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alterhorse
Mar. 27, 2012, 04:35 PM
How important is the competitive aspect of riding for you compared to just the riding itself?

If the world somehow changed and competitions no longer existed, do you think you could be just as happy riding for the sake of riding itself?

RxCate
Mar. 27, 2012, 04:36 PM
Yes!

This is me now. I showed for many years as a child/teenager.

When I got back riding consistently after time off to travel/school, I found that I just didn't really care about showing. I foxhunt mostly now and will do a schooling show if I have a greenie that needs the mileage, but other than that?

Yeah, I can do without it.

pryme_thyme
Mar. 27, 2012, 04:45 PM
Hmmm... I would have to say Yes, I would still be happy as riding is my best stress relief.
I am the person who would buy 'horse scent' by the gallon if it were made, I just love the smells, everything about it. It is my happy place :lol:

But taking competitions away would sadden me. I thrive for showing my horse off... (I know that sounds bad). But it is her time to shine and regardless if I get a ribbon it feels great to remember, "I taught her all this and look at her now..."

KateKat
Mar. 27, 2012, 04:58 PM
definitely. I love riding no matter what.

Claudius
Mar. 27, 2012, 05:17 PM
As long as I can ride, I'm okay. More and more the labor intensity of showing is getting to me....I showed through week 6 at WEF and since then have kind of run out of gas....but still ride and work on my horse every day. I am older and wonder if maybe I am finally "over it"? I will still love riding without showing.

Electrikk
Mar. 27, 2012, 05:20 PM
Even if I couldn't ride, as long as I could be around horses I'd be happy :) I do love showing, but it's not the reason why I ride.

naturalequus
Mar. 27, 2012, 05:25 PM
Yes definitely! I have a strong drive for competition (at this time in my life and particularly because it ties in with my career goals) but I also LOVE just riding for the sake of riding. Riding in general is just so therapeutic... I would not be prepared to give that up, as expensive as my therapists are :winkgrin:

fordtraktor
Mar. 27, 2012, 05:43 PM
Horses are and always will be part of my life. I have been out of the show ring for many years, hoping to start up again when the stars align but I am still out there 4-5 days a week, riding 1-3 horses a day. I do all the horse care myself (I have 4) and have had a horse with me all the time except my first year of law school. I was so depressed without my horses to keep me on track. Since then I haven't shown but have kept a horse.

No day is so bad that a ride on a horse can't set it right.

So no, I don't need to show. But I would like to show again. I love to compete. I have big plans for my 2 year old -- 2014, watch out!

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 27, 2012, 06:13 PM
If I could no longer show but could still continue to ride/own nice horses, jump bigger courses, lesson under a knowledgeable trainer, and continue to be educated, then I would absolutely continue to ride, because THAT is what I love doing. Shows for me are just a way to show myself and my horses off, and to get away from the day to day gist of things.
However if it came down to plodding around on a little horse/pony that couldn't jump more than 2' or not riding, I'd probably pick not riding. I ride to challenge myself, and I don't think doing something I moved past when I was 6 would really do it for me.

I don't think I'd ever not have at least one horse though, even if it was just a "pasture pet." I couldn't go without having that type of connection in my life.

Herbie19
Mar. 27, 2012, 06:45 PM
If I could no longer show but could still continue to ride/own nice horses, jump bigger courses, lesson under a knowledgeable trainer, and continue to be educated, then I would absolutely continue to ride, because THAT is what I love doing. Shows for me are just a way to show myself and my horses off, and to get away from the day to day gist of things.
However if it came down to plodding around on a little horse/pony that couldn't jump more than 2' or not riding, I'd probably pick not riding. I ride to challenge myself, and I don't think doing something I moved past when I was 6 would really do it for me.

I don't think I'd ever not have at least one horse though, even if it was just a "pasture pet." I couldn't go without having that type of connection in my life.

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Lucassb
Mar. 27, 2012, 06:51 PM
There was a time in my life when I really wanted to show a lot. I put that down to a deprived childhood :lol: A few years ago I indulged the (fleeting) urge to do a lot of showing, qualify for some year end indoor finals, and see if I could play in that company. I enjoyed it, but I am not sure I have any inclination to do it again.

These days? Meh. I enjoy showing once in a while because I have a nice horse and it's fun to go to a well run show, ride in a big ring, and jump somebody else's jumps. It's as much a social event as anything else. If it went away I wouldn't really care.

AliCat
Mar. 27, 2012, 07:04 PM
A couple times a year it is fun to get dressed up in horse show clothes (thought I complain if it is hot, cold, raining or windy) and have an extra well turned out horse jump a course of pretty fences. As long as I stay on and don't embarass myself, I am pleased.

That said, if I could ride and continue to learn like someone else said, I would keep at it without ever showing again.

Luseride
Mar. 27, 2012, 07:15 PM
I have gone many years at a time without showing but I love to do it. Showing keeps me focused.

I like competition of any sort so I am not sure it is the horse part of showing that makes the big difference. I will have fun and try to beat you at a watermelon seed spitting contest. :)

Perfect10
Mar. 27, 2012, 07:16 PM
Yes, I would absolutely ride even if there were no shows. I would miss them, because I do love to show, but horses are more than just horse shows for me. I love progressing in my riding and helping horses progress as well, and that doesn't have to involve horse shows.

PSD
Mar. 27, 2012, 07:42 PM
Keeps me motivated but no, definitely would still ride no matter what and feel thankful each and every time I can right now! Truly thankful.

TPF Hunter
Mar. 27, 2012, 09:11 PM
Showing is a bonus!

bits619
Mar. 27, 2012, 09:22 PM
I don't compete (haven't except one or two shows since high school), and don't miss it very much. I really loved the environment at my schooling barn shows in high school- that was a lot of fun and just the right amount of pressure v relaxed atmosphere. I also really liked going to away shows with the OTTB because while the other barn horses were freaking out over the new scenery, he was cool as a cucumber- completely a product of his time at the track. It was nice having a horse that took it in stride.

I could show now, but work constraints may prohibit it... And that's alright.

I get more out of a really eye opening lesson than I do from a nice trip through a show ring. A clinic or several would be AWESOME though. Even auditing one again- we as a barn went to a George Morris clinic last fall and I'm STILL benefitting from it.

Whenever I feel like id like the dressing up, showmanship part of horse shows, i just take extra long on my turnout for a hack or a lesson. It doesn't bother me that myself, a boarder or two, and my trainer will be the only people to see the horse all bathed, mane pulled, sock scrubbed white, coordinating saddle pad to my outfit....... :-)

czgm7r
Mar. 27, 2012, 09:32 PM
Yes. I find the daily rides much more important than showing. I use to love showing - life happens and it no longer is a priority. To me the journey is much more important than the destination.

danceronice
Mar. 27, 2012, 09:50 PM
Well, I don't show NOW. So obviously it's not that critical.

However, I don't bother with lessons and I don't ride on a set schedule or anything like that. If I were competing, I'd put a lot more effort into it.

JenEM
Mar. 27, 2012, 10:27 PM
I think showing helps me more with goal-setting and working towards being able to do something specific, like a course at a height, or a specific dressage test. I'd probably make, and accomplish, fewer of those goals if there wasn't something to work towards to "test" them, as a show does. Plus, I'll be shallow and admit that I think my girl is gorgeous all spiffed up, braided, and ready to show. She's a lovely horse to SHOW off! :D

That said, I don't ride to show. I love riding, and I love my horse, and if someone told me tomorrow I couldn't ever do more than mosey around fields at a walk? I could make peace with that.

crazyhorses
Mar. 27, 2012, 11:16 PM
I love riding no matter what! And even if I couldn't ride, I would still have horses. As much as I enjoy competing, it's not everything for me :)

AnEnglishRider
Mar. 28, 2012, 12:11 AM
Competition? What's that?

:lol:

I'm just kidding, but really I didn't know there were such things as "rated" shows or whatever until probably after I graduated from high school. I've been to 3 little local type shows in my life, 2 of them up here in the panhandle where they have english, then western, then speed events (and hey, me and my horse can run a mean barrel pattern, jumping saddle and all!). Someday, someday, I think my horse will make a great little jumper or eventer (or both! He'll be good enough to do the dressage, I'm pretty sure, and he LOVES to jump), and then I'll think about competing more.

For now, I'm in college and competition isn't even really an option (a friend of mine was trying to figure out how far from our university to the nearest A show... 8 hours. WITHOUT a trailer. She was very disappointed lol), so it doesn't even cross my mind. He's still green (at 8 years old I really ought to quit saying that but really, it's the truth, he needs more jumping experience and grid work and such), and I'm in no rush (OK actually the fact that we almost never get to jump is killing me inside, he's 8, we need to quit doing ground poles and jump something already!). He'll be 9 and I'll be 21 when I graduate from college and we'll move back to our home area and get some lessons and see where things go from there.

For now I... Do some dressage, ride bareback a lot, trail ride a little, run the barrel pattern every once in awhile (he actually LOVES barrels and gets kinda fired up about it!), we did some pole bending once... A little trick training, some bridleless riding on our good days. And since he's my first horse I get to be selfish with him, and let very few (almost no) other people ride him ever. In the year I've had him I've let 2 people really ride him, and 2 others have pony rides on him.

So if competitions ceased to exist, life for us would just carry on as normal :lol:

ShaSamour
Mar. 28, 2012, 06:25 AM
Horses are my mental health. It's the time with the horses, whether in the tack or on the ground, or even just feeding them carrots, that's important. I'd rather work to improve as a rider, or improve my horse, or just go hack out.

I used to be a show fiend. Now? Meh. Every once in a while I get the urge, especially when my horse is going really really well. So I go show, and I'm reminded of what a PITA it can be. So many other fun things you can do with your horse - and most won't make you as broke!

TrakeGirl
Mar. 28, 2012, 08:59 AM
I could live without showing - sure.

But for us - right now - shows are more of a 'riding boot camp' than anything else. We get a lot accomplished because there is so much riding and instruction shoved into a short amount of time. It tends to cement what we've been working on in lessons and highlights the areas that still need improvement. Really helps to refocuses us on what we need to work on next when we come out of a show weekend for both my trainer and myself.

So I really value shows as a very important piece of our program/education.

eclipse
Mar. 28, 2012, 09:15 AM
I could live without showing, and as I get older shows are becoming less frequent as I'd rather go on "regular vacations" :lol: They are just becoming too time consuming and expensive. If they'd put ammie classes back to weekends, then I'd probably manage a few more shows so I don't have to use my vacation for them! But, in the big scheme of things, I enjoy riding too much to stop if shows did not exist anymore! :D

Ozone
Mar. 28, 2012, 09:44 AM
The silly thing for me is showing is what drives me to stay on top of my game. I'm not sure, but I think if I did not have shows to attended I would find myself having lazy rides with my horses like, there's nothing to ride towards so who cares if that lead change is not as crisp as it should be... That type of stuff happening.

Without showing would I ride? Absolutely! Horses are a forever for me. Yeah I probably would end up like an Indian ;) trail riding, try to barrel race my hunter LOL, those sort of non constructive type of disciplines! (disclaminer - nothing against barrel races, your horses are bred and trained for that - my hunter is not ;-) )

JumpSnoopy
Mar. 28, 2012, 12:06 PM
As a junior, I was all about horse shows. After taking a few years off and coming back as an adult, I've found that that's no longer the case. I'm perfectly happy staying at home, taking a lesson or two a week, and riding by myself or just messing around with my horse the other days. My mare is just coming back from being off for about a year after having a baby, but I'm not missing the horse show scene too much. It'll end up being an every other month thing, and I'm fine with it. So's my budget. :D

Trevelyan96
Mar. 28, 2012, 01:04 PM
Enjoy going to shows, seeing friends and their horses, and just hanging out with horsey friends. I like making my guys all shiney an clean. I enjoy when my horse is well behaved in the ring. A ribbon is a bonus and a joy.

I don't take competing seriously at all. On the one hand it is good, because I don't get show nerves. To me its just another ride where I'm trying to do my best, only horse and I are more dressed up. On the other hand, since I don't really care about winning, I'm probably not as focused and serious a rider as I should be.

I can live without riding or shows, but would probably go into a major depression if I couldn't be around or take care of horses. I enjoy the care and management a lot more than the riding. If being a groom wasn't such a long, hard day with so little financial reward, I'd be happy doing that, but just can't afford it.

alterhorse
Mar. 28, 2012, 11:15 PM
Thank you all for your replies!

I had a feeling that most of us held competition somewhat lower on our list of what we value about horses.

In a world where life for many people seems to be very much overly centered on competing and obtaining as much as they can, it's nice to know that horse people for the most part seem to have a much more "sophisticated" sense about what's most important in life.

Kato
Mar. 28, 2012, 11:25 PM
Count me in the group that likes the shows as it helps me focus and set goals. I don't think I would be as good of a rider as I am now without that constant sharp focus of wanting to do well at a show. That being said, no I don't think I would stop riding (ever). I would probably be the one trying to organize barn "fun days" with some good old egg and spoon races, and the like :D

alterhorse
Mar. 28, 2012, 11:41 PM
Count me in the group that likes the shows as it helps me focus and set goals. I don't think I would be as good of a rider as I am now without that constant sharp focus of wanting to do well at a show. That being said, no I don't think I would stop riding (ever). I would probably be the one trying to organize barn "fun days" with some good old egg and spoon races, and the like :D

This is such a great attitude to have because the showing is not centered on the competitive aspect. It instead becomes a self challenge to become a better person, and an avenue to participate with others doing something that is mutually enjoyed.

It's not about the prize or the gaining of a possession.

It's not really about competition at all.

Here is the definition of competing....

1. Strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same.

I think it's a rare horse person who attends a show with the express purpose in mind of defeating and establishing superiority over others. ;)

BeanCounterPony
Mar. 29, 2012, 08:27 AM
The thought of showing makes me sleepy. I spent a lot of time showing as a young rider, got burnt out and now Im tired. Showing is a lot of money and a lot of drama and a lot of other things that make me want to take a nap. I am past the point of having to prove myself.

Id keep riding even if all I had was a rank horse who could only hack out. Riding is a huge part of my life and always will be. There is nothing like the relationship with your horse, no matter his/her or your skill level.

DMK
Mar. 29, 2012, 11:56 AM
LOL, from my seat, this hobby is WAY too expensive to only like the competitive aspect, I'd better be supremely fulfilled by a lot more than just showing to justify that quicken report that shows up on my desktop (horse expenses... *gulp*).

I have shown and made a run for points, done some more serious A showing and not, but I still want to go to the barn every day regardless, so I guess the $$ are still justified. Right now I'm not sure how much I want to show or if I want to bother with the rated stuff, however that may well be because the youngster isn't jumping 3'0 yet and I am not interested in paying rated $$ for unrated classes ... AND two of our local show managers are building nicer courses than some of the AA shows, so that makes not spending $$ easy. Maybe when he's jumping 3'0 I'll change my mind but I honestly don't know what my choices will be...

GingerJumper
Mar. 29, 2012, 03:45 PM
If horse showing went away but horse racing stayed, let's just say I'd go become a jockey.

Yes, I love riding and I love just spending time with my horse (he is, after all, my heart horse) but I am such a competitive person that without some way to compete, I'd lose my mind... more than I already have. :winkgrin:

Duckz
Mar. 29, 2012, 05:08 PM
I love competing! Always have, even when I was riding school horses and a 6th place ribbon at a schooling show was a big deal.

That said...if competition ceased to exist, I would gleefully sell my dressage saddle and do nothing but trail ride and fox hunt for the rest of my days :D