How to Show and Work Remotely

How to Show and Work Remotely

Every working amateur knows that horse shows were not designed with them in mind. It’s our unfortunate reality that our divisions usually run on weekdays at inconvenient times, making it difficult to work the full time jobs necessary to pay for our sport. 

That being said, the remote work revolution has proved to be a small step in the right direction when it comes to leveling out the work-life balance of riders everywhere - finally! But taking on the challenge of balancing showing your horse and holding the fort at work can be understandably daunting at first. 

I balanced showing and a full-time corporate technology job for years, and in that time amassed a few tips and tricks to make it a little less overwhelming. So whether you’re fully remote or are enjoying a rare WFH (read: work-from-horseshow) day, here’s a fully-vetted plan to keep your boss at bay and your horse at play. 



Planning is everything! Will you need wifi to work from the show? Research beforehand if the venue offers it, though most do not. Either activate the personal hotspot feature on your smartphone (or borrow a friend’s phone with this feature - be sure to ask nicely), or splurge on your own wireless puck.  These convenient little devices provide private wifi for a small monthly fee, and you can typically add them to your existing wireless plan. If you work remotely regularly, check with your company to see if they might cover this expense for you.

Front load your zooms and calls to pre-show days earlier in the week if you can - there’s nothing worse than trying to kick off an important presentation with the jumper ring buzzer sounding in the background. If you know you’ll have to take a call from the show, try to plan ahead and scope out a quiet corner with a plain background. Don’t forget your headphones!


Plan out your show day schedule as best you can. Identify when you’ll likely be in the saddle, allowing for tacking up, warming up, a fair amount of waiting around, time in the ring, untacking, and post-ride carrot distribution (absolutely do NOT skimp on that last one). Block these times off on your work calendar so coworkers with poor planning skills can’t schedule a last-minute meeting. 

Bring an extension cord! I’ll explain why in a moment. 

The Day Of

Stake out your work station as soon as you get to the show. This might mean positioning your trunk away from others in a quiet corner and near a power outlet. If you’re trailering in, try to find a parking spot that’s farther away from other riders and the commotion of the show. If power outlets aren’t easily accessible, make use of the extension cord I mentioned in the section above. 

If you need to leave your laptop on and open to appear online in Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc., but are nervous about leaving it out while you’re showing, clear some space in your tack trunk, run that extension cord over to it, plug in your computer and lock it inside. Don’t forget to change the sleep setting on your computer so it stays awake when plugged in to prevent the screen from turning off. An optional add-on is a mouse jiggler like this one if you need to keep your status listed as “busy”. 



Stick to your plan! Try your best to mentally separate showing and working so you can fully focus on each one throughout the day. Get all of your deliverables completed, show up on time for your classes, have a great ride. 

Working and showing is a lot to manage, and might mean that you’re not able to spend as much time as you would like being social with your barnmates or shopping around the show vendors. It’s ok - that’s what post-show day dinner is for! Make sure to treat yourself to an ice cream (or an adult beverage) afterwards. 

Another show pops up on the calendar? No problemo - you’ve got this! 

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