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Utah’s horse world; summer fun show at Vista Farms

A fly sheet and good grooming the night before can make your job easier on show day!
A fly sheet and good grooming the night before can make your job easier on show day!
photo by Sarah Robertson, with Indy [Aug 2014]

Readers often express an interest in showing, but some admit to feeling a little intimidated by the experience if it’s not something they’ve done before (or if they’ve been out of the show pen for an extended period of time).

The Vista Farms fun shows are a terrific introduction for the new-to-competition rider, green horses, or any rider who wants to practice their show skills in a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere.

All classes are on the flat (no jumps) and simple, basic walk-trot classes are included; a great way to get comfortable without the pressure of too much speed. There are also in hand classes (showmanship and breed halter) if you’d prefer to start out with un-mounted exercises.

This month’s show takes place on Saturday, August 23. Morning classes begin promptly at 9 a.m. with sign up beforehand. The early classes are designed for English (hunt seat) riders of all ages and experience levels.

At noon there is a lunch break (a snack bar is located conveniently on site). Following the lunchtime rest period, the show kicks back into action with the halter classes and then western pleasure events (again, walk trot classes are featured before the traditional walk-trot-canter events).

Any breed of horse is welcome at these playful West Jordan horse shows. There is plenty of on-site parking at the back of the property. Spectators may also wish to park their cars on the street (3400 West).

Classes are very affordable: just $5.00 each. There is a grounds fee of $5.00 per horse as well, plus a $5.00 office (admin) charge. While there are not stringent dress codes or tack standards, riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Ribbons are awarded for those in 1st - 5th place.

Looking for some help before show time? Contact one of the many experienced local trainers to help polish your performance and assist you in checking your horse’s control and show pen skills.

We always recommend that competitors arrive at the venue at least an hour before their classes are to begin, allowing themselves plenty of time to complete the necessary paperwork, familiarize their horses with the grounds and get tacked up and warmed up.

Be mindful of other competitors and be sure to give them and their horses plenty of respectful space; remember (even at fun shows) some riders and their horses can experience more nerves than usual. It’s a good idea not to crowd them or engage in startling behavior that could lead to an accident.

Make sure both you and your horse are well fed and well hydrated; this can help calm nerves and improve performance. Practice well during the weeks leading up to any event so you don’t feel pressured to over-do it in the days immediately prior.

Have your show outfit(s) and boots cleaned and ready at least a couple of days ahead of time. Loading tack into the vehicle the night before can help you make sure that nothing vital is left behind. You’ll need your saddle, saddle pads, helmet, grooming brushes and hoof pick, fly spray for summertime events, bridle and reins and girth. A lunge line is a good idea if your horse needs to be worked down a little before you get on. Does your horse need support boots or bell boots? Pack those too. A basic collection of first aid supplies (for both horse and human) can also come in handy.

Making sure your horse is well groomed the night before can make your job the next day a little easier. Take along a water bucket and hay net; even for short trips you may want to have extra food and water available. You never know if you may be delayed or encounter schedule changes.

Being reasonably well-practiced and prepared can help any rider feel more confident and in control when they get to a show.

Come out to Vista Farms on Saturday, August 23, to check out the fun. Riding or watching, this is a terrific opportunity to enjoy a friendly event before the summertime activities come to an end.

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