Attending a horse show in Scottsdale, Arizona can be an exciting experience for both the horse and its exhibitor. However, it is important to be aware of the rules and regulations regarding grooming and presentation of horses at these events. Horses are not allowed at the Scottsdale Arabian unless they have requested and been granted permission. This is due to the high-profile outbreaks of equine herpes (EHV) in recent years, which have caused some competitions to impose vaccination requirements on their competitors.
When showing a horse with English or Western equipment, the trainer must choose one style of equipment and cannot mix both styles. In the room system, the trainer stands on the opposite side of the judge when the judge looks at the front of the horse, but when the judge moves to look at the horse's rear quarters, the trainer moves to stand on the same side of the horse as the judge. The style of headgear worn by the horse will also vary according to the English and Western theatrical style, as well as some of the care given to the horse. The tails of horses shown in a hunting seat can be braided in French style at the dock, following classic show hunter style. Judges may ask exhibitors to grab the horse's legs or to separate its lips and show them its bite.
Depending on the breed, horses may be shown with a modified version of a bridle used in riding lessons or with an extremely fine and refined halter made of leather or similar material. The mane may be braided, loose, or ringed (with small elastic bands placed around small sections of a short mane at the roots to help it lie down). Exhibitors in 4-H competitions are expected to do all of this themselves (and keep their exhibition clothes clean during the process), while open competition exhibitors often have help from a coach or parent. The horse must be properly groomed and hooked for judging based on its exhibitor's ability to fit and show it. Most theater classes in the United States use Western-style horses, clothing, and equipment; however, English styles are also seen depending on the breed of horse. Before a show, usually 12 to 24 hours prior, horses must be bathed and their manes, tails, legs and heads trimmed or trimmed to fit the standard style of each breed.