View Full Version : How common is it to 'share' a horse at a show?

Sep. 2, 2009, 08:45 PM
Just wondering if this is considered common or acceptable for most people. The average scenario I can think of is that two riders take one horse to a rated show. Riders split trailering, stall fee, horse office fees, braiding, etc.

Each rider would pay for their own class fees, office fees, trainer's schooling fee, tip for grooms, hotel, food, etc.

Are most people open to a situation like that?

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:09 PM
Well I don't compete heavily on the A circuit or anything like that but I shared a horse on 2 occasions. Neither was a good situation or either rider.

1st I was showing 3' Children's Hunters on a very quirky 16.3 OTTB. Trainer had promised 13yo girl she could show him in Long Stirrup. I rode first Day 1 so no problem. But Day 2 she rode him and let's just say she didn't have a great release and she doesn't do flying changes. Changes weren't that great on him so I had trouble getting changes after she rode him. Plus he was tired.

2nd My friend's Eq horse went lame the week before the show. We both rode in the Child/Adult Jumpers and then for the medal later I rode my Eq horse and she borrowed my jumper (he's actually a pretty nice hunter/eq horse too). Well there wasn't enough time between classes. We missed the flat class for the Eq division. We were the last to go O/F for the Eq. We both ended up going off course in the medal. He was unbelievably tired for the next day of 3'6" jumpers and dropped several rails. It was a major disaster. Friend and I didn't talk for 2 weeks.

Both of those were difficult situations that COULD have turned out better. Luck just wasn't with us those days. I would take into consideration how many classes the horse will be doing because doing a million classes can be tiring for the horse.

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:19 PM
I've seen it done quite a bit with shareboarders. The success depends on the parties involved as well as the horse. Sometimes the horses get too tired if they're doubling up on the number of classes they normally do.

I've done it a few times with a good friend of mine. It worked great for us, but we have a great relationship. She enjoys competing in eq and medal classes and I like the adult hunters. The horse competed in the same number of classes he would with one rider.

I could see it being a real challenge, though.

Sep. 2, 2009, 09:49 PM
I've shared with a kid in a situation where I had to work so the horse was going to the show a couple of days before I was and/or a kid was helping me throughout the show. It worked out quite well. The kid showed during the week and I showed on the weekend. I paid for the kid's division, and kid took great care of my horse. READ THE RULE BOOK CAREFULLY or ask a rule expert to be sure that you are in compliance with all rules.

Sep. 2, 2009, 10:04 PM
We did it all the time. My trainer always made sure I had something to ride (even if it was a pony my last jr year, in JAX! haha). And I was a working student, so it sure wasnt a money thing. I ALWAYS made my horses available, if someone's horse went lame or for any other reason. They could all use an extra school, all NICE horses...
In my case, I never had a problem, we planed ahead and didn't have conflicts. If my horse needed extra fixing after a ride, I never complained, b/c it was my fellow barn mates showing, and they wouldnt have gotten to come other wise.

Hunter Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:06 PM
I did, once, when I was still in denial about how "back" into horses I was getting. I rode another adult's horse in the 2' beginner division, after her AA division. The owner gets very stressed at shows (I didn't know this) which made my experience a little stressful. I bought my horse within a month. ;)

I do at our local shows sometimes let one of our little people riders take Mare into the walk-trot flat class. They enjoy it, it gets Mare out of her stall before I go late afternoon, and they pay for a chunk of my stall. However, the last time, they didn't just put her back (little girl wanted to ride her a little more in teh warm-up area) and Mare got very agitated. That won't happen again.:no:

Sep. 2, 2009, 10:55 PM
I let my nice show pony go in a couple of school lessons a week for a year in return for free board when money was tight for my family. It wasn't our regular barn, and was farther away, so there was no chance I could get a ride out there to exercise him every day anyway. Since he was infinitely more appropriate for the show ring than most of the school ponies the head trainer asked if he could go in short stirrup at some of the local shows I was already planning to attend.

I figured sure, why not...the parents of the short stirrup kid (who was a friend) would pick up half the shipping and braiding fees and packing around over two little x-rail courses was no biggie for the pony. I was showing him in the Children's Larges (3 O/F classes @ 2'6") and Children's Eq (2 O/F classes @ 2'3") at the time and he always had a couple of hours in between the SS and my divisions. I used to do the regular Larges with him before, so I didn't think it was asking too much of him. It worked out well all but one and half times.

The first not so hot occasion was when the trainer failed to tell me that she had entered a kid in SS for this particular show, so I promised a very good friend of mine that she could do the two Maiden Eq classes since she didn't have the financial means to bring a schoolie. We weren't asking her to pay for anything but her two classes, and to help me out with grooming. I got a call from the asst trainer the night before, a msg on our machine actually, saying that I should consider skipping my Eq classes since Spike would be going in SS, Maiden and the hunters already. I was really annoyed about it but I didn't want to break my promise so I did in fact skip my Eq classes.

The "half" a time it didn't work out well was at the Hampton Classic. They entered TWO kids in the SS divisions on saturday, and my division was tuesday. Ordinarily it wouldn't have been a big deal, but I was excited to be back at a real show again so my mom asked my old $$ trainer to coach me for the week and he wanted to give me a lesson before hand as a tune-up. We did the lesson Monday, no problem. By the time I got to the Classic on tuesday poor Spike was so tired from showing ALL day sunday, having a serious lesson monday, jumping 3 regular classes and then hanging around for awhile, he barely made it around. Our round was terrible but I couldn't complain because I knew he was trying his best. He was no youngster either.

As long as each rider is willing to sacrifice a little, and the horse is mentally okay with dealing with two riding styles on one day, I think sharing can be a really great thing. Splits your costs in half, and you should be able to help each other out in getting the horse cleaned up, wrapped, grooming at the event, etc. The only big issue I see is if you're doing a multi day show - splitting up the stall fees can be tricky if, for example, rider A is showing on Weds and rider B shows Fri-Sun. Who pays for Thurs?

Sep. 2, 2009, 11:39 PM
Just wondering if this is considered common or acceptable for most people. The average scenario I can think of is that two riders take one horse to a rated show. Riders split trailering, stall fee, horse office fees, braiding, etc.

Each rider would pay for their own class fees, office fees, trainer's schooling fee, tip for grooms, hotel, food, etc.

Are most people open to a situation like that?

Are most people open to sharing? No, I wouldn't say so. But it's not unheard of, and there's nothing "unacceptable" about it. IME, it is more common at the lower levels, where riders may be using school horses, for example. And certainly there are plenty of people who do share boarding arrangements, half leases and so forth - which might include provisions for sharing the horse at shows as well.

I know a family that chose to buy one nice horse; the daughter shows it in the children's eq and her mom shows in the adults. The horse is fit and both of them ride well and they pick and choose their classes so the horse isn't worn out. Works out fine.

I also have a friend who did a half lease on her nice hunter this year to cut costs. The horse is very nice, but a bit sensitive. She has had *many* classes blown because the gal who half boards the horse is a bit timid, and becomes *very* nervous when showing. Her backward ride has taught the horse to stop. A couple rounds with Nervous Nellie in the morning and my friend has to over ride her 3' eq course in the afternoon to get around; she is good enough to avoid a stop but she's not winning this year the way she did when the horse was solely her ride.

Sep. 3, 2009, 09:28 AM
I concur with Lucassb, in that I think most shared horses are owned by the stable. I think it is less common to share a privately owned horse, just for several of the reasons and stories stated above.

However, when the riders compliment each other, and the schedule is set such that the stronger rider shows first, it can be a good situation. I have not seen too much sharing on the rated side, unless it was family.

We will be sharing 2 farm owned horses at our next show (local, non-rated). We have the rider base to attend, so our horses will be doing a little more. These horses are fit, and the riders are fairly competent.

Sep. 3, 2009, 09:37 AM
we do it all the time...with our kids and ponies
2 children share a pony, each does 1 division (so pony not over worked) works very well for us and we can show more often.
however, these are all low level kids. we do walk trot, through short stirrups...so nobody is working too hard...except the moms who groom!

Sep. 3, 2009, 09:43 AM
Yes I have shared.

As a junior that only did 2 age group eq classes a weekend (o/f & u/s), it was perfect. My best barn friend was a "young" junior & I was an "old" junior so we'd take 1 horse & split the costs equally (we each did the eq). Horse only did 4 classes & we got to show more cause we were splitting costs. Worked great! Plus we shared caring for the horse & it was fun. I would also say my friend & I rode on similar levels & the horse was an experienced eq horse so it was all pretty balanced riding wise.

I have also shared in situations where I only did my 2 classes & other rider did more. Then we took the amount of classes & divided the bills that way so it was fair. Say I did 2 classes & other rider did 8, I paid 1/5 of the bill then. By "bill" I mean all the office fees other than our classes (stall, office, emt), trailering and any other horse related costs. I paid in full my own classes & training fees.

So yes I think sharing can work & depending what a rider's goals are it can work well. Say each rider is trying to qualify for a medal or just chase eq points--I think it works well as the horse is only going in a couple classes per show. But if each rider wants to do a hunter division & eq division & medal class & warm-up classes--then probably not cause the poor horse would be overworked.

Sep. 3, 2009, 11:03 AM
I think it depends on the situation. We did a share/half board with another rider on a horse. The rider was a beginner and did maybe 2 shows a year, in the 2' - 2'6" division. Horse was young and a little green, daughter rode horse in 3' hunter and medal classes. We just picked and choose what we did. Daughter prob lessoned twice a week, but flatted horse almost daily, other adult rode her also, but horse was game, and needed it, and owner of horse needed my daughters help with horse, so it was perfect. But I think once you get above 3', it can get ugly.

but I have also known kids to share horses at shows in the big eq. Say one kid needs her medal points and the other kid needs maclay points. But that is up to the trainer and if both kids ride close to the same.

Sep. 3, 2009, 11:14 AM
Sharing can work out just fine.... its a matter of what is expected of the horse, how fit the horse is, and how the schedule at the show meets the need of the two riders.

We half leased of eq/hunter horse. The lessee was doing maiden eq/novice eq and special hunters (NOT all at the same show) while I did novice adult eq on the flat and long stirrup.
In the summer - the maiden/novice eq divisions generally ran mid-week and the adult stuff went on the weekend. It was no problem for our horse to go mid-week with the lessee and then in two classes on the weekend with me. On a one day, I usually passed up jumping and just did the flat classes (riding for me is purely pleasure and the lessee was covering half of the costs of my keeping a horse to enjoy).

Did the horse occassionally need a "training" ride in-between to remind him of the buttons he had being used correctly - sure. But that usually could be accomplished in 15 or 20 minute hack.

For us, it worked great

Sep. 3, 2009, 11:25 AM
I am half-leasing a young horse (we've been together for a year now), and I took him to his first shows this season, in the walk-trot not to jump division.

His owner was a dressage rider who has since become very interested in hunter/jumpers, and I have a feeling she is going to be showing next season. I also still plan on showing the horse.

We will discuss ahead of time what classes/divisions we will do, and make sure we only do what is appropriate for the horse. I will likely show him in the crossrails division, and she will likely do something like the baby greens - he won't get over-ridden.

I am not stressing out about it - we have a good relationship, and I am confident we will make it work for both of us, and for the horse as well - my trainer wouldn't have it any other way.

Sep. 3, 2009, 11:50 AM
Blegh. I've shared my pony once, and I didn't like it. Not doing that again!

I do children's. The other kid was doing mini stirrup. She only did a fence class and all the flats, but it was SO. HUMID. AND. HOT. my pony does not like going back and forth to the ring, either. Of course my division was after. He only trotted around the minis tirrup classes but still, it was probably 95 and i can't begin to explain how humid it was. I rode him, and he was *okay* but definitely not as up to the game as he normally is. And yeah, I've ridden him in this heat before, but not twice!

Sep. 3, 2009, 01:51 PM
I have been sharing my personal horse for years with a rider who is equal in riding ability to I. Horse is schooled and rides the same for both of us.

I think this situation only works w/ someone's personal horse if riders are on the same level and there is no change in the way of the horses going per rider. I would never 'share' my horse with some one where I would have to get on and 'fix' my horse for my next ride/class.

Sep. 3, 2009, 02:17 PM
I see this a fair bit in New England with equitation horses, which are often split between a junior and adult.

I've never had a bad experience doing this myself, but I've always shared with riders at a similar level who knew the horse well--and we were always careful about limiting the horse's workload, which means neither of us did all the classes we might if we were showing solo.

Sep. 3, 2009, 02:18 PM
I've done this twice with privately owened show horses and had a positive result both times (for both riders and the horse).

First time was in high school. I split a full lease with an adult rider. She couldn't make it out much during the week so I kept the horse hacked during the week. We shared the horse at the local shows. I did the Childen's Hunters and she did the Adults on him. It worked because horse needed minimal schooling and he usually pinned high over fences so we rarely hacked him either division. She was Champion year end and I was Reserve and we did that going to 1-2 shows a month. Plus since we split costs we could afford a few extras to keep him feeling good (very nice shoes, chiropractor, acupuncture, etc). I think the only downside for the Ammy was that all of her tack was much nicer so I always wanted to use her stuff at the shows. :)

I shared again a few years ago when I half leased an A/O's horse. Same situation where she couldn't make it out during the week much and I could. Of course it wasn't ideal for me since she did the A/O's I was limited in what I could do at shows... but I got to learn how to ride to 3'6 on a capable horse and that experience was invaluable. It was good for the owner too. With me leasing she got to spend more on shows and knew her horse was being kept in shape by a responsible person while she was at work. We also rode very differently and the horse actually got more adjustable with both of us riding him.

Sep. 3, 2009, 03:20 PM
The exertion on the horse is what I figured would be the first and foremost caution of sharing at a show, so it seems like everyone is in agreement on that issue.

Thanks everyone!

Sep. 3, 2009, 03:23 PM
We used to share when we were using school horses - Two rides would split show fees and each get one division. The horses held up just fine. When I got my own horse I didn't share any more except for a walk/trot rider on occasion where the extra work was negligible and it didn't make sense for that rider to bring a horse to the show just to do W/T. If I'd NEEDED to save money I suppose I could have done fewer classes and split costs but I wasn't interested in giving up rides on my own horse. It's a different case when it's a school horse.