that horse is groomed and studs out.
    • Feed your horse and make sure he has a full bucket of water.
    • Help clean up trailers and put stuff away.
    • Sweep grooming barns.
    • Refill your horses’ water
    • Do not leave until you are dismissed.
    • Go home and go to bed

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  • Be friendly and helpful.
  • Have a good competent helper who doesn’t hide in the car.
  • Take good care of your horse and let them know you appreciate them.
  • Say please and thank you.
  • If you see something that needs doing…do it.
  • If you see someone who needs help… help them.
  • Clean up after yourself.
  • Cheer on your FMF teammates.
  • Be early it makes everyone’s life easier.
  • Better to be over prepared than under prepared.
  • Pay on time… It makes Ms Kim a happy person.
  • Have fun. We do this because we like it.
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  • Be cranky to your parent, or anyone else for that matter.
  • Behave in an unsportsmanlike way.
  • Talk badly about other horses/farms even if they deserve it.
  • Hide in your car.
  • Get in the way during the FMF Ritualistic Loading Dance.
  • Eat lunch before the potluck starts.
  • Be late.
  • Blame your horse if you don’t get the ribbon you wanted.
  • Parents/Helpers – Do not do everything for your kid, they need to figure stuff out for themselves and learn to be responsible human beings.
  • Riders:  If your helper/ parent isn’t sitting down, then you shouldn’t be either unless you are given special permission.
  • Interrupt if Ms K and Mr Steve are in conference.
  • Leave the barn before you are dismissed. 

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Good lead rope
Show Jacket Breakaway halter
Show shirt Shipping Boots
Ratcatcher collar with pin(hunters) Brush
Stock Tie (Eventing) Preferably not pre-tied. Curry Comb
Breeches Hoof pick
Belt Towel
Boots – clean and polished Stud kit if necessary
Garters if you are wearing jods Fly Spray
Hair net Show sheen
Gloves Green spot remover or other cleaning stuff
Crop Braid kit
Spurs if necessary Yarn
Change of clothes Comb
Spare glasses/contacts if you wear them Yarn needle
Towel Seam ripper
Hairbrush Quick braid
Hat Scissors
Sunscreen Bridle(s) with appropriate bit(s) – ask if you are not positive
If you are going to a horse trials: Martingale if your horse uses one
Body Protector Standing for hunters
Medical Armband Running for horse trials–don’t forget the rein stops
Watch Saddle(s)
Cross County clothes Girth/Girth cover
Compete change of clothes Saddle Pad
  Fitted for hunters
  Square for event or jumpers
  Any other  special padding your horse wears aka bounce pads
  Galloping boots for horse trials
  Bell boots for shipping if your horse is wearing studs
  If your horse normally wears bell boots, put velcro ones on for warm up and take them off before showing or you will be disqualified
  Sheet to put over your horse if the weather needs it

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