Equo's essential guide to showing is here to help you understand the discipline.

Showing provides horses and riders the opportunity to pit themselves against other combinations of a similar variety in front of a panel of judges.

Categories of showing include hunters, native breeds, cobs, working hunters, veterans and many, many more.

Each category requires each horse to be true to type and for riders to dress and turn their horses out accordingly.

At unaffiliated level you will find that there are a huge number of friendly shows held throughout the year where you can try different classes with minimal pressure.

Affiliated showing has a number of regulatory bodies including the BSPS (British Show Pony Society), the British Show Horse Association and the Veteran Horse Society to name but a few.

The affiliated circuit has a summer season (April-October) and a winter indoor season (November-March) and includes a number of major shows and championships.

Winter Championships include the BSPS Winter Championships and the Ponies UK Winter Classic while summer highlights include the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.

Two of the largest and most prestigious shows of the year are the Horse of the Year Show and Olympia Horse Show.

It is worth visiting a show as a spectator first to see what is involved and what might suit your horse or pony.

Showing is all about showing of the horse or pony’s best attributes, and as an exhibitor your goal is to shine in the ring and catch the judge’s eye for the right reason. As a rule, a horse or pony and rider combination who have excellent manners, are looking well and are neat and tidy should stand them in very good stead in the show ring.