Horse Show Study Spots

Above: Riders studying at the ring. Photo by Piper Klemm.

By TPH Interns Vyla Carter, Emy Lucibello and Ashley Shaw

The school year and winter show season are officially in full swing. Along with the horse show grind comes loads of school work and studying to finish up before class on Monday. Finding time and a place, without distractions, to get work done can be hard at a horse show. The Plaid Horse Interns let you in to their favorite study spots at shows across the midwest and east coast:

Studying in VIP/Tent areas are another helpful place to complete tasks. Photo courtesy of Emy Lucibello.


Tryon is super spectator-friendly, providing lots of tables, chairs and other covered seating. With so many options for spectators, there are also numerous places to get away from the distractions and get school work done:

•Each ring has chairs and tables under covered seating. With so many rings at Tryon, there is a good chance there is at least one that isn’t in use. We like to sit by a vacant ring to avoid the distractions of horses, spectators and loudspeaker announcements.

•Located by the entrance of each stable are multiple picnic tables that are usually unoccupied. Away from the rings, the picnic tables allow plenty of space to spread out homework projects and textbooks.

•The hammocks located by the Cantina restaurant can also be a good option for a place to do homework. Usually, the area is quiet and not crowded unless a big class is going on in the grand prix ring. The hammocks are a good place to read a book, but if space is needed to write and lay out materials, we stick to sitting at one of the picnic or ringside tables.

World Equestrian Center

One of the biggest destinations for winter shows in the midwest, The World Equestrian Center gives students a vast amount of choices for places to study. The huge indoor complex has several show rings with spectator seating, along with restaurants and multiple lounges. Here is where we hang out to get schoolwork done:

•There are several lounges, including a junior rider lounge, located throughout the show grounds. The lounges are separated from the ring, taking away the distraction of horses and sounds over the speakers. The lounges usually have a table or two that can be used to sit at for homework. And free drinks and snacks are provided!

•The Sanctuary Ring spectator seating can also be a good spot. Some of the seats are movie theater style, giving students a comfy place to read. There are no tables here and the ring can be a distraction, but it can be a good place to study.

Kentucky Horse Park

The Kentucky Horse Park hosts tons of shows each year and each show brings thousands of competitors. It can be hard to find a place to do homework, especially when there are at least 7 rings going in addition to the general commotion of a show. Here are some great spots at the Horse Park:

•Anywhere in the cross country course is great! Find a jump where it is quiet and nothing is too distracting. Some jumps that we have had success with are the big log in the back with the nuts and squirrels and the driving course.

•The Rolex Ring has a huge grandstand. Anywhere in the stands is great. It is quiet, shady, and is close to the Rolex ring in case you need a break. Along with the grandstands, the Rolex ring also has a side tent with snacks, tables and chairs. This is one of our go-to places. Both of these spots are usually not crowded unless a big class is running.

•Alltech Arena is usually empty and quiet. Find a spot where there are no huge distractions.  Vendors, popular food stands and in-gates will all attract crowds you want to avoid. Normally, we will sit on the opposite side from the in-gate or on one of the long sides at the top. Make sure to schedule homework so it doesn’t line up with a big class such as a Grand Prix, Hunter Derby or any Finals that will have a lot of spectators.

A horse show competitor tries to find time in-between her rounds. Photo by TPH Intern Katie Lenkart.

The National Equestrian Center

Talkative friends pass by the bleachers, concession stands are noisy and the wifi is spotty back in the barn aisles. So where do you get homework done when competing at the National Equestrian Center? Our favorites:

•The skybox. The skybox is filled with tons of round tables, so there is plenty of space to sit down and spread out the hundreds of pounds of books and textbooks you’re forced to carry around. Another plus is that it is always quiet, making concentration and productivity so much better. The skybox is located above the lobby and the wifi router is in the lobby (look at us, bringing you the best tips ever), so you’ll get a good internet connection. Additionally, there are plenty of accessible outlets, so it’s easy to plug in your dying laptop or cell phone. One of the coolest things about the skybox, though, is that it overlooks the main indoor ring. You never have to worry about missing your friend show because you can see their round from your own quiet bubble, then go right back to studying. If you desperately need to crank out the book work, grab a snack and head to the skybox through the staircase in the corner of the lobby – you’ll always get your work done there.

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) hosts one of the largest horse shows in the world. Over January, February, and March, 12 weeks of non-stop showing take place. However, those who go to school all find themselves in one tough situation: How do I study and do my homework in all this commotion? Here are some places we have found ideal for studying:

•The International Ring has hundreds of stadium seats and even more chairs along the upstairs perimeter. For most of the day, these tables aren’t very busy and are quiet. The International Ring is also at the center of WEF so it isn’t very far from the stables and isn’t a bad walk. Some specific places are the bleachers (any spot), the International Club, the Tiki Hut, spaces above the Grand Hunter ring and the benches by the Galleria.

•Restaurants around WEF include Tito’s Tacos, Nathalie’s and the Tiki Hut. All of these places have nice chairs and tables to study. Like the International Ring, most of the time these places are relatively empty and tranquil.

Exhibitor spending her free time reading at the horse show. Photo by Piper Klemm.

•The barn set up is always a good study nook. It’s not too busy and the barn will also be close to the announcements, so you don’t miss your class. In the typical ‘hurry up and wait’ situation, your supplies are close by so you can easily get ready to either horseshow or do homework.


About the Author: Ashley Shaw is a senior at Lafayette High School in St. Louis, MO. She trains with Shannon Hicks and competes in the Junior Hunters and Junior Jumpers, and her goal is to qualify for the Devon Horse Show next year. Outside of riding, she enjoys photography, cooking, and hanging out with her retired horses.

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