My area now has many local shows to choose from. What do you want at the local level that will help you choose one show over another? What would make you pursue a particular series ,and what would turn you off going to ,or returning to a venue?
Good footing of course. If I have to chose between two shows and they are the same distance and both have good footing, I'll look at the schedule. I'm and adult rider and I want to go show and go home. I don't like being there aaalllll day. My perfect local schedule would be Open, Green, Adult, Eq, Childrens, then all the SS, WT and pleasure.
Also, having stalls available is a nice option.....most of our local venues are able to offer a stall for $25. I like that.
I don't collect ribbons (recycle!) but I do love a little bottle of Vetrolin or a can of Tattersall for Champion. One of our local shows usually has a little zip lock bag with a couple of horse treats and peppermints. That is a nice touch.
Having a pleasant show secretary and a welcoming attitude is REALLY important. My barn might be kind of an anomaly because we have a LOTS of nice (really nice) horses available to ride, lots of casual adult riders, no one is chasing points so we show when it is convenient and fun.
I'd say good footing, nice jumps, properly measured lines, decent judges, and a sensible schedule. I like the idea of little horse related prizes instead of ribbons.
When I was a kid, I showed at a local show that gave out sodas in the respective ribbon colors. Some kind of blue Fanta was first, Coke was second. etc. I thought it was a clever idea and no-one went thirsty.
A good local show would spend the money and get a rated judge who would maybe offer some feedback to their riders on their rounds. Good footing is a must. Organization is a must. Ample room for warm ups is a perk, as is a good food tent. For me to haul my horse out to a local show,which I do for our greenies, the setting must be perfect. It is still pricey, even at this level, so proper judging and footing take full priority.
I will never, ever forget the local show we went to where the judge was like " it's for fun, suck it up" after we complained that the rearing horse placed first in the "green" class, over many who did nice rounds on all four feet!
"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
― Anna Sewell
Also 1 or 2 classes that attract the local trainers.
Miniprix, hunter derby with maybe not great, but prize money. I liked the city league idea, why not a barn league? 5-6 team members different levels of classes and team points. Pushes team and stable spirit, gets people cheering for other competitors. Team year end awards.
I ride a green horse- so safe and real warm up areas are a big plus for me. One of my favorite local series offers warm up classes before each division. I will pay to warm up in the actual ring alone. The warm up class does not seem to be overused or slow the day too much IMO.
I agree, I would love to see judges provide feedback. When I was a kid we could view the judges notes and see what we should improve on, I havent seen that in a long time at local shows. (although on my greenie, I usually have a clue what put us out of the ribbons - comments on some of my rounds would be quite entertaining)
Of course pleasant staff/volunteers make everything nicer.
Rule 1- Keep the horse between you and the ground.
I second what most people are saying her. Good footing and nice jumps are first priority. Good judges and a timely schedule is next. I will go back to a place much quicker if I find myself getting home before dark. I would also like to add nice year-end prizes. I tend to stay loyal to certain show series if there is a cooler or something equally nice at the end of the year.
I'd rather have good competent show management then nice jumps. As long as the jumps are safe and the footing is decent I'm happy. Measured lines are nice. Please measure. A judge the doesn't look like the barns stall cleaner is also a plus. A decent schedule with variety of classes, but is kept moving. No one likes staying at a local show ALL DAY LONG! Other then that - keep the class prices low
1) A division for weenies like myself who have a nice horse, a history of competitive rated-show riding with this horse (and others), but have a mental setback from injury. Yes, there is riding unjudged but I'd rather be in a division full of "cherry pickers" who would be forced up to a higher level in most shows than ride unjudged. A "Forever 2'6" Division" would be my cup of tea!
2) Stalls available. I'll even bed it on arrival and muck it out before I leave.
1. well organized management - went to a local show yesterday and it took them until right before the show started to post the short stirrup course. changed it three times while we were schooling - argh! Another time the courses were posted at the secretaries stand, way over on the other side of the ring from the in gate. Oh and please set the jumps for the lowest level in schooling, showed up yesterday to a lovely course of 2'3" jumps for our short stirrup kids who were going to be the first showing over fences that day . Our trainers need to school our kids not play jump crew.
2. Nice big ring with good footing
3. Jumps set at the actual height they should be and lines set at the proper distance
4. Nice year end awards are good too!
5. I like a show that uses FB to announce winners and approximate show times for various divisions
6. For me the divisions offered is important. I like to have my daughter show one equitation division and one hunter... maybe a pleasure pony if we're feeling flush. I will not show if there is not at least two divisions suitable for her.
An office and ring staff that are experienced enough to know and enforce the rules, make a reschedualing decsion when it is obviously needed and handle check in and out in a timely and polite fashion.
A competent judge. Far as feedabck? Not traditional in H/J shows other then being able to clearly explain their decision in a few sentences, maybe a general tip ot two. They are not giving a clinic or lessons-and they sure do not want to contradict somebody's trainer, give the impression they are poaching clients or get into it with some hovering show Mom who thinks Poopsie was robbed.
The people planning and working the show make a difference. Alot of the other things mentioned can make the price out of reach at the local level and sort of defeat the purpose of hosting a local/schooling show.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Our local shows run at the same facilities as rated shows so footing is the same, and everyone's tape measure seems to work pretty well... So it comes down to show management, nice jumps and good courses.
And then I admit it, if it's August, 8000 degrees here on the face of the sun and you have my division first thing in the morning, that might trump a lot of other things. Of course that might work against you in the winter. Fair weather shower, yup, that's me!
For me, another important thing is a nice turnout. I hate being one of only three or four riders in my class even when there is nice footing and jumps. I like it to be more competitive than that.
Yeah, but that is really out of the control of the show. So many outside influences can get people there or keep them away, no crystal ball there. Everything from weather to Homecoming to college testing on a Saturday can come up beween the time show sceduals and approvals (if applicable) are generated and the actual show date-most shows are planned very early in the year or keep approval from their local rating organization on their traditional dates.
On the flipside, you can sell 6 stalls and anticipate a small show for mostly in barn clients...adjust the schedual, and have over 20 haul ins you had no idea were coming-so you run long.
Just totally beyond the control of the show either way.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Of course, good footing and a safe venue are at the top of my list. I also look for a competent judge, preferably one who will explain to kids why they place where they do, so they know what they did right and what they need to work on.
For many of the kids in my area, like my 4-H'ers, these are the only show experience they will ever have, so I really appreciate nice ribbons, especially in the junior divisions. (I'm talking true locals, not locally rated shows)
At this time of year, I love shows that offer a costume class for kids-they have a total blast, and it's a great way to end the day as nobody in that class goes home empty-handed, so it's a great positive note to end on. A couple things that our locals don't always do is split the in-hand classes between adult and junior exhibitors. Another class that we used to have at most of the locals back home and I have not seen here is Road Hack as part of the flat/pleasure division. That was always my favorite class!
Finally, I like a show with tight management that runs on time. I especially enjoy a couple of the shows we do, at which ring/tack holds are five minutes, period, and then the class is going on without you. Even with kids riding in every division, we're done by 5:00 or so.
I agree with most of the above, although I do not expect to get feedback from the judge. this is not dressage where you have a scribe and the cards are set up for comments. Often the judge's card is fulled with lines and squizzles that only the judge can understand, so posting the card is no help.
And flat classes often only have numbers on them -- the rest of the class is in the judge's mind. And, as someone said, you are not paying for a clinic.
But it would be a plus if riders were given a tad more leeway in dealing with problem horses (it is a SCHOOLING show). Perhaps if a tiny tot can't get Thumper over a fence, then let the trainer go into the ring and help her jump the offending barrier before she leaves the ring. Or, if a greenie spooks bigtime at something, allow the rider to take him over there and show it to him before exiting.
By giving someone 2 extra minutes to deal with a problem, they are really teaching their horse, rather than leaving the ring, unable to confront and solve the problem. I sure would go back and take my greenies to a show that allowed that.
Re: time schedules. I think a show has to know what audience it is targeting and stick to it. Back in the days when Southern Pines had a weekly schooling series, the weeks would alternate between adults (green and ammie) and juniors (beginner - junior hunters). That way, if the show wants to have 5 different 2'6" green bean divisions, the children will not have to wait until 4pm to start their showing.
Also, what about selling a season pass to the show series? A barn could buy a season pass (quite expensive) and then boarders could buy the entries from the barn. Or an individual could buy a season pass, and have 1 exhibitor number for the whole season. If they went to every show and went in a lot of classes, they would get a deal. But if they missed a show or 2, then the show management got a good deal.
Or even tickets to buy ahead of time for cheaper? Like a ticketed warm up -- you hand in your ticket at the back gate as you go in the ring. Say $8 for a book of 10 or more v. $12 each at the show.
I have tons of ideas for schooling shows! And they all involve giving the exhibitor a little more than another show offers them.
I used to be addicted to the Hokey Pokey but then I turned myself around.
If it's a schooling show comments would be nice otherwise I get the 10 million questions on why Dobbin made the lines but placed under Poopsie who not only didn't make the lines but looked drunk over the last jump. Being from the Dressage crew and wading into the black hole that is the comment section from jumping is discouraging. (I've never been so thankful for a geometry comment in my life as when I got nothing from the judge on the jumping.)
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.