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  1. #1
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    May. 25, 2005
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    Default For those that have hosted AHS inspections

    I am inthe ongoing stages of building my small farm. I have a small covered arena (60 X 150) and a new six stall barn with wash rack hot/ cold water. I am planning right now the construction of an outdoor that will hopefully be a full dressage court. I have also cleared an area that will one day be graveled for a larger parking area.

    I *might* one day offer to host an AHS Inspection. We have two locations close by that have hosted them in the past but I think in the next few years they may start to slow down.

    What i was wondering is generally how many stalls do you need to offer? How many spots for trailer parking?

    i am not sure my place would ever work as all the riding facilities are in a relatively small section of the property. So might be too tight a fit.

    Just wondering as I plan the lay out of future ammenities.



  2. #2
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    Jul. 5, 2002
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    FL
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    I hosted at home for a few years, bringing in tents that cost a lot more than I could ever charge for them. I always offered at least 20 stalls. I had a good place for a jump chute and the inspection ring, but it was not covered and invariably God would send a monsoon a week before and ruin my footing. One year, we were pulling people out with tractors.

    I have rented a wonderful facility for the last 6 years. It offers 30 very safe stalls, a covered arena that can be enclosed for free jumping and free running. We usually get 12 -14 trailers. It is good to have things close to each other - stabling, arena, parking, but you must have enough stalls and room for trailers.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2003
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    NOVA
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    877

    Default

    The Mid-Atlantic Hanoverian Breeders Club has hosted a fall AHS inspection for the last 10+ years. We typically are one of the largest inspection sites each year with anywhere from 10-15 mares in the performance test and another 10-15 Hanoverian mares for inspection. With foals and outside mares, we have used as many as 50 stalls over a weekend.

    Next weekend, over two days, we will host a relatively small inspection (for us) with 6 Hanoverian mares in the performance test, 1 additional Hanoverian mare for inspection, 2 outside mares for inspection, and 12 foals, plus the futurity horses.

    The facility has 20 stalls available (all of which will be used) and I think there may be a contingency plan to use a few stalls at another nearby facility. We're expecting at least 16 trucks/trailers and another 15-20 cars of volunteers and spectators.

    If you want to be able to handle performance tests, you need to have an arena that can comfortably accommodate the length of a jump chute -- too short a chute may compromise the mare's performance. Also, you need to have a separate area for the mares to warm-up for the undersaddle portion.
    "That is why you have a pony..." - Edgewood, 2011



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2000
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    Brownsburg, VA
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    Default

    Bluehof, I don't know where in the country you are - and what the concentration of Hanoverian breeders may be for your area. So answering your question is pretty difficult.

    There are a few things to keep in mind: Every inspection site offers the MPT, so Bent Hickory gives excellent advice. A SAFE chute of the appropriate length, with no way for the mare to jump out the end, or over the side is a big requirement. Good warm-up for the mares doing a MPT is also important.

    Here in the Mid-Atlantic, there is a pretty strong bias against working out of a trailer. I've done with with a mare and foal and it worked only because the facility had trailer parking along a row of big mature trees, so the trailer was in the shade on a 95 degree day. It also does not encourage anyone to stay for lunch or watch the presentations, or socialize with the judges afterwards.

    The AHS has an ad hoc committee that is currently addressing inspection procedures. The members of the committee would be a really good resource for you to contact and get their views and advice. Not right now, because the fall tour is in full swing, but come Nov/Dec I'm sure they would be happy to talk to you about requirements. There may even be a document available for you on what facility requirements are required or optional in hosting an inspection.

    The numbers for next weekend (MAHB) have gone up slightly. At this moment, we have 7 mares for the MPT, 4 Hanoverian mares for inspection, 3 non-Han mares, 9 futurity entries, and 9 or 11 foals over two days. All 20 stalls are used for the first day, and 9 for the second. We did not have to make use of the overflow stabling arrangment that was available.
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin



  5. #5
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    Nov. 14, 2004
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    Fleetwood, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ahf View Post
    Good warm-up for the mares doing a MPT is also important.
    .
    As I have found out, not all sites have this important detail, though most of ours do in the Mid Atlantic.

    I went to a site that did have an outdoor and indoor (and was a nice facility), but they were so far apart that they really couldn't be used well as a warm up. Plus there were several very steep hills that you had to go up and down between the indoor and outdoor.

    Knowing this, the site promised to allow time for warm up in the indoor for the MPT (which also was in the indoor). However, the inspector did not allow time (really within 5 minutes of mounting, he wanted young 3 year olds to be ready to go and do their MPT under saddle).

    Next time I will make certain that the available warm up is at least feasible to use. Overall the site was quite nice, helpful and friendly, but their set up of the arenas was really not that conducive to warming up young horses. And if the inspector had allowed time, it would have been fine, but he did not allow time for warm up.



  6. #6
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    May. 25, 2005
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    Default

    Thanks for all the responses!!!

    It sounds like my place will not be ideal as it is too small. My covered I think would work wonderfully for a jump chute and warm up riding arena (once the jumps are disassembled) and once the outdoor dressage arena is complete could be used for the under saddle portion, foal presentations, etc.

    However, my biggest limitations will be parking and additional stalls. My place is easy to get in/ out of, the two arenas are very close and easy to travel to as I am near major highways, paved roads and "not out in the middle of nowhere". But alas the parking and lack of area to erect additional stalls I cannot resolve.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 1999
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    Cypress, near Houston, Texas
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    Default

    Be aware that, as of this year, hosts also have to supply 1 million dollars insurance policy naming AHS, provide a ring steward, announcer, recording secretary, photographer, lunch, written program with a list of must have information on each horse and a million more things. I think it's now become something that only the largest and richest breeders can do.

    Not complaining an dI love the registry, but this is something that a new host needs to know.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2000
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    Brownsburg, VA
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    Default

    The Society didn’t pull these changes out of a hat. The changes were a direct response to the membership survey performed last winter. The responses CLEARLY indicated that an improved inspection experience was desired. For a large number of members, the inspection process is the only contact they have with the registry. They deserve to get value for their investment – in both their horses and in the Society.

    I’m slightly confused as to why attempts to make each inspection well-run, professional, and an outstanding educational opportunity eliminates all hosts except the wealthy. You seem to be implying that it is expected that the site host must bear the costs associated with putting on this event. Expenses incurred can be divided over all the attendees through a stabling or trailer-in fee. I have yet, in all my years of helping to organize inspections, run across anyone that didn’t understand that facilities, jump rental, sound systems, printing, hospitality and event insurance costs money.

    This is NOT about making the process for the wealthy breeder only. It IS about making the experience worthwhile and educational for the membership, and for people attending that want to learn about the breed and the process. No one can learn if they can’t hear, or if they don’t know the bloodlines of the horses being presented, or if there is no time in the schedule for the inspectors to take advantage of a teaching moment. I have attended small inspections that were very frustrating for participants and spectators alike. It is upsetting to see 2o people gathered around a ring who would very much like to know what they are looking at, and to hear what’s going on. What a lost opportunity.
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2010
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
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    Default

    I am with ahf on this one. I host the PA inspection at a college equestrian center, and am most definitely NOT wealthy. So many members in the registry so graciously volunteer their time and have been a MAJOR help to me to make these inspections a success. I could not do it on my own, but it's not an issue of finances, but rather time and work.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2000
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    9,492

    Default

    I can’t imagine an inspection that includes outside horses but does not provide a printed program. How does anyone know what they are looking at?

    PA systems are also awesome to have, but if one isn’t available, you can sometimes get by with an inspector with a good (loud) speaking voice who makes the effort to include onlookers in her comments. Whether the latter approach works often depends on the physical characteristics of the place (layout, acoustics, etc.) and number of participants/spectators. One caveat to a PA system, though, is that output on the lower-end ones can be quite garbled and fuzzy, so someone with a foreign accent is often rather difficult to understand.

    I host inspections for OHBS/GOV, and we always provide safe stabling (although limited at our present site to 11 stalls, so first paid = first reserved). We also have a lovely covered area, plenty of parking for trailers and spectators, very good spectator viewing areas (including climate controlled upstairs and downstairs lounges), clean restrooms, breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea, and bottled water, professional handler, professional braider, and professional photographer, professional quality PA system, gate keeper, and announcer (usually me). If there is only one inspector, I will fill in as ringside secretary & assistant. I also provide a printed schedule with approx. times, DOBs, bloodlines, breeder & owner info, and try to indicate if the horse is for sale.

    I will say categorically that I am not wealthy, and although the farm owners are somewhat wealthy and do generously donate the use of their covered arena/lounge/PA system, etc., they charge breeders for stabling or grounds fees to cover their food and labor costs (they have to relocate their own horses from those stalls and strip/sanitize stalls before and after the inspection). Nonetheless, fees are pretty darned reasonable – this year we charged $65/stall (including initial bedding and one lunch ticket, with additional lunch tickets available at $10 each).

    One issue we have run in to several times over the years is that some breeders – esp. novices – believe the registry hosts the inspection, and they don’t understand why they have to pay the facility/farm for stabling, on top of the fees they pay the registry for inspection/registration. One year we had one gal with two foals not send in her stabling fees ahead of time (she faxed her entry to me), then got a bit huffy because I put an invoice in her packet showing that she owed for two stall fees and a late fee. She told me the registry was supposed to cover stabling costs out of the inspection/registration fees – not sure where she got that from, but I don’t think ANY registries operate that way.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 23, 1999
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    Cypress, near Houston, Texas
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    Default

    Guys, my comments were not an attack. I host an inspection every year - using a friends facility because she has more stalls. And I think Hugh will confirm that we do a VERY good job with everything.

    My comment about it being for the wealthy and large facilities is a reflection of the fact that you have to (especially now with the futurity classes) have a large number of stalls (which the smaller breeders do not usually have and would have to rent usually at a far greater expense than you can realistically pass on to the mare owners) and you have to provide a large number of personnel to handle it. And let's face it, it is difficult to rely on volunteers as you need skilled people you can count on to be there. That means paid staff, generally.

    So, I stand by my comment.

    As to some of you guys' other comments - no where did I say that there should not be printed programs (mine are some of the best) or announcers (we've been doing that your years), etc.

    And the entire reason for my post was that the OP did not seem to understand the breadth of the requirements and what it would entail.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  12. #12
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    May. 25, 2005
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    best place so far
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    Default

    I agree that all the changes are a good thing to make the inspections more interesting for participants and spectators. I thankfully have a lot of riding friends and neighbors that I could solicit as volunteers.

    I just don't have the parking space



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
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    FL
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    Devil's advocate, here. As a private host (not associated with an organization like MAHB, etc.), who has had to either rent tent stalls ($100 each for a 9.5 by 9.5 square with canvas walls and solid doors) if hosting at my farm or rent a facility that has charges $60 each for stalls or a $35 trailer in fee, I cannot add on more fees for my participants and expect to have people come to the inspection. In fact, I subsidized the tent fees, losing 50% each year that I hosted at home. When you rent 20-30 stalls, that is a loss of $1000 to $1500. And they participants hated the tent stalls (and I didn't blame them for that).

    At the facility that I rent now, I also pay for using the jump chute, provide drinks for the day (we go through about 300 - 400), provide the forge (yes I own my own forge), have always produced a high quality program, PA system, announcer, ring steward, etc, etc. This year is my swan song as a host, so I am also providing free lunch. Previous years I ordered Panera Bread boxes and charged a little less than what they cost.

    With this year's changes in inspection requirements, the only new things that I had to add to my list of requirements were insurance (it cost me almost $350), the running of futurity classes and the volunteer secretary (which is not a job that you can just pass along to any willing body). If the futurity becomes really popular, the facility I use will not have enough stalls.

    Years ago (late 70s, early 80s), I had a close friend who ran a yearly 2 day event. She often tacked on clinics with her judges (I got to see Jack LeGoff, Michael Page, to name a few, teach). I help her build show stalls and cross country fences (we named one oxer ML's oxer, because we were laughing about my being amazed that it came up to the level of my boobs -eek!). After a great run of many successful events year after year, my friend finally gave it up and quit offering them. Why? Because she had run out of willing friends to make the events run smoothly. Since those long ago days, finding volunteer help has become more and more difficult (especially for an inspection that is during the work week).

    So, in my opinion, Sonesta has a point or two to make. Costs for hosts are far from insignificant. Many participants have no idea of the work, $$ and effort that goes into putting on a successful inspection. Few are willing to help with costs, as they see the cost of the inspection as already being huge for them. There are no easy answers and most hosts do it as a labor of love. But it is a labor, not a cake walk.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2008
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    Default

    In Canada, for our Hanoverian Verband inspections, the Eastern breeders club subsidizes the hosts, at least enough to cover lunch, drinks and flowers etc. Still, a big expense and lots of work for hosts.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2003
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    646

    Default

    Very well said, Mary Lou. We hosted AHS inspections for about 12 years and will no longer do so. We kept our fees very low ($25 for a stall) and provided morning coffee, tea, bagels and fruit for free. We also provided a free lunch for all participants and guests. However, the new requirements make it very difficult on hosts to provide a top quality venue.
    Judy
    Sylvan Farm~Breeding for Performance
    Ramzes SF, approved GOV and Belgian http://sylvanfarm.com
    Chair, USSHBA Positive ID Working Group; USSHBA Steering Committe member



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    Default

    An arena that is 60 wide is just too small--I have taken my horses to various sites over the last 25 years, and have also hosted inspections at my own farm.
    You need room for the mares and young horses to open up their strides. And 60 by 150 is just too small, in my view.

    the other thing that really bugs me is the lack of clearance getting my trailer in and out, and a decent place to park and turn around. people who let their trees grow into their drives just make me crazy--I always threaten to bring my chain saw on my next visit.

    and I charged no fees when we hosted the inspections--we carried the costs ourselves as a contribution to the betterment of the breed. that is something I think every serious breeder needs to do. this is a joint effort on all our parts regardless of whether we agree on the particular society's rules or love/hate the current president/committee chair/whoever. always assume everyone is trying to do what they think is best.

    but good quality and good sized stalls are a must--these pony sized stalls of 10 by 10 are just not satisfactory for a mother and foal. And you need a separate area to put any young stallions that are even getting an informal opinion. And yes you need a good jump chute--built and set up by someone who actually knows something about jumping--not by dressage people. And you need a warm up ring separate from the inspection ring, etc. etc. etc.

    you really need to think that you are putting on a small horse show on a local level. programs, food, facilities, parking, wash area, stalls, etc.

    (now, should I load the chain saw first, before the horse, or just throw it in on the way out the drive?)



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2009
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    116

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Again Farm View Post
    Devil's advocate, here. As a private host (not associated with an organization like MAHB, etc.), who has had to either rent tent stalls ($100 each for a 9.5 by 9.5 square with canvas walls and solid doors) if hosting at my farm or rent a facility that has charges $60 each for stalls or a $35 trailer in fee, I cannot add on more fees for my participants and expect to have people come to the inspection. In fact, I subsidized the tent fees, losing 50% each year that I hosted at home. When you rent 20-30 stalls, that is a loss of $1000 to $1500. And they participants hated the tent stalls (and I didn't blame them for that).

    At the facility that I rent now, I also pay for using the jump chute, provide drinks for the day (we go through about 300 - 400), provide the forge (yes I own my own forge), have always produced a high quality program, PA system, announcer, ring steward, etc, etc. This year is my swan song as a host, so I am also providing free lunch. Previous years I ordered Panera Bread boxes and charged a little less than what they cost.

    With this year's changes in inspection requirements, the only new things that I had to add to my list of requirements were insurance (it cost me almost $350), the running of futurity classes and the volunteer secretary (which is not a job that you can just pass along to any willing body). If the futurity becomes really popular, the facility I use will not have enough stalls.

    Since those long ago days, finding volunteer help has become more and more difficult (especially for an inspection that is during the work week).

    So, in my opinion, Sonesta has a point or two to make. Costs for hosts are far from insignificant. Many participants have no idea of the work, $$ and effort that goes into putting on a successful inspection. Few are willing to help with costs, as they see the cost of the inspection as already being huge for them. There are no easy answers and most hosts do it as a labor of love. But it is a labor, not a cake walk.
    Sorry to hear that this year is your last inspection, Mary Lou. I've brought horses to an inspection at your farm and also at the Reddick facility.

    Both were very well run. Love the Reddick facility, can't believe that there wouldn't be enough stalls at some point.

    I wish I'd been able to offer my help for any of the inspections but live a ways away and by the time I'd get there, (unless I was bringing a horse) the inspection would be half way over. And this year, my truck is showing its age so I don't want to chance the trip.

    Just want to say, Mary Lou's comments should be taken as gospel, she is one of the few posters who tell it like it is, but with grace.

    thanks for all you have done for the Hanoverian society here in Florida.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2001
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    New Hampshire/Florida
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    2,213

    Default

    I hope it is okay to piggyback a question.

    I was wondering, Judy and Mary Lou, if it were the new requirements from AHS that caused you to decide to stop hosting, burn out, or just time to stop. I know that River House is also stopping in NH.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2003
    Posts
    646

    Default

    I am sorry to hear that Verne and Jean will no longer be hosting inspections. I have judged at both venues, and like Mary Lou, they put on a terrific day of fun, food, and education for breeders and guests alike. Mary Lou, Verne and Jean are long-time, very successful breeders that have given much of their time and knowledge to other breeders and the industry. Let's hope that continues. Thanks for all your support over the years.
    Judy
    Sylvan Farm~Breeding for Performance
    Ramzes SF, approved GOV and Belgian http://sylvanfarm.com
    Chair, USSHBA Positive ID Working Group; USSHBA Steering Committe member



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
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    FL
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    Default

    In my case it is burn out. I have done 11 since 1998.

    Putting on a well run inspection is not rocket science. It can and should be run a lot like a small dressage show. It takes organization and attention to detail. And it takes caring about how the participants are treated and how the society is viewed.

    I am just plain tired. It is time for someone else in FL to take it on. I am available to help in a large way - from help paying for some of the extra expenses, donating the forge, to doing the schedule and program (I have done enough of those now to do them in my sleep).

    But, I have a horse that I really want to take to Devon next year, and I am getting old enough that I don't relish having to be the full time trouble shooter the day before and day of the inspection. I truly hope and pray that someone steps forward and that we can continue to host AHS inspections at the Reddick facility. It is truly perfect for what an inspection requires and it is pretty close to the center of the state.

    I did not meant to criticize the new guidelines. But, I did want to point out that there are significant expenses that most hosts really can't pass on to their participants without facing a LOT of resistance and grumbling.

    swmorse, thank you so much for those kind remarks. That is the sort of thing that means so much to any host. I appreciate it more that you can know.



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