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  1. #61
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    This might be way off base but... how do the western folks do this? There are tons of western events around here and they are packed.

    One of my friends ropes and he says they still are running classes into the late evening they are so full. Really? even in this economy?

    He thinks I'm a complete nut-bar to spend all the money I do to ride dressage and not get anything but a ribbon and score sheet.

    How do they do this? Is it really so cheap that it's very afforable? Just curious. Maybe there is something we can learn..? Maybe not? Just my ramblings without enough coffee


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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldernewbie View Post
    Well, let's run the numbers.
    That's not "running the numbers", that is taking the two absolute EXTREME scenarios and comparing them. A cheap 1 day schooling show 15 minutes from your house vs a 2 day recognized show 3.5 hours away!

    Like I said, around here recognized shows are more numerous, the same distance, and there is one on every corner every weekend during show season. The ONLY difference is $20 a class and a few fees - so you are going to pay maybe $100 more per day. The CDIs and the 2-3 day shows at the big show grounds can be a little pricey for dressage, but you are still only talking about a few hundred bucks even with stabling.

    Every dressage barn in the area seems to have their own mini show series!



  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    ... For some, hitting the schooling shows locally lets them learn how to cope with show nerves and figure out how to warm up in a strange place w/o spending a boat load of cash and time. Later (maybe) they'll 'graduate' to recognized, but honestly that's just not everyone's goal.
    This year, I intended to return to recognized showing... sure, at Training Level, but we'd done it in 2009, before the mare went lame, and enjoyed it. But given that she had not shown off the property since then, I decided to do a few schooling shows instead. And after a few schooling shows (where tests were $25 to $35 each, and there were no office fees), it was pretty clear that showing recognized would be a waste of time and money (tests $50 or more each, office fees typically $25 or more, drug fee $15, haul-in fees, stabling fees etc.)

    In fact, I think we're pretty much done with showing in general. I wish I'd known that before I paid up my USEF/USDF dues, but oh well.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    The ONLY difference is $20 a class and a few fees - so you are going to pay maybe $100 more per day. The CDIs and the 2-3 day shows at the big show grounds can be a little pricey for dressage, but you are still only talking about a few hundred bucks even with stabling.
    A few hundred bucks here, and a few hundred bucks there, and pretty soon we're talkin' real money! (to paraphrase a famous quote by Senator Everett Dirksen (R. Ill.))
    Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Dec. 12, 2012 at 09:46 AM. Reason: attribution
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    A few hundred bucks here, and a few hundred bucks there, and pretty soon we're talkin' real money! (to paraphrase a famous quote by Senator Everett Dirksen (R. Ill.))
    lol.

    My point was, many people would rather pay a few hundred bucks more and have 2 days of showing AND their scores "count". Even $500 for an entire weekend of showing (at least 4 classes), can in many instances be more worth it on many levels (experience for the horse, most bang for your buck), vs spending the time to trailer around to 1 day schooling shows. Doing more per weekend over less weekends helps even out the cost as well.


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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    lol.

    My point was, many people would rather pay a few hundred bucks more and have 2 days of showing AND their scores "count". Even $500 for an entire weekend of showing (at least 4 classes), can in many instances be more worth it on many levels (experience for the horse, most bang for your buck), vs spending the time to trailer around to 1 day schooling shows. Doing more per weekend over less weekends helps even out the cost as well.
    Yes, for people who have that "few hundred bucks more," it is not an unreasonable decision. For many people, however, the choice is more like whether to show or NOT SHOW at all. Whether to budget for a few more lessons or to show. Stuff like that makes the choices a lot harder, and makes one or two schooling shows per season a real possibility since the sacrifices that have to be made in trade are not as great.
    Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Dec. 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM. Reason: clarification
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  7. #67
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    just remember that above the extra $100 is all the f'n fees for memberships etc. it does add up for those of us not rolling in dough.

    also, just curious: i thought there were rules about distances for shows? how can there be a show on every corner if there can only be a certain distance between each show on a given weekend? (which by the way is a stoopid rule and one reason why shows are so expensive - if there were competition between shows then the costs would have to go down....)



  8. #68
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    I understand the point about getting young horses out and about, but you don't even have to spend the $$ it costs at a schooling show to do that. You can trailer them to a place to trail ride, school, or even to a recognized show and pay a nominal fee to ride. Unless you are in a place like one poster said (Alabama) and there truly is nothing else, I just don't get it. Honestly, I think the schooling shows are more for the rider than anything else. I don't have a ton of disposable income, but I pick my shows very carefully based on how ready the horse is, location of the show, etc. I was able to accomplish quite a bit this year going to just 4 shows plus championships. Now said horsie has a nice resume for his 1st year of showing. I just don't think the schooling shows "mean" as much. I know that won't be a popular statement either, but my opinion, and I know many folks feel the same way. Maybe not on this board, but out there in the "real world" LOL...they certainly do!


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  9. #69
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    thats cool Dune - you are totally allowed to have your own POV - just some of us dont agree and that is cool too : )


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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
    This might be way off base but... how do the western folks do this? There are tons of western events around here and they are packed.

    One of my friends ropes and he says they still are running classes into the late evening they are so full. Really? even in this economy?

    He thinks I'm a complete nut-bar to spend all the money I do to ride dressage and not get anything but a ribbon and score sheet.

    How do they do this? Is it really so cheap that it's very afforable? Just curious. Maybe there is something we can learn..? Maybe not? Just my ramblings without enough coffee
    It's a good question.

    Rodeos tend to have much better sponsor networks - and are part of a whole 'culture' that brings in more money. The western boot and hat companies don't sell to just horse people. Spectators pay to come to our local rodeo - even when just the kids are riding - and then they pay more for beer.

    They have the expense of stock which is a very significant expense. But, because so many events aren't judged, a gymkhana can be very cheap. We have a $4/class gymkhana here, and when the classes are that low, there's no drug fee required either. (California had a drug test requirement for all shows.) The event is run by volunteers.

    I think we have to be more clever about the ways we find to participate and compete with lower costs - not just lower fees, but lower *costs.* I think things like the video lessons have great promise for giving people access to training - as well as giving skilled trainers more access to students. We need to think of other ways we can make the finances work better.
    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



  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dune View Post
    I understand the point about getting young horses out and about, but you don't even have to spend the $$ it costs at a schooling show to do that. You can trailer them to a place to trail ride, school, or even to a recognized show and pay a nominal fee to ride. Unless you are in a place like one poster said (Alabama) and there truly is nothing else, I just don't get it. Honestly, I think the schooling shows are more for the rider than anything else. I don't have a ton of disposable income, but I pick my shows very carefully based on how ready the horse is, location of the show, etc. I was able to accomplish quite a bit this year going to just 4 shows plus championships. Now said horsie has a nice resume for his 1st year of showing. I just don't think the schooling shows "mean" as much. I know that won't be a popular statement either, but my opinion, and I know many folks feel the same way. Maybe not on this board, but out there in the "real world" LOL...they certainly do!
    It's all good.

    I think what we don't see is how different each area really is. In Southern California, recognized shows are thick on the ground and schooling shows are few and far between, and tend to be held in places that don't have enough space for a true recognized show.

    Another reason to specifically seek out a schooling show is if you want to practice riding eventing tests instead of straight dressage.

    Up here in the north bay, there are several schooling show series held at really nice, very convenient facilities that are fun to attend. But, there are recognized shows too.

    So I think at the end of the day it's going to be very much about what shows are nearby and how fun they are to ride at, and how much hassle they are to get to compared to staying at home. The less dense the area, the more critical schooling shows are going to be for providing quality facilities and feedback, just because they can be organized for just a handful of riders and rope in people who aren't so serious about dressage to carry the load.
    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



  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dune View Post
    I understand the point about getting young horses out and about, but you don't even have to spend the $$ it costs at a schooling show to do that. You can trailer them to a place to trail ride, school, or even to a recognized show and pay a nominal fee to ride. Unless you are in a place like one poster said (Alabama) and there truly is nothing else, I just don't get it. Honestly, I think the schooling shows are more for the rider than anything else. I don't have a ton of disposable income, but I pick my shows very carefully based on how ready the horse is, location of the show, etc. I was able to accomplish quite a bit this year going to just 4 shows plus championships. Now said horsie has a nice resume for his 1st year of showing. I just don't think the schooling shows "mean" as much. I know that won't be a popular statement either, but my opinion, and I know many folks feel the same way. Maybe not on this board, but out there in the "real world" LOL...they certainly do!
    (My bolding). I agree. I also don't go to schooling shows. For me, it isn't about medals or scores 'counting' towards something, because I'm not good enough for any of that. My feeling is that even when they get an S judge (and that happens here in my area), the scoring is still on the generous side, so one can get a false sense about how they are doing. Also, once you are past 2nd level, there are hardly any entries above that, so you don't get a feel for how you compare to others. I prefer to be in a larger class so that I can see where I rank and just how much my score deviates from the top, middle, etc.

    The other thing about schooling shows is that the quality of the footing is often poor.


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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
    This might be way off base but... how do the western folks do this? There are tons of western events around here and they are packed.

    One of my friends ropes and he says they still are running classes into the late evening they are so full. Really? even in this economy?

    He thinks I'm a complete nut-bar to spend all the money I do to ride dressage and not get anything but a ribbon and score sheet.

    How do they do this? Is it really so cheap that it's very afforable? Just curious. Maybe there is something we can learn..? Maybe not? Just my ramblings without enough coffee
    That's an excellent, intelligent, solution-seeking question, IMO. Why does, for example, Western Dressage, seem to be taking off in the very economy that Traditional Dressage seems to be flagging. I think there may be numerous reasons, but some might be:

    1. A feeling of inclusiveness.
    2. Versatility in the horses competing (granted there are extremes in all sport), but the judge who observed in a dressage competition that she was tired of seeing horses come down the center line who should be pushing cattle would be spot on -they were probably pushing cattle just the other day.
    3. Flexibility? The same tack you'd use to sort cows, you can run barrels, bend poles, pen, and ride a dressage test.
    4. Prizes. The one fun day my new barn had since I've moved there this Summer also came with a barrel racing competition that made the prize (if I recall) some percent of the entry tickets that were $20 (I think that's how it worked, but don't quote me because I'm new to it). Mind you, outside of the money competition there was barrel racing open for everyone and just for fun. To participate in all the events of the day was $30.00 (not including the barrel competition).

    So to tally:
    Fun was had by all
    Horses and riders' mettle was tested in a competition environment.
    Ribbons for fun.
    Money for serious.
    No special tack, no special gear.

    This might have something to do with it. To be fair, all organizations cannot be all things to all people, but perhaps a little flexibility may make dressage not seem so rarified to outsiders?

    BTW the same barn is trying to bring in Mr Pelicano for a bomb proofing clinic and I am saving my ducats.

    Paula
    Last edited by paulaedwina; Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM.
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  14. #74
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    One of the things to keep in mind for costs is the higher and higher office fee.

    We all say that it's too high and the shows reasonably reply that they need it to cover their costs.

    One of the reasons this cost has gone up is because more and more shows are finding the need to hire a professional secretary - not a volunteer and not even just paying a local person to spend her day at the show, but someone who secretaries lots of shows and who travels to shows to secretary much as a judge or steward does. This appears to be because the expectations, skill levels, and to-do list for the clerical aspects of shows have increased dramatically.

    So the question then is: are all these new, more rigorous requirements making shows more fun, safer, better for horses and riders, etc? If they are, they're worth paying for. But every few years, we need to run down this list and make sure that they are, and make sure that if they serve the needs of someone other than the riders at that show that we're finding other ways to pay for it.
    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. #75
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    BTW, I go barrel racing at the $4 gymkhana in my dressage saddle. It's a fun day and a great way to get warm-up ring experience.
    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


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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    BTW, I go barrel racing at the $4 gymkhana in my dressage saddle. It's a fun day and a great way to get warm-up ring experience.
    Good for you and well done! You get a thumbs up and a reply from me.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
    I think there mayb be several things at play - with the economy playing a part in some of the decision making of riders - but I think there is also a general 'fracturing' of sorts going on in the industry. Much of it as a result of a backlash not just against costs, but may also be due to the intensified controveries regarding training methods, judging standards, and a general dissatisfaction of our governing bodies.
    This would be me... I had (he's retired now) a pretty nice off breed horse that I was working on moving up the levels with. I am your typical AA and pretty green at anything above first. I also event so have reasonable but not great basic dressage. This horse wasn't going to move beyond training level eventing but we were invariably in the top 3 -6 after dressage w/ % scores in the mid 60s to low 70s. We did reasonably well at 2nd at shows (low to mid 60s). We were working on 3rd so I took him to a local recognized show to try our hand at 3rd. I'm not complaining about our scores but more how to interpret the !@@#^! judging. From one judge, I placed 1st w/ a 60% w/ a few things to do better, I thought. The 2nd test went much smoother, and we scored a 52% and placed last. All of the placings were basically flipped. On top of this was all the bru-ha ha about having to get qualifying scores and the nasty comments about cow horses. So I basically flipped my finger at dressage and went back to eventing, where at least you can soothe a bad score by having a blast on cross country. I can afford to show (locally) but chose to not show dressage even though I do like training dressage.



  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    That's an excellent, intelligent, solution-seeking question, IMO. Why does, for example, Western Dressage, seem to be taking off in the very economy that Traditional Dressage seems to be flagging. I think there may be numerous reasons, but some might be:

    1. A feeling of inclusiveness.
    2. Versatility in the horses competing (granted there are extremes in all sport), but the judge who observed in a dressage competition that she was tired of seeing horses come down the center line who should be pushing cattle would be spot on -they were probably pushing cattle just the other day.
    3. Flexibility? The same tack you'd use to sort cows, you can run barrels, bend poles, pen, and ride a dressage test.
    4. Prizes. The one fun day my new barn had also came with a barrel racing competition that made the prize (if I recall) some percent of the entry tickets that were $20 (I think that's how it worked, but don't quote me because I'm new to it). Mind you, outside of the money competition there was barrel racing open for everyone and just for fun. To participate in all the events of the day was $30.00 (not including the barrel competition).
    Your first two points don't apply to WD around here. The classes are run in conjunction at GMO-sponsored schooling shows. And those were pretty "inclusive and versatile" to begin with, long before WD became an option.

    3. My saddle of choice is a dressage saddle. I don't like western saddles. I've run barrels and done pole bending(OK, so we weren't very fast) in it and done lots and lots of trail riding, too. I don't sort cows in ANY saddle because my horse gets a little too hot and wants to bite the cattle.

    4. A "fun day" is not the same thing as a judged show. If that's what you like to do, that's all well and good. But if you want to ride a dressage test -- western or otherwise -- and be judged competently, you're going to have to pay a litte more than $30 for the "all you can show" menu.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    Locally I don't see a lot of overlap between our schooling show competitors and those who show at recognized shows. The reality seems to demonstrate that there is interest in one or the other, but not both. We routinely have to turn competitors away from our one day schooling shows, we fill up to the gills, so it makes sense to plenty of people, just not to you
    There is a lot of overlap here, but that's because we have at least four schooling shows and a year-end championship show, sponsored by our GMO, as well as two recognized shows. The schooling shows have their own separate awards for high point. As noted above, they are pretty friendly affairs and WD is now offered, too. I love our GMO -- it is a very active, very organized club, for which I am so grateful. Reminds me I need to renew my membership.
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  19. #79
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    Oh, another thing about the lower end western events is that they may be a lot less picky about their facilities and particularly the footing. The $4 gymkhana (and $25 team penning) and the local rodeo is held in a local public arena that is just disked up soil and is shared with a lot of other events, including lawnmower racing. The county fair runs barrel racing and roping on a field that is used for sheepdog trials and football and soccer (I'm not sure how the football people feel about it!).

    In dressage, footing is much more important to us and rightly so, but it's something to understand as a significant cost driver.

    The local rodeo has really tried to diversify to bring in several related carnival-kinds of events to the whole event, so there's a waterslide bounce-house for the kids, a log-splitting contest, mini lawnmower races, horseshoes, all kinds of Other Stuff to watch and do. It's a big fundraiser for other parts of the community too, with the Boy Scouts selling hamburgers and hot dogs, the 4-H selling snow cones and drinks, other organizations selling pies and baked goods, etc etc.

    By contrast, dressage events generally actively discourage spectators.

    Even if you don't charge a gate fee, those other booths bring in money and people (who have to come to staff the booths!) and they create a reason to hang signs on your arena that you can charge money for as well. At the local arena, you pay to have your sign in the arena for the whole year, at a pretty reasonable rate. (Obviously, if demand was higher, they'd do it per event, but it's not, and this is easier for the volunteers too.) All this helps support the facility.
    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



  20. #80
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    Western events? depends if you mean breed shows, 4H, western saddle clubs, etc. Big difference in pricing.
    A breed show can run 500+ a weekend and more high dollar events (ie- QH, arab, and paint).
    Typically many people ride in more then one event and some judge the horse, some the ride, hence the packed schedule.
    The advantage of saddle clubs are they have a low cost (sometimes 4 dollars per class around here) and you can show up in them morning and sign up on the spot.



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