Competition is a popular part of horsemanship in all disciplines. The amount and diversity of competitions available increases every year because of this diversity everybody should be able to find something to suit them.
Competition is not part of everyone’s horsemanship and this can be for various reasons. Some find more joy in trail-rides or in the training, they might enjoy seeing the progress of the horse and don’t have the need to compare themselves or their horses to anyone else’s. But in many cases it is healthy to have a goal and that goal can just as well be trying to achieve a certain class in competition or some other achievement that you might want. A goal helps motivate people and increases the focus.
When riders compete a lot with the same horses they need to take extra care in keeping the joy and energy of the horse because several weekends in a row in a competition field can get most horses tired and or stressed, depending on the situations.
A good rule of thumb is to keep in mind that going to a competition should not result in the need for you to backup several steps in your training afterwards. It should rather be a bonus in the training, something where, yes, you test the limits of you and your horse, but also gain self esteem and experience that makes you do even better the next time.