top of page

Why Attend Horse Shows?

NSBA Banner

Attending horse shows is not a component of many Therapeutic riding centers. So why do we do it? If we are being honest horse shows add a lot of financial costs and stress on the program as you tackle traveling with horses and special needs families. But we feel very strongly that horse showing is one of the most important components in our program and has the greatest capacity to make a difference in our client’s lives. In short the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot.

Riders on horseback at horse show

There are so many components of therapeutic riding as a whole and those are widely known and touted so I will focus on the benefits of showing specifically. Horse Shows affords the ability to set goals and have something to work for. Each of our riders has goals they are looking to accomplish in their everyday riding, but we also have goals for our shows. Those goals range from hoping to win, to focusing on having fun and enjoying the process, to moving from one division to another. Horse shows give us an opportunity to measure our progress in a more objective setting.

There is so much more than hard work and setting goals. Many of our riders are working on problem solving, improving social skills and overcoming anxiety. Horse shows give riders a space to really focus on overcoming their challenges in an unfamiliar setting and pushing beyond what they believe they are capable of. Competition also gives the opportunity to learn how to be a good teammate, to be gracious- win or lose and to learn to handle disappointment. These are skills that are not easily accomplished in a lesson setting.

Rider and his parents celebrating his win

Horse shows benefit the entire family. Many parents or spouses grew up in competitive sports. Many special needs individuals do not have that opportunity. Being able to compete “normalizes” family life and gives families a chance to cheer for their rider that they do not get to experience in many arenas of life.

But one of the greatest blessings of horse shows is the opportunity to travel together as a team and have dedicated time for fellowship and forming bonds with others who have walked a similar path in life and support each other through joys and disappointments, through laughter and tears. The bonds that are formed between teammates, families, coaches, and volunteers at a show strengthen each of us and allow us to see the amazing gift of belonging to a community and a family.

You can help support our 9 riders as they head off their biggest competetion of the year, NSBA World Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Head over to our fundraising campaign page to learn more and support our show team.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page