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View Poll Results: When were your most "serious" showing years?

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  • 0 - 10

    1 0.82%
  • 10 - 20

    82 67.21%
  • 20 - 30

    24 19.67%
  • 40+

    7 5.74%
  • EVERY year!

    8 6.56%
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2007
    Posts
    176

    Default When were your more "serious" showing years?

    I was thinking about my future and how I am giving up a show season this summer to get my current horse showring-ready hopefully for next season (just doing local shows this year). I am almost done highschool and am worried that I won't have many more summers of showing before I am away at University. Though, I am considering taking a year off...I got to thinking.

    When were your more "serious" show years? Do most people show as teens? Adults? Since I'm just showing at the local level, most riders are my age (teens) or younger. But when did YOU show the most seriously?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2006
    Posts
    3,381

    Default

    My heaviest show years were from age 13-17 (also the best time of my life). I would show almost every weekend from May through September. It was awesome. Had all the time in the world to ride and practice. I did have a job, but didn't have to worry about paying a mortgage or health insurance or other adult expenses.

    Now that I am an adult the most I could show is probably 1-2 times a month without either a) going broke or b) pissing off my s/o.

    Le sigh.
    Quote Originally Posted by barka.lounger View Post
    u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

    we see u in gp ring in no time.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2002
    Location
    Olney
    Posts
    4,415

    Default

    I showed the most in late middle school and high school...because my parents were footing the bills! The last two years (ages 30-32) I showed a ton with my young horse as well but it was more fun when I just enjoyed it, it's REALLY expensive!
    Can you stress-fracture your brain?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    Finland and NJ
    Posts
    2,262

    Default

    Right now are my most serious show years! This year I have a great barn and an amazing horse that have taken me miles both in and out of the show ring. I'm 18 and headed off to college, and although I plan to ride for my school's team, it won't be the same. This summer is my last year to go big before college takes over.

    When I retire and am filthy rich, I want to start a barn and show full time. I keep dreaming...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,678

    Default

    Growing up I rode a lot of lesson horses and did not have a horse of my own until I was 16... and I worked hard first to buy and then support him. I rode a LOT - my own horses, as well as the ones I got paid for, including a bunch of really fun polo ponies, but there was not a lot of extra $$$ around for showing (and mostly, I couldn't take that time off from work.) As much as I was envious of my friends who showed a lot, I am grateful now for the education I got as a groom, rider & barn manager in those early years; I had the good fortune to work for several great old school horsemen and learned a lot.

    So now I have my "second childhood" as an adult, and lately I have been showing a lot. About 5 years ago, I bought myself a really lovely young WB, and I've brought him along with the help of a couple of great trainers. I also indulged in all the toys I wanted when I was growing up - a truck, trailer, tack, show clothes, the whole nine yards. I have to say it has been very satisfying and lots of fun. I am playing in the (adult) eq and have qualified for our local finals and am one point away from qualifying for the New England medal, and I'm having a blast doing it.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I showed the most in middle/high school. I did almost every weekend for 5 years. Am in my late 20's now, and have a horse, but no time, and it's just not in the budget. Sometimes I chuckle a little at all the "how to balance school and showing" threads that are on here time to time, because man, it only get's harder!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Well, it depends on your definition of "serious showing."

    I got one of my horses of a lifetime when I was 12 and took him from the 3' hunters through the big grand prixes as a teenager. I spent every waking moment outside of school down at the barn riding for my trainer, and schooled all of the amateur's horses for my trainer as well. I generally rode 4-8 horses a day and showed 5 or more at each show. I was a teenager and therefore didn't have "grown up" stress factors (significant other, mortgage, job, etc.). I worked for my trainer thereby paying all of my training fees and won back a lot more money than I spent entering my horse in the shows, so it all worked out pretty well.

    Now that I'm well established in my career, I have my own farm with all of my own toys (truck, trailer, tractor, etc.) and have 6 of my own horses. I show two as regularly as having a life (meaning 2 kids, a husband, and a full time job) allows me which ends up as 1 or 2 week long shows a month through the spring and summer. I show one mare in the AO Jumpers and my green gelding in the MoJAms with plans to move him up to the AO lows in the next couple of shows. I also just picked up a little mare I'll have my nanny/rider helper show in the 3' or 3'3" jumpers this summer and then I'll take back over once she heads back to school.

    So I'm riding more of my own horses now, but not going to quite as many shows as I used to. I've also cut out all of the extra riding I used to get by riding a lot of greenies for my trainer. I definitely take it less for granted now, and I think I take more enjoyment out of it than I did as a kid.

    I think it's all about priorities. If riding is a priority you find a way to do it at whatever stage of life you're currently in. If other things are more important (and sometimes they are!) they take the forefront and you don't mind letting riding take a back burner for a while. But I would never look at life as though you're at the "end" of the "real" horse years.....if you're "touched" enough (and I am!), you can always find a way to do it



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,965

    Default

    When my parents were paying for everything...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    616

    Default

    Awesome post, PNWJumper!! I always want to be able to do it. I, however, have NO life whatsoever, and I don't think very many people would want it. I ride 3 - 8 horses per day, every day (yesterday I only rode 1 and I was like... so odd...). I am in university and live at home, so I don't have to worry about mortgages. I am single and have no sig other or even a sort-of sig other, though I do have a nice group of friends. Every cent goes to horses at the mo haha.

    Sometimes I get a little sad when I think about what I gave up through high school to show & ride, but I'm still happy I did it and always want to do it. I recognize that I'll prolly have a period when I cant show, but with horses in the family I'm hoping I'll never have to have a period when I cant ride.

    Edited to Add: Just so you don't think I'm a total loser, I do hang out with my friends on occasion. Sometimes they come ride with me? Haha and I just joined a rec soccer team so I sometimes do take my breeches off
    "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
    Working Student Blog
    Current Blog



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
    Location
    NJ
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    3,389

    Default

    well, right now are my best years!...i'm only 17 and yes, i do work and pay for a large portion of my horsey bills. it's actually even more satisfying than when i was much younger and parents paid for everything (i'm fully aware that this sensation will wear off when i am a broke college student and then in later years when i have a mortgage and insurance to pay!) well, i would like to start my own barn in the future. so hopefully, in those years far down the road, i will be filthy rich and have tons of awesome horses and can show every weekend
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    11,077

    Default

    Well, your poll didn't have a spot for me. Maybe the 30-somethings don't count?

    I've always had to pay for the horses myself, as a kid and now as an adult (obviously). That said, it's a lot harder for a 16 year old to come up with the money, so I really only showed a few times back then. I didn't ride at all between 18-30. Started riding again right after I turned 30 and have shown a bit. I only do locals(I just can't seem to justify the cost of rateds), but I show about 5-8 times a year, depending. That's plenty for me. I like to do about one show a month and then not show at all in the winter.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Greeley, Colorado
    Posts
    4,127

    Default

    My most serious show years were when I was in middle and high school.

    Now that I'm a trainer (in my 20's) I'm showing a lot more, but I don't think that really counts
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2009
    Posts
    172

    Default

    So far, mine have been from ages 17-19.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    15,321

    Default

    For me it was the 25-30 ages where it all came together with a flexible, well paying job, a really nice horse, and no kid. But, I plan that it might come together again.

    But here's the great thing about horses: they will always be there. You can still be competitive into your 60's and 70's in most disciplines. That's a looong time to enjoy horses. You may even change disciplines. I was a h/j rider as a kid, and showed a lot, but locally. As an adult I've done dressage and eventing, and done more traveling.

    So, don't sweat it, and especially don't make long term sacrifices for just one year of showing because you think it can't happen again. Get yourself a career where you can live in a place that's compatible with riding, where you'll have the flexibility to ride during the week and to take the occasional friday, and that pays enough to keep the bills paid, and you'll have decades of time to ride at whatever level suits you.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
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    6,275

    Default

    Mine was 15 - 25.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,036

    Default

    I'm going to take "most serious" to mean "highest level" so mine were definitely in my teens, but there is another way you can look at it. Not that I wasn't serious, and determined back then, but these days, pushing 50, I put a lot more work in and see far fewer results! On some level, you have to be pretty @#$% serious to keep going under conditions like that. I make much more concerted study, and many more trips to the shows, and spend many more $$ and hours than I ever did as a kid, even though I'm wallowing around in the bush leagues now. When old, one walks a delicate line between letting oneself off the hook too much and slamming into the frustration that can come from unrealistic expectations.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2007
    Posts
    176

    Default

    Thanks for everyone's input!

    I guess I am just finding it frustrating. It has always been my dream to show high-level, but it just hasn't come together for me yet. I have had TWO nice horses who just haven't turned out to be what I thought they were. I am 16. I was *hoping* people would say more 20's - 30's just so I know that I'm not running out of time to live the dream - better get my butt in gear!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    Location
    NE FL
    Posts
    6,521

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    I think during the 20's and 30's is when most people are in school/establishing themselves, their career/families etc. Unless you are very fortunate and/or very well off it is very hard to show consistently during that time.
    I was lucky during my teen years, I rode at a big show barn and rode everything I could get a saddle on. I was able to show some really really nice horses for some of the boarders, and also some sale horses etc. I would never have been able to do all that showing on my own.
    Got out of it around 20 for the above reasons, at 27 got my mare as a 3 yo (she's 17 now ) and was able to show her on a local level. We did mostly schooling shows, some bigger shows, a couple of A's here and there but really due to my job and just plain not being able to afford it that was about it.
    Now I have her daughter, who is 6 and awesome, and would love to save up a bunch of $$ and really show her at some A level stuff for one whole season.
    But I know it probably won't happen and I"ll just have to be happy with the locals and maybe the local A rated winter series. And that's ok. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to ride at all, much less show.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    Location
    NE FL
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    6,521

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by huntergirl007 View Post
    Thanks for everyone's input!

    I guess I am just finding it frustrating. It has always been my dream to show high-level, but it just hasn't come together for me yet. I have had TWO nice horses who just haven't turned out to be what I thought they were. I am 16. I was *hoping* people would say more 20's - 30's just so I know that I'm not running out of time to live the dream - better get my butt in gear!
    YOu have a lifetime. Just be smart, do well in school and pick a course of study that will lead you to a career in which you will make enough money to easily support your habit.
    That was my mistake LOL. I didn't pick a lucrative enough career and was not smart enough to marry well either
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2009
    Posts
    331

    Default

    although i am in the 10-20 range, i find that to be the most serious. it is when the top juniors come out & junior years are also very competetive!



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