Arabian horse standards for showing

Hi, I am new to showing and have an Arabian gelding I would like to compete with at local shows (Pony Club, 4H, Open Shows). What tack/attire will I need to compete?
Thanks for any assistance you may be able to provide me.

Apologies in advance if you already know this, but you have to be a member of 4H and PC to compete in their shows. PC has it’s own dress code rules that differ a bit from the expectations at rated (USEF) shows. PC’s a little more open minded and gives you more wiggle room in terms of ‘informal attire’ for showing.

Anyway, for showing in hunters, jumpers, or equitation, you will need English tack, preferably an actual jumping saddle. Dark brown is conventional for hunters and eq, but some jumpers do have black. PC won’t care what color your tack is. Hunters and eq use fitted, white fleece pads. Jumpers can have square pads. No running martingales in hunters at rated shows. Schooling shows may allow it and PC, last I heard, definitely allows running martingales in show jumping. Now, PC recently added hunters to their disciplines, so I imagine they might have a rule for those shows, but in regular show jumping it should be fine. PC will have separate rules and such for hunters and show jumping.

Clothing will really depend on where you’re showing. As I said, PC sometimes allows pretty casual clothing. They are not brand obsessed and only really require the minimum. Rated hunters requires coats, show shirt with a wrap around collar, tan/beige breeches, and black field boots. Rated jumpers will differ depending on the class. Some classes you can get away with a polo, others require a coat. Eq requires a very conventional look, so no bling or funky colors. Navy or black coats, white shirts, and tan breeches only. Some H/J schooling shows require coats as well.

P.S. No boots on horses in hunters. Fine for jumpers and eq.

Thanks for the info, I wondered about “conservative” colors for breeches, shirts, and coats. Will a grey grand prix jacket work?
Is there a brand of saddle for hunt seat and jumping saddle that is a good quality starter saddle? I am not sure how hard my Arabian gelding will be to fit.
Thanks again!

Hunters can do grey, yes. Eq, probably not. Jumpers, yes. Everyone usually wears tan or beige breeches. Once in awhile, if a jumper class allows informal dress, you’ll see people in a polo with grey breeches. But most people definitely wear tan/beige.

Shirts are always white in Eq. Hunters can wear light colors, like light blue, though I personally see more people in white still. Most jumpers I’ve seen wear a white show shirt. I don’t currently show in rated shows, so you’ll have to check the rule book or ask someone who does to be sure.

There are many brands of affordable jumping saddles. If you plan on doing hunters or eq you want a traditional looking one, nothing too “new age” or decorated. Some Arabs are difficult to fit because of their roundness, so you may end up needing to find a saddle fitter. Make sure the saddle you choose allows you to hold a half seat and two-point position easily. There are lots of threads on here discussing saddle fit, check them out.

For saddles, I’ve always been a fan of M. Toulouse, and if you’d prefer the cost to be in the three-digits HDRs are a good starter saddle. :slight_smile: Check for more options, they have both tack and apparel and carry lots of hunter/jumper stuff.

And here’s my little apparel/tack list…


  • Navy/black show coat
  • White show shirt with collar (wrap necks are in, and are convenient!)
  • Black field (tall w/ laces) boots
  • Black gloves
  • Black helmet
  • Black belt
    (Black is the standard ;))


  • Brown AP or close-contact saddle
  • Brown bridle w/ reins (lace for hunters)
  • In hunters, a snaffle, usually D-ring, in eq, pelhams are popular, and anything goes in jumpers
  • Fitted fleece saddle pad for hunters/eq, square pad (and many people use half pads over those) for jumpers
  • Breastplates and most training devices are okay in jumpers, in hunters pretty much only a standing martingale
  • No boots in hunters, any boots/wraps in jumpers or eq

In eq and hunters, many people braid the mane and tail, but for local unrated shows, you don’t have to braid the tail, if anything.

Sorry for the novel :lol:! Good luck with your guy!