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Fancy showing classes with your horse or pony? Read on! And check out our bitting and grooming product ranges…

March 12th, 2018

Showing horses and ponies – a guide…


The majority of horse shows have ‘in-hand’ classes, in which correctly dressed handlers exhibit equines in walk and trot. The winning horse carries the right amount of weight, has a healthy-looking coat and hooves, and a bright eye; a picture of health. In-hand classes include youngstock, broodmare and some stallion classes, veteran, coloureds, mountain and moorland, hunters, and those aimed at specific breeds.

If you have a youngster, check out our Weaver Halter with cheek clip – it’s ideally suited for 2-yr-olds and yearlings.

If you need a lovely leather lead-chain, try our extra long leather lead and  Stallion Chain, now with handy leather ‘stop’! 


Ponies eligible for Mountain and Moorland (or M&M) classes include the Connemara, Dales, Fell, Highland, Welsh Sections A, B, C, and D, the Dartmoor, Exmoor, New Forest, and Shetland. Whether in-hand or ridden, the judge seeks a ‘true to type’ animal, displaying inherent breed characteristics.


These classes are split into sections governed by pony height and rider age. Usually of finer substance than its native counterparts, the ridden show pony is of fine breeding, with excellent conformation. He demonstrates free movement and elegance, with the manners to carry a child rider. In Lead rein classes for riders aged under seven, a handler leads the pony.


The riding horse has excellent conformation, with emphasis on the quality of the limbs, which must be hard, flat, and free from blemishes. His neck should be of a good length and he should have a sloping shoulder, for a comfortable ride. Obedience, self-carriage, and calmness are key.


Cobs – the lightweight or heavyweight cob stands between 148cms -155cms; Maxi Cob classes are for horses exceeding 155cms. The show cob has ‘bone and substance’ and is capable of carrying a substantial weight. The Cob – a type rather than a breed – should be well mannered with the attributes of a good hunter: low movement and a comfortable ride.

Ex-racehorse classes – an increasing number of classes now exists, predominantly run under the auspices of the Retraining of Racehorses Tattersalls Show Series.


Show hunter (or ridden hunter) classes are aimed at animals that ‘could give their owners a good day’s hunting’, that are of a heavier build than the riding horse. There are lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight classes, dependent on the size of bone just below the knee. These horses must work with a long, low stride that covers plenty of ground, and be extremely responsive. In working hunter classes, horses need to have all the attributes of the show hunter, plus the ability to jump rustic fences in a calm and balanced manner. Working hunter pony classes follow the same format, but are usually categorised by height rather than weight.

Bitting for showing

Ponies in Leading rein classes must be shown in a snaffle. Snaffles are also preferred for In-hand classes. Check out our range of Loose Ring snaffles HERE!

For ridden classes, some people use a snaffle, although Pelhams are the most popular bit; check out our range of Pelhams HERE. (Double bridles are also often used.)



Need a special bit for showing classes? Contact us to ask about BESPOKE BOMBERS BITS! Tel 01825 841 303 or email

Grooming your show horse or pony

If you need showing products, you’ve come to the right place!

From shampoos and conditioners to show sheens, detanglers and coat cleaners, World Wide Tack has everything you may need for show-ring shine and cleanliness.

Visit our grooming pages HERE.





Shaped Showing Numnah.Showing numnahs

Check out our lovely Shaped Showing Numnah – fully lined with a rolled edge.


Priced £75.82 from World Wide Tack.



*England, Wales and Scottish Lowlands