USEF is committed to our horses’ health and safety. Therefore, they maintain an extensive list of products and ingredients that are banned or regulated. While USEF recognizes horse health maintenance often requires therapy, the rules and regulations ensure that the treatments meet ethical standards.

Thanks to advancements in health and technology, the equine market is flooded with excellent options for horse care. Most companies focus on creating safe products that improve your horse’s wellbeing, but not all products are “show-safe.” We’ve listed some common scenarios we face with our show horses and some products to help your horse stay atop its game while abiding by the regulations.

Scenario 1: My horse hates the flies.

You’re not alone! But when you get to the show, leave the all-natural sprays at home. That’s right – most all-natural fly sprays contain essential oils or herbal ingredients that cannot be used at shows. Furthermore, herbal or natural products can yield a positive drug test because the tests cannot distinguish between different types of plants.

UltraShield EX for show-safe fly spray available at FarmVet

We recommend UltraShield EX or the Pyranha Wipe N’ Spray for your show horses. Both fly sprays provide long-lasting weatherproof and sweatproof protection against a broad range of insects. And as a bonus, these products condition and add shine for a show-ring appeal.

Scenario 2: My horse gets stiff after workouts.

This is also common, especially in our hard-working equine athletes. Again, the USEF’s goals are not to prevent care or treatment when necessary but to regulate, ensuring the horses’ safety. Like the fly sprays, just because your go-to liniment is herbal does not mean it’s show-safe. In fact, this is exactly what USEF advises against.

Cool Pack Green Jelly for show-safe liniment available at FarmVet

So, as much as you love it, leave the Absorbine Cooldown at home. Instead, use Sore No More Performance Liniment before or after your rides to help relieve sore or tight muscles. If you prefer a gel formula, Horse Health Cool Pack Green Jelly is a favorite in many barns. It provides intense cooling benefits while staying gentle on sensitive skin.

Sore No More Performance Poultice for show-safe poultice available at FarmVet

Poultices are also a perfect option post-workout to provide cooling and draw out inflammation. Sore No More Performance Poultice and Uptite Poultice are formulated for show horses and contain no banned substances.

Scenario 3: My horse has difficulty recovering in the heat.

While we love a bright and sunshiny horse show, the heat provides new challenges for our equine partners. Luckily, we have multiple avenues for heat stress relief for our horses.

Vitalize Blazin' for show-safe heat recovery available at FarmVet

Vitalize Blazin’ enhances workload tolerance by improving stamina, even in the heat. It improves blood flow and water retention for better heat dissipation and hydration. Antioxidants reduce free radicals post-workout for faster recovery without soreness.

Cavalor Kick Up for show-safe recovery available at FarmVet

Cavalor’s Kick Up restores energy to keep your horse alert through the energy-consuming competition. It is packed with vitamins and provides the extra support your horse needs while staying within the show regulations.

Scenario 4: My horse gets stressed from the travel.

Whether from travel or the anxiousness surrounding the show preparations, new environments and increased workloads can lead to an upset stomach. Shows are the most important time to keep your horse feeling its best. But is your go-to gastric supplement show-safe?

UlcerGard for show-safe gastric support available at FarmVet

UlcerGard is not only show-safe but also FDA-approved for ulcer treatment and prevention. This treatment reduces gastric acid which causes ulcers or stomach discomfort. Many veterinarians recommend UlcerGard to combat travel or show stress, and it is an easy supplement to add to the show routine.

Vitalize Alimend for show-safe gastric support available at FarmVet

If you’re looking for a daily supplement for gastric support, we have show-safe options for that as well! Vitalize Alimend and Ramard Total Gut Health are proven to normalize stomach pH and provide probiotics to support digestion. These products are excellent for daily stomach support and can help your horse handle the stress without an upset stomach while on the road.

Scenario 5: My horse often gets scratches or fungus at a new property.

This is more common than you may even realize, but unfortunately, there are many skin or wound care products that contain prohibited substances. For example, Equiderma Skin Lotion is an equestrian favorite for treating multiple skin conditions. But it is a big no-no at the shows due to the active ingredient lavender. Not to worry – there are still many highly effective and well-sought-after products to treat skin conditions at home or the shows.

EquiShield CK Salve from Kinetic Vet for show-safe wound care available at FarmVet

EquiShield CK Salve or Absorbine’s Silver Honey Repair Ointment are excellent options for cream applications. Each product contains proven active ingredients that heal a variety of disorders and soothe irritated skin. These creams alleviate scratches or fungus and protect wounds while providing relief so your horse feels ready to compete.

Absorbine Fungasol Spray for show-safe wound care available at FarmVet

If a skin condition is affecting your horse on a larger area of its body (such as rain rot on its rump or perhaps irritation from tail rubbing in the trailer) a spray can be the easier treatment option. Try Absorbine’s Fungasol Spray or Elemental Equine Skin Salvation Spray in these situations.

Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder for show-safe wound care available at FarmVet

Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder also prevents and treats skin problems such as rain rot, fungus, rubs, and more. Add this to your routine pre-travel and while at the show to keep your horse’s skin in show-ready condition.


Please note that USEF changes and updates its list of regulated and prohibited substances regularly as research advances. Always consult the prohibited list before using any product prior to a show.

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Learn More

Looking for more horse show recommendations? Check out our blog on tips from a professional groom HERE.

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