5 Reasons to Participate in Virtual Horse Shows

COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, and unfortunately it's led to the cancellation of many “real” shows. While virtual showing certainly isn't the same as the real thing, a few of our coaches and exhibitors have uncovered some awesome benefits! 

1. It’s a chance to perfect your events and step up during the down-time

“Clients are working hard in lessons and are highly motivated to knock out their personal best pattern. It’s almost more of a challenge to be satisfied with less then a “perfect” run when you are on home turf and can redo a video. It has been an interesting learning curve as a coach to figure out the ideal warm up plan and the number of re-takes that are both fair to the horse and maintain the sanity of the rider, coach and videographer. It’s quite a bit different than a show where you only get one chance!”

Jodi Mallette, AQHA Professional Horseman

“Since I’ve often had green horses, I’d found that I’d fallen into ‘showing not to lose’ instead of ‘showing to win’. Virtual shows take away some of the pressure and risk, and I’ve started to ride more aggressively in my patterns and strive for higher scores.”

Mallory McKewen, Amateur Exhibitor


  1. It’s flexible 

“Virtual horse shows are great because they work with your schedule! No days off work is a bonus!”

Mackenzie Harvey, Amateur Exhibitor


  1. Virtual showing is inclusive and affordable

"I love how inclusive virtual shows are. Seeing people who have never shown before, or are showing for the first time is really cool. Also the participation in the EWD classes that some of the shows offer is absolutely amazing, and inspiring to watch!"

Shauna Zwicker of Shauna Maclean Performance Horses


“We just bought our first house, so I need to be really strict with my budget. While I really miss the social aspect of the real shows, it’s nice to still be able to have the competitive aspect of showing in an affordable way.”

Mallory McKewen, Amateur Exhibitor


  1. It’s a chance to try a new event  

“The benefits of this format are giving us a great chance to use our time well and develop and hone skills that will see stronger riders when we get back to showing off site. While these virtual shows are catered to scored pattern classes, it’s also fun to see riders who may focus mostly on a rail event try something new like horsemanship.”

Jodi Mallette, AQHA Professional Horseman

  1. A normal day at the barn becomes a new challenge

“It's so much fun to have the challenge of the virtual horse shows.   It's exciting to go to the barn  and try to perfect those horse show patterns again! Thanks OQHA and the Summer Pandemic series for your hard work!”

Clare Roman, Select Amateur Exhibitor


“We are loving the chance to continue to grow, challenge our skills and step out of our comfort zones - all while remaining in the familiar settings in our barns and following the safety protocols for  pandemic compliance set by our governments...The more laid back attire and equipment is also just that perfect balance - enough that you need to come out with intent to show/video that day, but comfortable enough that you can enjoy the experience in a more relaxed manner than an actual show.”

Jodi Mallette, AQHA Professional Horseman

And finally, check out this fun video of what OQHA member Sandra Duhamel’s horse Dougan has to say about virtual shows. Sandra is the volunteer behind the 2020 Summer Pandemic Horse Show, another virtual show opportunity for exhibitors. 


Interested in giving it a try? OQHA Show #1 is currently open and runs through to June 14th and the 2020 Summer Pandemic Horse Show has several events running throughout the next couple of months.