And let's not forget, most schooling shows have a wonderful crew of volunteers that are there purely for the love as well as a host that's probably turning a minimal profit. I applaud, thank, and respect the volunteers at recognized shows, but I practically worship the people who are willing to give their time and energy to schooling shows (and yes, I do volunteer at schooling shows)!
I wish there were more dressage schooling shows in my area.
My barn hosts a series (yay us ) and another barn within reasonable distance does a series in the spring and a couple others will do a one off here and there but I really wish there were more.
As someone who is newer to dressage but not to riding I love doing schooling shows as it gives me a chance to get to know my new horse and give him miles(I still say new even though I have ridden him for almost a year and a half, but I think he will always be my new horse given the comparison was the horse I literally grew up with), get to know dressage and other people in the area who do it, and get good judges' comments without spending a fortune I don't have. They are also lower stress for me, with braiding optional and atire less formal (still need to make a stock tie!) so they are easier for me to get myself ready for bymyself (dh is at basic training all this summer and I am so not used to doing horse shows by myself! I have other family in town but feel bad asking them to help me for a weekend and often they can't...). I also am not positive we are ready for recognized shows yet but think showing is a good experience for both me and my horse....
So another person that just loves schooling shows!
We have a great series of schooling shows in our area, also with rated judges who take the time after each test to speak to you. This is my first summer showing and we are having a blast! Not to mention we are learning a ton - there's nothing like show experience, no matter what level.
Most people, our barn included, still go into the ring braided and dressed like a "big" show! I've seen very few who aren't turned out beautifully.
At this point, I don't care if we ever make it to "the big time"!!