We hosted our first "in house" schooling show for our students, with a slight twist (we rented the local fairgrounds due to weather) It turned out that this couldn't have worked out better as students invited extended family and we easily filled the stands & parking area. The students absolutely loved it, and it being at the fairgrounds added to the fun for them and their families. It also made it much easier on us since the fairgrounds provided bathrooms, the sound-system, parking, etc. It was a big relief not to have to sweat the details.
We had around 30 entries each doing 3 pattern classes. We kept the classes very simple, and it worked out fabulously. The classes were equitation, showmanship, and trail. Our show started at 9am and wrapped up by 12:30! It is extremely important to have 2 instructors in the arena with the students to always have the next student ready, and stirrups properly adjusted. We were careful not to put horses back to back, and we announced throughout the day who was "up", "on deck", and "in the hole" as well as upcoming classes.
The show also gave our students something to look forward to and work towards for several months. We strategically planned it in early January in hopes that it would help us maintain motivation and customer retention through the bad weather season in the Pacific Northwest, and it seems we've had success on those fronts!
Our curriculum made the show very evenly matched and we awarded small ribbons to 6 places in each class, and reserve and champion hi-point trophies in each level. Watching the kids cheer each-other on and tackle hug their friends that won big was the best part of the show. We definitely will be putting more student shows on the calendar, as it was such a great experience in every way.