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New to Showing?

Each month during the summer Justamere has a horse show! Justamere lesson students are encouraged to participate in our shows, which also include riders from other barns who “haul-in” for the weekend to be in the show.

Our first show of the season is our Welcome Spring Show, traditionally held in May. The last show of the year is our Halloween Fun Show, held in October. In the summer months, we offer the Hunter/Jumper/Dressage Association (HJDA) series of shows.

Our HJDA shows are a series of four shows that combine both the Hunter/Jumper discipline, as well as Dressage. As in the spring show, lesson students will compete against other Justamere riders, as well as riders from outside barns. Riders compete in their division(s) to earn points towards our Year-End Championships, which are awarded at the last HJDA show of the season.

The divisions are organized according to skill level and/or age of the rider and/or horse, and riders can qualify for more than one division:

Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Equitation divisions:    This division is based on the skill level of the rider: either beginner, intermediate or advanced. Equitation is a division judged on the ability and style of the rider, their “equitation”. A rider can enter both an over fences equitation class and on the flat equitation class in this division. In the over fence’s equitation class, each rider will individually ride a jump course of 6-8 jumps, ranging in height of low verticals and cross-rails for beginner riders, up to a height of 2’6” for the advanced equitation riders. In the flat class, riders walk/trot/canter in both directions as a group.


Hunter divisions originated from the hunt field, and many of the rules and judging criteria are based on the tradition of fox hunting. As a result, both the horse and rider are judged individually and as a team in the ring. Horses are judged on hunting pace, movement, style of jumping, and manners. Riders are judged on their position, ability to communicate and control their mount with invisible aids, and ability to execute the course. A rider can enter both an over fences class and a flat class in this division. In the over fences class, each rider will individually ride a jump course of 6-8 jumps, ranging in height of low verticals and x-rails for Beginner hunters, up to a height of 2’6” for Open hunters, Advanced hunters, and Intermediate hunters. Also included in this division is the Hunter Hack class, which is a combination of both a jumping and a flat class. Riders walk/trot/canter in both directions as a group and then line up to individually complete 2 jumps (or vice-versa, depending on the judge)

  • Open Hunter: For all riders including professionals 

  • Advanced Hunter: For all riders. May cross enter into Open hunter or Intermediate hunter.

  • Intermediate Hunter: For rides who have not competed over fences higher than 2’3”. May cross enter into Beginner hunter or Advanced hunter.

  • Beginner Hunter: For riders in their 1st or 2nd year of showing and have not competed over fences higher than 2’. May cross enter into Intermediate hunter.

  • Hack: For all riders


As the name implies, riders in this division will only walk/trot, no cantering or jumping. There are multiple classes offered in this division:

  •   Walk/Trot Hunter

  •   Walk/Trot Equitation

  •   Trot pole Hunter: a course of ground poles to be trotted.

  •   Trot Pole Equitation: a course of ground poles to be trotted.


The actual word "dressage" is French and evolved from the verb Dresseur meaning to train. Dressage is a discipline, or type of riding. Many liken it to horse “ballet”. In a dressage, horse and rider are judged on how well they can perform a series of movements, which is called a Test, and these Tests are the same throughout the world. When watching an Olympic rider and horse perform a Grand Prix test (the highest level and a simply beautiful sight to behold), know that they started out by riding the Introductory/Training level tests our students ride in the shows.  


Riders earn points based on how they place in their classes at the HJDA shows. 1st place = 10 points, 2nd place = 8 points and so on. At the end of the season, we award Champion and Reserve Champion in each of the above divisions. The most important thing to remember about year-end championships: a rider must ride in 3 of the 4 HJDA shows and must be entered in the last show, typically in late August, to qualify for year-end championships. We keep track of a rider’s points during the season and post those points on our website. We have an awards ceremony at the last show, handing out prizes and ribbons to our champion and reserve champions, it really is quite exciting!



Showing for the first time can be exciting, but also nerve wracking, especially if you’re new to the sport. Never fear, it’s not as confusing as it seems and we’ll guide you through. You’ll soon come to find that horse show days are the best! With that in mind, here are some showing basics:

  1. Show dates for the upcoming year will be posted in March. Registration forms will be available in the observation room.

  2. If you are a Justamere Lesson Student, you must fill out a lesson student registration form and submit it with a $20 non-refundable deposit (which is applied towards your show fees) one week prior to the show date. This is extremely important! This is the only way we have of knowing that you want to be in the show.

  3. If you are a Justamere lesson student, Twila will enter you in the appropriate classes, as well as assign the horse you will ride.

  4. On the Friday before the show you will receive an email (if you included your email address) showing which classes you are entered in, as well as the total amount due.

  5. Riding attire is a show coat, traditional button show shirt, tall or paddock boots, & breeches. Riders under 10 years old have the option of full show attire OR may wear white 'polo' shirt, tan breeches & paddock boots. Hair MUST be completely under your helmet with a hairnet. For younger riders, a single/double braid with ribbons is acceptable. Boots must be clean and polished, coat and breeches clean, shirt ironed and crisp. You and your horse must be “show-ready” for the judge.

  6. Classes in the show are run in the same order listed on the show entry i.e. Class #1 is the first class to go, Class #2 is second and so on.

  7. So…. what time should we be there? This is the one question everyone asks and the one for which there is no answer! Shows start at 8:00 am, except for the Spring & Halloween shows which start at 9:00 am . There are just too many variables in a show to be able to give a time with any accuracy, horse shows in general are a perfect scenario of “hurry up and wait”.   We recommend that you bring some chairs, pack a cooler with food & drinks, and make a day of it. Not only does this allow the newer riders to watch the more advanced classes, any day spent at a horse show is a fun and relaxing day!  

  8. Remember that it’s not all about winning the blue ribbon! Competitions give you a chance to see how you compare to other riders and to get an idea of the skills you need to continue working on.

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