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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
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    San Jose, Ca
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    4,943

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    Have fun on the dark side OP!

    I am an “eventer” at heart – but ended up doing the H/J scene for a number of years (horse didn’t have his heart in XC – but did well in the jumpers – heck, could even place in the hunters at B shows). I was a full working student for a fairly successful trainer, pretty immersed for about 3 years.

    The hunter / Jumper scene burned me out so bad that I took my horse home and thought I would never show again. Just really killed the joy of horses for me, and exposed me to a set of owners and trainers that I had never been in contact with before – And by the end of it, I didn’t want anything to do with the “horse world”.

    Long story short, I re-discovered eventing, and the love for “sport” but you will won’t find me at an H/J show again. I am DONE with that scene (heck – and like you OP, priced out over the last few decades!)


    3 members found this post helpful.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2010
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    153

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack16 View Post
    When I was a kid getting to go to a big rated show was a huge deal. It meant you had learned to ride well enough to go and compete without embarassing yourself or killing yourself in the ring. I wish more people these days just enjoyed their horses instead of just showing.
    This!



  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2012
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    60

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    We have mass produced shows. This is what has cheapened our sport.
    This is so true. And as others have said here and elsewhere, the death of the C, B and local A circuits have resulted in many owners and riders being priced out of frequent showing. I was done last year when I realized that having my baby green horse shown in a 2'6" schooling division at a popular A show in my area - to which I would trailer myself in my own rig - was going to cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $600. Despite being a USEF and USHJA member, the fees alone were well over $100. And the division was being run over two days. The ROI just isn't there for me anymore. So, after 20+ years of showing in the hunters, jumpers (and as a junior, equitation) , I switched to foxhunting. With many hunts, the cost of a subscription for the entire season is comparable to what I used to spend for two or three weeks of showing on the road. I like the people better, too.

    As an aside, I read with interest the thread last week regarding a recent letter to the editor in which the author bemoaned the cost of showing and suggested that professionals should not have to pay entry fees for their own horses in certain divisions. To that I say, pffffftt. You know what it cost me to bring a horse from the baby greens through the pre-greens over a two-year period? SIX FIGURES. Because I had to pay for professional rides twice a week and at the shows. I'm above-average as a rider, but not good enough to fully go it alone. I had to sell that one because I couldn't afford to keep him when all was said and done. The professionals can kiss my rain boots. They take enough of the amateurs' money as it is.



  4. #44
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    Apr. 17, 2012
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    There are just too many people in the H/J scene today, the majority of them juniors, who aren't even "horse people" at all, but merely the consumers of a very carefully packaged, egregiously expensive "product" produced by professionals.

    Which is all good and well for the "producers," but make no bones about it that once you reach the recognized shows, this is all "industry" now and far less "sport." The ammie who can find, make, and show their own horse themselves is now truly an outlier; and they are often competing with horses whose price tags would buy you a city block many places!

    Dressage is similarly pricing itself into the stratosphere; eventing is the last playing field I'd call "level," where you can scoop up an OTTB and go play, but even there you get nibbled to death by too many hidden fees.

    What I'd like to see are more organized but NON-COMPETITIVE or "semi-competitive" activities that can bring together all kinds of riders; Hunter Paces are a great model for that!



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2011
    Location
    Cheney, WA
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    539

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    Growing up I looked to the A circuit as being a goal that good riders get to compete on and something I aspired to be able to afford to try. Now...not as much. For the heck of it a couple weeks ago I got on horseshows.net or what ever it is because you can do online entries on it. I was able to look at the schedule, find the 4 or 5 long stirrup classes that showed with like 2 one day and the other 2 or 3 the next day out of the 4 days at the show. When hit the estimate my cost button to my horror it was over 500 bucks! I just want to go in a couple classes! (on a side note, how the heck are you supposed to figure out which classes to enter? There are so many that I would be able to do but too many for one horse in one day) Luckily the classes I was looking at were the Sat/Sun ones but why the heck would I take a couple days off work to go in one or two classes for the day when the show is going to cost more than I would make in those two days! I was thinking of trailering my pony down and maybe hitting the walk trot classes they have on Sat. But there is a mandatory $160 stall fee! And I'm fully aware that I would be totally laughed at being an adult on a 12.1 hd pony, but hey, she needs to get out and its the type of shows that she is going to excel at so needs the exposure. Even if I were doing those couple of long stirrup classes I live 45min to an hour from the show and would just trailer in both days for those 2 classes I would be going in but am I not allowed to do that? Do I have to pay the stall fee? I don't want to! I was thinking I could maybe hit these types of shows once or twice a year. Now it would be a big event if I could do it because I would have to save all year to do 1 show next year. And that is just doing LS! Heck, I may never get to a good show. I have had to re evaluate what I want to do. I've decided that I want to show at the nicer shows but am going to stick with the ones in my area where they are only a day or two, I can trailer in, its like $20 a class but still nice places, Starr Vaughn, Leone, etc. That I can do along with more local schooling shows right now. I know I don't want to do LS for more than a year, I want to be able to aim for an adult Eq medal but it will have to at one of the smaller, nicer shows for now and I have to find the right horse just in general as

    And my experience with A barns- the last one I was at I was there as a private boarder, you could not use the round pen next to the A trainer's barn while they were riding unless your horse was going around perfectly quietly because apparently their horses couldn't handle a little excitement. Their lessons in the winter always ran over so you were waiting around in the dark for them to finish (6-8 riders and jumps all over the arena, so there was no where to go and everything outside was wet and in the dark) but after 45 minutes of waiting I would just leave. The girls would walk their horses out around the property and by the time I left only 2 of the people from their barn had ever talked to me (the girls didn't even smile, wave or say hi when we rode past each other, but the assistant trainer suddenly took to stopping and saying hi and maybe actually sharing a sentence or two.) The other barn I was at about 10 years ago (again, private boarder) the girls came out T, Th, S hopped on, did 1 lap around the arena at a walk and started riding, got off, went home. I was out nearly everyday (cause if I wasn't they turned my horse out and charged me for it, that actually happened on multiple occasions where I did in fact come out and I still had to pay.) The poor horses didn't get any "love." I would spend a few minutes each day talking and petting the couple that were in my horse's barn. Obviously not all places are like these and not all people are like these. Actually the barn I was at long time ago had the friendlier girls. They actually did talk to me a little when I was out there! When I left (after a few months, 400 bucks a month drains a college students bank account really quick! and it was the end of the semester anyway) The owner/trainer who happened to catch me riding and jumping (without a trainer! GASP! told me that I reminded her of her and her horse when she was young-which I took as a complement- and if I ever wanted to sell my horse she wanted to buy him. Prior to deciding to leave I was also told I could jump on my own if I wanted but must pain the grooms $10 each time so they could stand there and watch me. For the record-knock on wood- I've never fallen off while jumping (my pony will now dump me the next time we jump) and one of her girls fell off when her horse literally *thought* about stopping.



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star's Ascent View Post
    Growing up I looked to the A circuit as being a goal that good riders get to compete on and something I aspired to be able to afford to try.
    Now it is something to aspire to being able to just afford.

    I look at the A shows like what Target or Walmart is today... it's a one stop shopping trip but more expensive.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    14,929

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    I'm just about done, too. I'm priced out. As a poor kid, I aspired to be like the A Circuit kids, the Old Ladies who rode their very nice Regular Working Hunters well, and then the good pros and grooms. My goal was to be able to make up my own horse with a good pro on the ground or putting in a crucial ride now and again.

    I didn't think I'd mind spending money as I made it, but the goal was for me to be involved.

    I knew I was getting priced out, but recently I have really come to see that I am *not* the client that a BNT or a show manager would want. That's the part that hurts. All the time, money and effort I put into learning how to do this well made me better at the riding, training and horse care.... and worse at spending money without asking too many questions.

    Very recently (and in another discipline), I was treated badly by a Show Secretary and by a trainer who couldn't see her way clear to showing up on time to teach. Sure, I can catch-ride, but that's not my goal. Between the two of these "professionals," I was expected to keep spending even when neither did her job.

    And *that* makes me "done."

    I'm eyeballing going back to field hunting. There were Old Ladies who could ride with nice horses there, too. So I'm good with that. Also, I *do* think there are professional professionals out there. I have spent money with them and will continue to... if I can find them. IME, they are hungry young trainers or the old, "been there, done that" who rides and shows for the reasons that I do-- enjoying teaching a horse a job and admiring him while he does it.

    Thanks for starting the thread!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
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    california
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    It's funny but I thought there would be more support for the hunter/jumper world. Looks like I need to plan a trip to Thermal next year and see where things are going.... I have not had a competitive hunter in 18 years.



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
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    In a far far away place....
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    I too cannot afford the h/j world, never really could. I did the B shows and we did good. even beat some of the "A" horses and riders that were there to pick up some qualifying points. Now I am at a great all around barn with fun trails and obsticles to work over. My OTTB loves them! We may even tackle the "cowboy challenge" next year in our english tack! My 3 yr old WB filly loves them too. There is so much more out there to try and experience than the cookie cutter ride.



  10. #50
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2011
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    59

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I knew I was getting priced out, but recently I have really come to see that I am *not* the client that a BNT or a show manager would want. That's the part that hurts. All the time, money and effort I put into learning how to do this well made me better at the riding, training and horse care.... and worse at spending money without asking too many questions.
    Yes. It's like loving someone who doesn't love you back. Especially when trainers openly admit that working amateurs are annoying to work with. Sorry that I want to be conscientious about where my money goes. It's just not a sport for anyone who has to work for a living. I love the sport and it pains me to think about leaving it, but even after spending thousands at AA shows this year, I basically feel uninvited. So it's time to take my business where it's appreciated.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,951

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    I love the sport, love my horsie friends, love looking at the beautiful horses, and love getting my horses out. For me, local shows is the answer. I am fortunate to have local circuits in two directions that put on great shows. Even with my income and control over my own money (I am an attorney), I do not want to pay the high cost, in terms of time and money, of traveling to the rated shows.

    Support your local shows! Haul over, see your friends, enjoy your horse, and get home for not nearly as much money. So what if the judging is not to your liking sometimes!!!! The other fun stuff is more important anyway. I tell my trainer "I would rather have a good ride and a bad ribbon, than a bad ride and a good ribbon". It all evens out anyway over time. The more you support the local shows, the better they will get.

    Even when I boarded (I now have a farm), I made clear that I wanted to do local shows. I chose a barn that did them. When I got my farm, I had one trainer that was fine with my going to local shows with another trainer, and I made it clear that she "trumped" once it came to rated shows. Trainers seem to like the big rated shows that last days on end, end early each day, where they can take everyone at once. But I don't. I have too much else to do to devote three days for five 2 minute classes.
    Last edited by ToTheNines; Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:30 AM.
    friend of bar.ka



  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2004
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    837

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToTheNines View Post
    I love the sport, love my horsie friends, love looking at the beautiful horses, and love getting my horses out. For me, local shows is the answer.
    You know, this is interesting, because the H/J trainer I've been with for many, many (many!) years has put on a couple of schooling shows every year. Courses like you'd see at A shows ('stuff', flowers, etc), Hunter & Eq courses, two nice indoor arenas - one for show, one for warm up, affordable, and on a ticket system (1 ticket = 1 ride, first round judged, go as often as you want) from x-poles to 3'6". And she can't get trainers to come support it. It's unreal.

    The area I'm in has no more B Circuit, a few fun shows (which are rapidly growing), and not much else. Everything was wiped out about 15 years ago.



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    6,729

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    Well, here's my two cents: I ride the local shows, a thriving system here in the Portland area, because they are affordable, offer excellent courses/footing and facilities and are very competitive at the lower levels. Our Association has seen fit to divide up the points level into three systems: Local, Regional, Open which is an incentive to people of all economic comfort zones.

    I have done the A circuit when I was starting out--it was fun. It was expensive. It was challenging and rewarding. I am budgeting in 2 weeks of A shows for next summer, and I can't wait!

    As to Eventing...oh...well....um...it isn't all sunshine, roses, amazing riders who are super supportive and awesomely self-educated horsemen. The catty, nasty people, gossiping, bad riding, lame horses and craptastic horsmanship we complain of in H/J is there too. Money and warmbloods are influencing this sport, for better or worse.

    I hope the OP finds a happy place to fit in and ride.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2011
    Location
    Florida
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    1,328

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    I agree with you OP. I quit the hunters 8 years ago after a girl I was compeating against at my barn poured DMSO in my show boots because I beat her in the eq classes on the appendix qh that she thought was below her and her imported wb. I was devistated at the event and I had a sour taste in my mouth for the whole scene but that was the final straw.

    I talked to my mother who was helping fund me at the time and told her I wanted less stress and to have fun when I rode. I went to an event barn and never looked back. No drugs at an event, no lunge till death, people that were nice, horses that were sounder at prelim then at 2'3 hunters, and people who knew how to take care of their horse. I was thrilled and I found my place. I was no longer the odd ball when I went for a hack outside the ring, dressage became a passion, and galloping over xc is an amazing feeling.

    The hunter shows are extremely expensive. I would love to do the derbies but hot damn, the price is just crazy. I respect a hard working hunter rider, but they are few and far between. I feel there is a quick fix for everything and its just insane. Many go with the fad and not what is right for the horse at an individual level. Kids stay at 2'6 because they win ribbons there and the trainer doesnt want to bump them to the 3' division because they may get beat and mommy and daddy want the kid to win. There is a huge push for wins and the trainers feel it.

    Its sad because very few get pushed or they get pushed hard and hang thier spurs up to go to college, never to ride again, but have kids who ride and push them the same way. The system needs to be reformed. Kids need to learn horsemanship, but many dont. They dont have time with school or the grooms take care of it. What medal final was it that the girls could not point out the poll on a horse?

    Why do you think eventing has become more popular? We get the hunter castoffs. The people who want an ethical trainer or just plain want to have fun without immense pressure on what they are wearing, what brands they have, what breed horse they have, or what brand their tack is. Hunters is a huge financial undertaking. Trends change every year and the trendy things are expensive. People feel the need to fit in or they are told by bthier trainer to get a certin brand. We had meetings with our trainer every start of show season to tell us what we needed to buy in clothes and tack to keep up with the new trends. It made me sick because the coat/helmet I was told to have for last year was no longer in style.

    The system needs to change or they can keep fostering the ultra rich and losing the middle and upper middle class.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.



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  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2004
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    Western WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    As to Eventing...oh...well....um...it isn't all sunshine, roses, amazing riders who are super supportive and awesomely self-educated horsemen. The catty, nasty people, gossiping, bad riding, lame horses and craptastic horsmanship we complain of in H/J is there too. Money and warmbloods are influencing this sport, for better or worse.

    I hope the OP finds a happy place to fit in and ride.
    Do you still have Clipper? How's he doing?

    There are bad apples in every discipline as well as good. But the overall trends are what I'm looking at right now, and the world is changing.

    My long time H/J trainer is still like family. I still love the barn and the people, and our retired horse still lives there. But I took my big tack trunk home (now THAT is being 'done'), left the small trunks for the horse, and haven't ridden for a year until I started my new discipline. I'm still part of that barn and that group of friends, and they are incredible supportive of me and my new direction. I'm not divorcng that barn/people, just backing off that discipline. Does that make sense?



  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2004
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    Western WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    As to Eventing...oh...well....um...it isn't all sunshine, roses, amazing riders who are super supportive and awesomely self-educated horsemen. The catty, nasty people, gossiping, bad riding, lame horses and craptastic horsmanship we complain of in H/J is there too. Money and warmbloods are influencing this sport, for better or worse.

    I hope the OP finds a happy place to fit in and ride.
    Do you still have Clipper? How's he doing?

    There are bad apples in every discipline as well as good. But the overall trends are what I'm looking at right now, and the world is changing.

    My long time H/J trainer is still like family. I still love the barn and the people, and our retired horse still lives there. But I took my big tack trunk home (now THAT is being 'done'), left the small trunks for the horse, and haven't ridden for a year until I started my new discipline. I'm still part of that barn and that group of friends, and they are incredible supportive of me and my new direction. I'm not divorcng that barn/people, just backing off that discipline. Does that make sense?



  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2004
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    Western WA
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    837

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    As to Eventing...oh...well....um...it isn't all sunshine, roses, amazing riders who are super supportive and awesomely self-educated horsemen. The catty, nasty people, gossiping, bad riding, lame horses and craptastic horsmanship we complain of in H/J is there too. Money and warmbloods are influencing this sport, for better or worse.

    I hope the OP finds a happy place to fit in and ride.
    Do you still have Clipper? How's he doing?

    There are bad apples in every discipline as well as good. But the overall trends are what I'm looking at right now, and the world is changing.

    My long time H/J trainer is still like family. I still love the barn and the people, and our retired horse still lives there. But I took my big tack trunk home (now THAT is being 'done'), left the small trunks for the horse, and haven't ridden for a year until I started my new discipline. I'm still part of that barn and that group of friends, and they are incredible supportive of me and my new direction. I'm not divorcng that barn/people, just backing off that discipline. Does that make sense?



  18. #58
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    Jan. 18, 2004
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    Western WA
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    Not sure why the triple post - sorry about that.



  19. #59
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    Mar. 25, 2012
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    Love this!
    Im all about sacrifice, I love the sport and will be up there with all the hardest working riders as far as putting in time and dedication but when sacrifice isn't enough to even get me into the show ring I think it's time to redirect myself and that's what I've been doing.
    For me it's money, love all the points you made though.



  20. #60
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
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    Former Long Islander now in the middle of the Great Lakes
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    Here is my solution, Want to go to a nice A show and not break the bank, Do you have a TB ? Do you live within a few hours of the KY Horse Park or the Virgina Horse Center? Check out the T.I.P. classes . You don't need a trainer , classes are $25.00 each .. there is a small pay back, nice ribbons saddlepads for champions, and you will be helping to build the future of the TB's in Hunters and Jumpers. If you have your own trailer even better. You can also help your own efforts by contacting shows in your area to see if they will host the TIP classes for 2013..



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