Polly 12 the Blue Ridge Riding Club



Recently I got to tag along to my first horse show. When not scuba diving, you can find Kristi riding, training and showing her horses. On this day, there was a horse show at the Blue-Ridge Saddle Club located in Boonsboro Maryland. So early in the morning we loaded up the horse trailer and headed towards Maryland.




Polly 12 shows off a Blue Ribbon awarded to a First Place exhibitor.


At the show, exhibitors take their horses in various events throughout the day and compete for top honors. A professional horse show judge watches the horses and riders during each event and ultimately ranks the exhibitors from first to sixth place. The exhibitors win ribbons and sometimes a percentage of the entrance fees.

Polly 12 meets Abby (Virtual Elegance).

At today’s show Kristi was showing her 6 year Quarter horse whose registered name is Virtual Elegance (barn name is Abby). Kristi and Abby showed in various events all day long including both English and Western styles of riding. Needless to say there was a lot of changing equipment and clothes throughout the day.


The events throughout the day are broken into various categories including the riders age, horses age, style of riding and experience of the rider. Age of the rider is usually broken down into three categories including 13 and Under, 14-18 and Adult. For the new horse show riders there are Novice classes. In these classes, you need to have less than two years of show experience. This way the less experienced riders are not competing with someone who has been doing it for a long time. For the horses age, classes are broken down into Junior (up to 5 years old) and Senior (6 and over).



For the horse’s age, all horses are considered to have a birthday on January 1. So if your horse was technically born on December 2, come January 1 the horse would be considered to be one year old even though it is only about one month old. That is why most horse breeders try to time the birth of the horses in the early Spring. This way it is not too cold for a new-born horse and you most of the entire year for the horse to gain in size and training. Most show horses start showing in events at age 3.

Kristi and Abby during an English riding class.

Kristi and Abby during an English riding class.

The next big category is the style of riding. Most shows have English style and Western style events. English riding features a flat English saddle without the deep seat or saddle horn seen on a Western saddle. English disciplines are all designed to allow the horse the freedom to move in the optimal manner for a given task, ranging from classical dressage to horse racing. The typical vision of a Fox Hunt is an English style of riding. Clothing for riders in competition is usually based on traditional needs from which a specific style of riding developed. Most clothing ant tack is quiet and unobtrusive. English riding usually requires riders to use both hands on the reins, rather than just one hand, as is seen in western riding. Riders also frequently “post” to the trot, rising and sitting in rhythm with each stride.

Kristi and Abby during a Western riding class.

Western riding is a style of horseback riding which evolved from the ranching the American West. Western riding is typical of the cowboy movies you see on TV. The equipment and riding style developed when the cowboys needed to work long hours in the saddle over rough terrain. Western horses are trained to change direction with light pressure of a rein against the horse’s neck.

Clothing for the western riders differs greatly from English riders. Riders wear colorful shirts, chaps and wide brimmed hats. Chaps are leather leggings that protect the legs of the riders while on the open trail. Western show equipment is intended to draw attention. Saddles, bits and bridles are frequently ornamented with substantial amounts of silver. Hats and chaps are often color-coordinated, spurs and belt buckles are often silver-plated.

Polly 12 and Abby in an English saddle.

What a view from here!














The rewards for a good day in the show ring!



Kristi and Abby had a good day in the show ring and it was a great fall day to be outside and enjoy the weather.
I learned a lot about horses, equipment and riding styles and made some new friends. If horses peak your interest you are never too young or old to get started.


Polly 12

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5 Responses to “Polly 12 Visits a Horse Show”

  1. Interesting information and great pictures! I especially liked the one with all the ribbons!

  2. This is very informative, and the number of ribbons that Kristi and Abby won is impressive–to say the least! Abby must be very disciplined in order to let a frog sit on her head. As usual, this is great stuff!

  3. I’m glad you liked the information and pictures. Abby and Polly got along just fine, as you can see in the pictures. Abby prefers the English classes but can hold her own in the Western classes as well.

  4. You have a beautiful horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I would LOVE to get some lessons on horse back riding!!!
    You are GOOD at riding horses because you have done very good.
    I <3 horses!
    I've ridden a horse before.

  5. Thank you K.W.for your compliment on Abby. We are very fortunate to have her in our barn. She is a wonderful horse.