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Too expensive for my budget.....warning vent

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  • Too expensive for my budget.....warning vent

    Am I being unreasonable when I say I think this is kinda steep for 1 class in a SCHOOLING show? Yes, I know I could show out of my trailer and delete the stall fee but when you show alone it's pretty close to impossible and if you try to be a good GMO member and volunteer too....well, I can't keep my horse tied to a trailer. Add to this the $50 (they are doing away with the early discount) it's costs to join the USDF and the price of gas, the fact that if I don't have a $30,000 WB as recommended by some professionals (tongue firmly in cheek)....I guess I won't do much showing (not that I ever did)......I know it's not cheap to put on a show but.....Think about it, how long would you have to work to pay for this one class.....It's a real luxury to show (even at the local level) these days......

    Class fee (if a usdf member) $15 non member $20
    Office fee (mandatory) $10
    Stall fee $50
    $75 non-member $80

    Other fees

    If you want to qualify for series champion $5
    non competing horse $15
    incomplete/incorrect entry fee $10
    grounds fee if no stall purchased $5 per horse
    Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!

  • #2
    Except for the raise in non member fee (which I did not take advantage of, as expenses wound up more after a few shows doing it that way), it's less than I paid more than ten years ago. I paid 25 per class and 75 for stabling. And stabling is usually more than that these days. The costs look really good to me.

    If you don't want to spend that money on showing, don't. No one can tell anyone else what they should spend money on. It's an individual choice. There is gas, hauling, schooling, possibly braiding, plus any costs at home - pet care, baby sitters, etc.
    ---- reducing costs -------
    There are, of course, ways to reduce the cost of showing. As far as membership and organization fees, sometimes lifetime memberships figure out to less money in the long run. Competing as a non member can be cheaper if the person only goes to 1-2 shows. Joining a GMO reduces overall costs still, I think.

    Many horses can learn to stand inside the trailer far better and safer than being tied to the trailer. We used to take a 4 horse and leave all the horses in it - on a hot day a couple fans and opening the doors took care of that - it was cooler in the 4 horse than outside.

    On the other hand, quite a few people trailer to the show, unload the horse, warm it up, ride it in the class, put it on the trailer, and go home. That can take as little as an hour. The horse can even be groomed and tacked up before they leave their barn, the rider can dress - bingo, you're ready. An older or calmer sort of horse may be perfectly happy to show this way - many may even do far better if they can be turned out and longed at home, and arrive at the show calm and focused.

    That can mean no shopping at the vendors booths (more money saved), no hanging around yacking with friends, and picking specific classes to enter. There's no need to go in multiple classes a day, really, and a more focused approach saves money on class fees.

    A friend nearby the grounds may have a stall and you can hack over to the show. Many times, people who have barns next to the show grounds offer cheaper stall fees. You can go without paying for schooling, you can braid the horse yourself. You can offer to groom for someone else, if they have students or several horses, you may earn the entire cost of the show right back, taking a quick break from the work to show your horse. If you can braid, you can even come out ahead as far as money. Braiding can go for up to 75 dollars a horse.

    ...or like quite a few people, you can reduce other expenses during the year and save up a 'show fund' to spend each year. People who WANT to show are easily motivated to do this. This can involve forgoing a new pair of breeches, buying a used saddle instead of a new one, forgoing a night out, magazine subscriptions, conserving money in other ways. I know one gal that pays for ALL her showing by clipping a half a dozen horses each fall - full hunter clips go for over a hundred dollars in her area.
    No one can tell you how to spend your money or what's important to you - you have to decide that.

    No, no one said you need a 30,000 dollar warmblood for this sort of show, or to learn an lot and have a heck of a lot of fun. If you want to pretend that was what was said, in order to justify not spending this money, or to avoid the ups and downs of showing - so be it. It sounds like you just aren't really into showing - it seems like just a waste of money to you and you don't even seem to feel your horse would be competitive and there would be no other reason to show except to win.......sounds like you don't want to show, bottom line. So don't.


    • #3
      You said a schooling show right? Not recognized? Yes, some of the charges seem steep IMO. I always thought we were pricey at this end of the continent but I'm filling out an entry for a schooling show now that's being held in 2 weeks. Now if we were talking recognized show which I just sent in my entry for (to be held in 3 weeks)....well that's an entirely different matter.

      Class fee $15 per class or $15/day schooling only

      Day stall (check with stable owner is how it is stated on the form but - usually $20-25/day depending on if you want a stall or round pen use)

      Non Member Fee - $5.00 (GMO membership for family - in my case - $45)

      That's it....no other hidden fees other than gas. I'm taking 3 horses and will be showing 5 or 6 (haven't decided yet) classes myself and my daughter will ride in two. I now consider myself fortunate that the majority of the chunk of change will be going to the class fees. No stalls for us. With 3 horses in tow they gladly stand tied at the trailer plus I have my two child slaves going with me and they do a good job babysitting the 4 legged children.

      You have my "sympathies" and I consider myself much more fortunate. Guess I'll be doing even more volunteering for my GMO this year (usually do at least a few hours every year).
      Ranch of Last Resort


      • #4
        Our schooling shows are $20 a class - you have to be a member to show. Membership is $45 for the year.

        ps - Everyone I know shows without a stall, horses are either tied to the trailer or left in the trailer. Doesn't seem to be a big deal. I often bring multiple horses so they stand at the trailer all day. They have hay and water and seem none the worse for wear. I don't think a stall is necessary.
        True North Dressage
        Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing


        • #5
          So, if you skip the stall, it is $35 for one class. That sounds very reasonable to me. And for a day show, I will always show out of my trailer. I'm all by myself 95% of the time, and its fine. Give it a try!

          I hear what you are saying about volunteering, but how about you only show this time and then volunteer at a different show another time when you are not riding, rather than trying to combine the 2 at one show?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sabovee View Post
            Our schooling shows are $20 a class - you have to be a member to show. Membership is $45 for the year.

            ps - Everyone I know shows without a stall, horses are either tied to the trailer or left in the trailer. Doesn't seem to be a big deal. I often bring multiple horses so they stand at the trailer all day. They have hay and water and seem none the worse for wear. I don't think a stall is necessary.
            Sabovee is right...I think the schooling shows for PVDA are pretty reasonable. If I remember correctly, you just pay the flat $20 per class and nothing more. The GMO membership is also pretty reasonable, IMO. And believe me, I don't have tons of expendable income, so I felt the pain of doing ONE recognized show last year. However, I imagine that I will feel that pain a little bit more in the future as we improve and do more shows, but that won't be for a while yet.
            In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.


            • #7
              Our classes are $20, and stalls are usually $25. We do charge a grounds fee for non-stabled horses. HOWEVER, remember that the stall fees are usually set by the barn owner. We use one venue that does charge much more for stalls, and requires that they be completely stripped to the mats, otherwise they charge the club a fine.
              As a sometimes show manager, the fees for incomplete/incorrect entries sounds like a good idea. Nothing quite like settling paperwork issues the morning of the show.
              And, the qualifying fees probably help pay for the year end awards. Remeber, for most GMOs, the shows they run are the major funding source for all other activities.



              • #8
                I've never seen a schooling show in my area with a member fee. All the other prices are about the same. Generally I spend $60 or so on a show.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by see u at x View Post
                  Sabovee is right...I think the schooling shows for PVDA are pretty reasonable. If I remember correctly, you just pay the flat $20 per class and nothing more. The GMO membership is also pretty reasonable, IMO. And believe me, I don't have tons of expendable income, so I felt the pain of doing ONE recognized show last year. However, I imagine that I will feel that pain a little bit more in the future as we improve and do more shows, but that won't be for a while yet.
                  Yes - PVDA doesn't have all those hidden costs... $20 per class and your yearly membership fee and that's that!

                  I don't volunteer at the shows I'm showing at, if you're doing that it's way too hectic.

                  I also show alone a lot, with multiple (2 - 4) horses, it can be done if you're organized!! Your schooling show fees (OP) sound very high with all those multiple charges, but you could easily drop them by showing out of your trailer, it's really not a big deal. Everyone at our schooling shows shows out of their trailer (stalls usually aren't provided).

                  We aren't charged grounds fees (which I think is a bit of a stretch) or office fees.. we also don't pay to be included in year end awards - that's a bit silly at schooling shows. With PVDA as long as you meet the required scores, number of shows and have 8 hours of volunteer hours you can qualify for year ends.
                  True North Dressage
                  Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing


                  • #10
                    10 years ago I took lessons from a trainer that cost me $40.00 per 45 minutes. Now the same trainer charges $65.00 per lesson.

                    10 years ago I paid $425 for the stall with a paddock - now the same place charges $600.00 for the same stall with a paddock.

                    How much the gas prices went up for the last 10 years? What %?

                    How much the show fees went up for the last 10 years? What %?

                    If we are talking about the rated shows - they didn't raise their class fees in 10 years. $45 per class will get you exact thing that it did 10 years ago.

                    If you are talking about the schooling shows - there shouldn't be ANY organization fees. Schooling shows are put on by privet barns and are not associated with any organizations. Some schooling shows in my area have $15.00 per class fee and others $60.00 per class fee, stalls are $25-$30 - none have any other fees.


                    • #11
                      The stall fee seems very high--sort of "we don't want to do it" kind of high. The rest is about what I would expect.

                      There are schooling shows and schooling shows. We have one very relaxed series around here and a couple that are run just like recognized shows--there is a price differential.

                      I'm another who just shows out of my trailer. I don't try to volunteer and show at the same show.


                      • #12
                        sorry - no sympathy here. i think the prices are quite reasonable. The reality is, you are right..... showing a horse IS a luxury. It's not a Constitutional right. In fact, OWNING a horse is a luxury. There are women in this world who walk six miles a day to get water for their families and plenty a children in this country who go to bed hungry. So, stop whining and be grateful you even get to ride these magnificent, generous animals. Every sound footfall is a gift.


                        • #13
                          Very reasonable. We pay any where from $25-40 for a class at local schooling shows.

                          As for the stall, either find a friend or family member that can take/bring the horse to and from the show so you can stay and help with no worries, or pick a few shows to only volunteer and leave the horse at home. Or teach the horse to stand quietly on the trailer with hay and water.


                          • #14
                            If you are volunteering for like half day, they may give you the stall for free while you are working. I know I did.


                            • #15
                              Wow... I think those are quite reasonable. But then, I'm used to paying a lot more for schooling shows around here.

                              Some schooling shows are run by the local GMO, some by local barns, but basically it's:

                              $25-$35 per test
                              $10 grounds fee (or $75 stabling fee)
                              $5-$7 drug fee

                              So basically, it's still an expensive proposition to do a schooling show.

                              (One local barn offers a "do over" fee - for an extra $10 you can ride your test of choice a second time and take the better of the two scores - but that adds up... not sure it's worth it at a "schooling show".)


                              • #16
                                The $50 stall fee seems a little steep.....

                                I rarely get a chance to show these days, little time, don't own my own horse, not that many opportunities to show locally anyway.... but

                                I think it helps to consider what your purpose for showing is. At a dressage show, esp., I like getting specific feedback from each ride, by a qualified judge that I respect.
                                I go for the learning experience first, and second, for fun and a change of scenery.

                                Then, I consider how much I'd pay for a lesson or clinic, and which would be more helpful to me, and what the alternatives/ opportunities are at that time.

                                A clinic with my favorite dressage trainer, who comes to this area a few times a year, is $120, for a 45 minute lesson and the chance to audit the rest of the day. Expensive, YES, but so worth it to me because I ALWAYS learn so much and always make progress.

                                I figure since I'm not able to take weekly lessons, an average of $40-$60 a week, I'm actually within budget, and if I treat the schooling show as a lesson, the cost of the schooling show seems within reason. I don't do schooling shows "just for fun". It's not worth it to me. I take them as seriously as a lesson or any other training/ learning opportunity. I expect to learn, and am excited to go in there and do my best and get feedback.
                                But it's up to you to decide if it's worh it.

                                I have learned that it helps to ask myself the question, "Will this make me a better rider?".
                                Those fancy breeches? Easy to say no. The opportunity to ride in a show? For me, the answer is yes, IF I have time to prepare, and know who the judge is. If I feel the experience will help me learn and improve.

                                Good luck!
                                What's the scoop?


                                • #17
                                  have learned that it helps to ask myself the question, "Will this make me a better rider?".
                                  Those fancy breeches? Easy to say no. The opportunity to ride in a show? For me, the answer is yes, IF I have time to prepare, and know who the judge is. If I feel the experience will help me learn and improve.
                                  Very well put.

                                  The past 2 years I have put my money into lessons. A lesson, at 5 hours one way with the trailer, is very very dear these days. Sometimes a show is actually cheaper.

                                  BUT, you still need mileage.

                                  The stall fee, IMO is really high, and I agree with atr that it sounds like the host really doesn't want to rent stalls.

                                  The other fees... are things I'm not used to, but do seem excessive too.

                                  I have a stallion, so he lives on the trailer. It is his box stall on wheels. He's never had an issue with it. Sometimes other competitors have... thinking it's cruel... he's 14.3 and it's a 8x10 box stall... at any rate... It does save the stall fee.

                                  We never had stalls at one day shows growing up, so working off the trailer has always been 'normal' for me. The only difference is with the stallion, he is ON the trailer. Since doing that with him, I do it with everyone. They are relaxed, safe, hydrated and their belly stays full.

                                  I think that schooling shows *should* be for us mere mortals who work 2 and 3 and 4 jobs to pay for our luxury horses. I know that rates shows are $$$$ and that's why for right now I know they are not within reach. But it's a shame that a schooling show is that steep.
                                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                                  • #18
                                    Our chapter schooling shows charge 25 for member and 30 non-member per class, which I don't think is bad. They have nice barns and judges.

                                    The barn I board at though just had a "schooling show" for the barn, and they charged 35 a class and 60 for a combined test. Hello???? A little steep -I think so.
                                    For all you ribbon ho's out there, they didn't even give away rosette ribbons, just the county fair ones.....


                                    • #19
                                      Those charges don't sound unreasonable. For me the value in a schooling show is the quality of the judge. If a recognized judge, I'm willing to pay more than for an L, and for an unknown, I don't go.
                                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                                      • #20
                                        Our tiny club's fall schooling show fees were:

                                        Combined Tests Member CDCTA-$45 Non-Member-$55
                                        Dressage Test (each) Member CDCTA-$20 Non-Member-$25
                                        Hunter Divisions (each) Member CDCTA-$30 Non-Member-$35
                                        Hunter Class (each) Member CDCTA-$ 8 Non-Member-$10
                                        Office/Grounds Fee: $10 per entry.
                                        Late fee for entries received after closing date: $25

                                        There were no stalls available, and we filled the show, actually it was a 2 day schooling show and we had pretty good turnout.

                                        So perhaps the stall fee is high, but are they providing bedding and do they expect you to strip the stall afterwards?