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Show horse riders vs. Academy Riders

January 26, 2013

Academy riders are students who typically do not own their own horse and are riding horses owned or leased by the stable.  This division was created to help generate interest by offering a lower cost option to showing horses.  Academy riders compete for ribbons and titles and there are many divisions and age groups to choose from. It is a great way to start showing horses and determine whether or not this is a hobby you wish to pursue without the full commitment of horse ownership.

“Showing in a suit” is the original and traditional way of showing Saddlebreds. Typically a 3 piece suit with derby or top hat is used to be properly attired.  Academy riders use just a portion of this outfit.  What I call “suit” is really performance and is a higher level of showing.  Classes are usually larger and more competitive.  In my barn, my students/owners choose which way they want to show after I deem them ready to show.  It really is a personal choice which is determined mostly by financial considerations and time allotted to put into this hobby.  Basically, we offer something for just about everyone!


  1. I wanna be in that picture next year!

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