What is Show Horse

What is Show Horse

Show horses are exhibited in three divisions; Pony, Galloway and Hack.

  • A Pony Show horse, Hunter must not exceed 14hh
  • A Galloway Show horse Hunter must be over 14hh and not exceed 15hh
  • A Hack Show horse, Hunter is over 15 hh.

The horse should work with a nicely rounded back, naturally elevated in front and head flexed at the poll.  The contact should be light and even. Holding a horse in a shape with the use of brute strength or artificial gadgets is not truly getting a horse to accept and to come happily on to the bit. A show horse must give the impression of covering the ground easily and fluently.  The horse must be well balanced and work without any obvious effort by the rider or any untoward resistance from the horse. The whole picture should be pleasing to the eye.

Conformation in a Show Horse is the correct coupling of evenly balanced parts of the horse which will produce a magnificent looking animal that is both sound of wind and limb. A Show Horse should be well mannered and obedient, but never mechanical.  Exuberance may be forgiven but not bad manners, biting, rearing or bolting.  A show horse must show soft, regular, active strides which cover the ground, going forward with rhythm and impulsion.  All paces should be clearly defined.

A Show Hunter should possess more substance than the modern ridden Show Horse but it must be emphasised they should be quality animals. A quality Show Hunter must create the impression that it is capable of hunting over a variety of terrain – this militates against any weakness in conformation which would prevent this, and he must do it comfortably and safely for his rider. 

FEI does not govern Show Horse, however, their guidelines for the “Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse” are utilised in the EA rules of Show Horse.