Photo credits to Barr Studios

Virtual online horse shows have a lot of advantages, but participants need to know what those are, along with the challenges that go with virtual online horse shows.  Virtual online horse shows have been around for a while, with Interdressage being one of the first to provide this opportunity for horse owners.  Missouri Fox Trotter owner and Foxtrot Urbane member Michelle Last shares what she has learned about showing in virtual online horse shows with her horse Nap Time.

Michelle Last owns Missouri Fox Trotter horse Nap Time, otherwise known as Henry.  Michelle purchased this Missouri Fox Trotter as a two year old.  She was looking for a strong versatility horse.  Michelle wanted a Missouri Fox Trotter that could canter, do flying lead changes, spin, stop and do whatever she asked him to do.  Michelle wanted people to see that gaited horses are capable of doing all of this well.

Their first big competition was at the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA) World Show and Celebration in Ava, Missouri.  Nap Time competed as a three year old and earned the honor of  Open Amateur World Grand Champion Versatility Horse.   Michelle says that Nap Time continues to improve and looks forward to continuing on with that success to promote him and the Missouri Fox Trotting breed.

Photo credits to Barr Studios

Virtual online horse shows are exactly what they say they are, a judged equestrian event online.  Michelle is participating in several online virtual horse shows.  Here are some things she feels you should know ahead of time about online virtual shows.

  • Have reasonable fees
  • The patterns and directions are posted online
  • Patterns are very similar to what you would see at a normal horse show
  • Most patterns have added directions for camera placement and don’t require the use of the entire arena
  • To enter an online virtual show you will need to film your classes according to the show rules
  • Set  up your online virtual show in an area that is flat and has good lighting
  • Use a device for filming that is reliable and can take good footage
  • Once the video is complete, it should be uploaded  according to directions from the show manager

Virtual Online Horse Show Positives

  • You have time to fix any problems in a stress free environment of your own barn
  • Working in a familiar environment
  • Choose the day you compete
  • Time to memorize the patterns
  • Become a better rider
  • Foxtrot Urbane horses earn credits in Foxtrot Urbane, a recognition program for Missouri Fox Trotter horses

Potential Problems for Virtual Online Horse Shows

  • Finding someone to help you film your class
  • Finding a good place to film your class
  • Technology
  • Problems with online registrations and class payments
  • Over practicing
  • Unforseen problems

Michelle spoke with a couple of judges who have judged virtual online horse shows and even set them up and helped organize them.  Michelle asked for advice to be able to share with future competitors, here is what they said

  • Asked questions of your show manager
  • Watch spacing between your cones and poles
  • Make sure you have a reliable video equipment
  • Prepare just as you would for a normal show
  • Do NOT over practice your patterns

Photo credits to Barr Studios

Judges both agreed there were things they looked forward to regarding online virtual horse shows, here are some of them

  • Providing constructive feedback and giving riders the opportunity to re-watch a class
  • Seeing riders gain confidence and grow

Virtual online shows provide another opportunity for horse owners who are interested in competing in events.  These shows are continuing to grow and are helping to provide equine enthusiast another avenue to show off their horse.

– Michelle Last


To see Michelle’s Missouri Fox Trotter Nap Time, click here for all his accomplishments on Foxtrot Urbane.