How to Prepare to Ride in a Clinic

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If you’re lucky enough to be riding your horse in a clinic, then you will have a great opportunity to learn all sorts of new information and skills. But before you head off to your first clinic, make sure that you follow these steps to prepare.

Clean Your Tack

You never want to show up to a clinic with dirty tack. Approach a riding clinic much in the same way that you would approach a horse show – clean your tack, have a freshly laundered saddle pad ready, scrub your horse’s bit so that it shines, and be prepared to look great when you enter the ring.

Bathe Your Horse

In addition to cleaning your tack, bathing your horse should also be on your to-do list. Put this off until late on the day before or early in the morning of the day that you leave to ensure that your horse stays clean. You may want to bring a lightweight horse rug along with you to keep dirt and dust off of your horse, if the weather allows for it.

In addition to bathing your horse, you should also perform any grooming tasks that are needed to have him looking neat and tidy. Pulling his mane or trimming his whiskers are common tasks that will be necessary – just make sure that you adhere to the style of the discipline that you ride.

Choose an Appropriate Outfit

Don’t forget to carefully select your outfit. Many clinicians specify appropriate clothing for those riding in the clinic. Make sure that you look tidy and professional – full show outfits aren’t necessary, but wear something that is a step up from your normal schooling outfit.

Pack Plenty of Feed

You and your horse will be gone for a day or more, so make sure to bring plenty of hay and grain from home to keep your horse well nourished.

Bring Snacks for Yourself

Clinics can be long days, so pack healthy snacks for yourself that can help to keep your energy up. Granola bars and fruit can be great choices, and don’t forget plenty of extra water.


Clinics are fun opportunities to learn from some of the best riders and trainers in the sport. Relax, remember that you and your horse are there to improve, and enter the clinic with a positive attitude – you’re going to learn a ton.

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