Education Entertainment Horse Shows and Competitions Lifestyle Riding and Training Young Rider

Horse Show Knowledge Quiz

Young girl riding a pony
Can you ace this horse show quiz? Photo by Elizabeth Moyer

How much do you know about horse shows? Test your horse show knowledge with this quiz to feel more prepared for your next show! Check your answers with the key at the bottom.

1. A schooling show refers to an event that:
a) Is a small local competition.
b) Offers beginner-friendly classes and divisions.
c) Has more casual dress requirements.
d) All of the above.

2. When entering a show, you should:
a) Aim big, and enter classes above your current riding level.
b) Choose classes at the level you and your horse are currently schooling.
c) Enter classes way below your level so you can scoop up easy ribbons.

3. The classes at a horse show are typically grouped into _ by age and experience level.
a) Divisions
b) Sectors
c) Fields

4. In equitation and horsemanship classes, the judging is focused primarily on:
a) The rider’s form and ability to guide their horse effectively.
b) The horse’s conformation and athletic performance.

5. Green classes or divisions are intended for:
a) Environmentally conscious competitors.
b) Inexperienced horses or riders.
c) Cash payment only.

6. Name the ribbon color for each placing:

7. A championship ribbon is also called a:
a) Tricorn
b) Triton
c) Tricolor

8. A second-place champion is called the:
a) Spare
b) Reserve champion
c) First runner-up

9. Which of the following is a “don’t” in the warmup arena?
a) Passing left shoulder to left shoulder when riders are going in opposite directions.
b) Calling out your intentions to let other riders know what you plan to do. (“Blue oxer!”; “Inside!” or “Passing on your right!”)
c) Riding with earbuds and blasting your favorite playlist to get pumped up before your classes.
d) Giving horses approaching a jump the right of way.

10. You should plan to arrive at the horse show:
a) Early, so that you have plenty of time to get ready and let your horse settle in.
b) At the very last minute, so that there’s no time to think about being nervous or let your horse get too worked up.

Horse show ribbons, about which there are questions in this horse show quiz.
Photo by Ken Weinrich/Shutterstock


1. D. All of the above. The relaxed, low-key atmosphere of a schooling show is an ideal way to learn the ropes and gain experience if you new to showing.

2. B. You should choose classes at the appropriate level you and your horse are currently schooling at home, so that you can test your skills safely and confidently with all the distractions of a show environment. If you aspire to move up to more challenging show divisions, practice and prepare at home first.

Your instructor can help you choose the right level of competition for you and your horse and advise you when it’s time to move up. It’s not good sportsmanship to remain in classes well below your skill level just so you can win.

3. A. Divisions. Horse shows group competitors into different divisions by age and experience level of the rider and/or horse. The divisions are composed of various classes. There may also be divisions for different types of riding, such as hunters and jumpers, or English and western. You’ll want to make sure you enter the correct division for your age and experience.

4. A. In equitation and horsemanship classes, the judging is focused primarily on the rider’s form and ability to guide their horse effectively.

5. B. At a horse show, green classes are for less experienced horses or riders.

6. First: blue
Second: red
Third: yellow
Fourth: white
Fifth: pink
Sixth: green
Seventh: purple
Eighth: brown
Ninth: gray
Tenth: light blue

7. C. A championship ribbon, also known as a tricolor, features the colors of the top three ribbons—blue, red and yellow.

8. B. The horse that finishes behind the champion is called the reserve champion.

9. C. It’s important to stay alert and aware of other horses and riders in a busy warmup arena to avoid a collision, so leave the earbuds back at the trailer or stall and stay tuned in to your surroundings instead.

10. A. Plan to arrive at the show early, so that you have plenty of time to get ready and let your horse settle in.

Your Score:
9-10: You are a horse show champ!
7-8: You are consistently in the top ribbons.
5-6: You are moving up in the placings—keep at it!
0-4: You may be green, but you are gaining experience.

This horse show quiz appeared in the May 2021 Mini Digital issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Elizabeth Moyer

Elizabeth Moyer works in marketing and development for the United States Pony Clubs, Inc. She served as a longtime editor of Horse Illustrated and Young Rider. She is also the author of two Horse Illustrated Simple Solutions books on grooming and horse safety (BowTie Press). Moyer is a lifelong equestrian and horse lover. Prior to becoming part of the equine industry, she worked in advertising and is a graduate of the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She lives in the beautiful bluegrass horse country of Kentucky with a pack of adopted Dachshunds.


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