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Do Dressage Folks do Show Set Ups?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
    For what reason ?
    Does it make your horse perform any better ?
    Pocket Trainer. Paging Pocket Trainer!

    I haven't shown dressage in a while, but people certainly had setups when I did and I know from looking at their photos on FB that the trainer I showed with still does. My advice to the OP would be to go to a few multi-day dressage shows and talk to people. There's one at Showpark(?) this weekend, then LAEC soon (check the Cornerstone website), Del Mar and Flintridge next month, etc. Here's the calendar from the CDS website: http://www.california-dressage.org/html/calendar.htm

    There isn't nearly as much standing around because you know exactly when you're going to ride. You warm up, go in, do your ride, and go back to the barn. Some horses only do one ride. Even if you do two, it seems that they often schedule it so you have time to go back to the barn between rides. It makes for a much quieter scene in the warmup area and by the back gate.
    The Evil Chem Prof

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    • Original Poster

      #42
      FWIW I used to be a rep with a vendor that had an awning and display from this very same company I work for now. It was fairly easy to set up and I did it by myself 99% of the time. Stapling up drapes between the stalls isn't that hard either. Having a groom or someone to help is great but not necessary. I fit the entire set up in the back of my little SUV (along with my bike and my own riding gear and saddle) so no huge hauler needed.
      Katie

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      • Original Poster

        #43
        [QUOTE=joiedevie99;6878802]Shows are plenty social without $50,000 worth of custom crap, [/QUOTE
        I promise it doesn't cost anywhere near this (unless you want it to).
        Katie

        Comment


        • #44
          Brilliant Peggy,

          Pocket Trainer indeed

          Here is the thing about basically knowing your ride time; what do you do with the rest of your day? Personally, I like to be on the grounds and hanging, even before and after my rides. To me that makes a set up appealing. Shorter shows make the effort and expense involved a tradeoff worth considering. But I think that structured timing of dressage shows make setting up more appealing, not less. So the challenge for market appeal is to develop a package that is simply to transport/install and not too expensive. If you are marketing to trainers, rather than individual clients, maybe a lease-to-own option would be a good idea.

          When I win the lotto OP, I'll buy a bunch of stuff from you (right after I buy Totilas, a bunch of nice mares and hire Edward Gal).

          Everyone will be invited to my partay
          See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

          Comment


          • #45
            Interesting point nhwr. Knowing your ride times and only having two rides per horse at most for the most part decreases the amount of time you spend at the ring, thereby increasing the amount of time you spend back at the barn. No need for endless trips to from the barn to the back gate to ask "so now what's your ETA for the AAs?" either.

            For whatever reason at a HJ show I spend more time at the ring and less back at the barn. Is it just because I'm waiting around, either to ride myself or for someone else to do the same or because what's happening at the ring is more interesting.
            The Evil Chem Prof

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by Applecore View Post
              But I think it's going to be an uphill battle getting dressage people to bring potted plants or get an extra stall for 'hanging out'.
              Ya considering that the very friendly and lovely dressage riders I was stabled next to last year at the Oaks (The dressage show ran concurrent with the H/J show, it was really cool actually) couldn't even manage to bring what I deemed a proper wheel barrow (they used one of those bucket on wheels to much six stalls!) I imagine a full set up may be an up hill battle, although I actually think they did have curtains.

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              • #47
                For what reason ?
                Does it make your horse perform any better ?

                Yes!! PM me and I'll give you a quote.


                You don't see it to the degree you do in the hunters...mainly because unlike the hunters most dressage people in my area do all the heavy lifting themselves. We have to unload all the stuff then load it back up.
                Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                  We bring a folding table and chairs and my trainer's banner. We set out a food spread and drinks on the table, and in a cooler.

                  As far as horse clothes, we do bring coolers for after baths, but horses don't stand around so we don't go crazy with show scrims, etc.
                  Ditto... and my barn is extremely social. We're at shows to perform, and we are very comfortable with our folding table, folding chairs, and banner that is inevitably covered with ribbons by the end None of us (trainer included) are super-rich and we blow all of our money on instruction, training, and horse care. If people want to come visit and hang out with us (and we do get a good number of family members and friends), that is great, but we're not focused on their comfort.

                  ETA: I have nothing against the folks with curtains, etc... but I think my barn is more the norm in the dressage world, which is why you don't see many elaborate set ups.
                  "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
                  but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

                  Trolls be trollin'! -DH

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Maybe it's because we tend to have more shows in "better" weather, perhaps it's the facilities we have, or that any one of us can go on another weekend to the same facilities and see the h/j, AQHA, Arab etc set ups; but I have seen some basic to more elaborate set ups by the dressage barns in this area as routine. I tend to show off my trailer regardless of who I ride with (so no set up for me) but I know it tends to be a "big" deal to some with the barns around here to have a set up and be able to stand out and have the "crowd" at your pop up. As one who has ridden with a couple of these barns it is nice to have a quiet, shady area to sit, eat, drink and just talk, sometimes about things having nothing to do with horses. I know many do get tack stalls and put up curtains. The set ups were definitely simpler/bare bones in other regions I've ridden/lived in. Also Having been one who on several occasions has helped with set up, it doesn't really take all that long if you have a few people willing to help. I don't have the money for such things and ride/show on a strict budget but I know the vast majority of people I show with and against do and make it a point to "belong"....the set ups are all part of the "party". The best part of those "parties" is the food and drink. I think they're nice if you can do it. I'm just realistic enough to know I never could but that doesn't mean there isn't a market for it. Heck if the people around here can afford the show fees to use a facility with air conditioning, then they can afford the whole show set up.....the rest of us will be frequenting the shows at the facilities with more affordable rates and our set ups will be the bare bones type - the portable picnic table, trailer awning or pop up and a banner (all in barn colors). I think the OP just needs to determine not only who her market is but if she'll be able to offer "grades" in set ups. If so, there may be more demand out there then is professed here.
                    Ranch of Last Resort

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I look at it as advertising. Trainers are there to show their and their clients' horses, and having a set up where people can easily find you makes it easier to meet prospective clients. I have been at shows where I wanted to talk to a trainer afterwards about a horse for sale or whatever, and they are much more approachable under an awning, lounging in a director's chair with an iced tea. It's also a nice perk for your clients who want to show.
                      A helmet saved my life.

                      2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                        I look at it as advertising. Trainers are there to show their and their clients' horses, and having a set up where people can easily find you makes it easier to meet prospective clients.
                        This exactly. Most of my clients want to establish a "look" or a brand with their set -up and they feel like the way their barn looks is reflective of who they are. A beautiful area for clients to sit and relax represents a level of service that a trainer provides to his or her customers. Barn colors, a logo and matching trunks, blankets, etc. gets a trainer's name out there and also gives the impression that those who ride with this barn are serious competitors. It's all about marketing.

                        I have to say, it's been a REALLY fun job so far! I love working with clients to design a beautiful and functional outdoor space. I think if a couple of trainers decided to start doing it, everyone would see how nice it is! It certainly does not have to be complicated, hard to put together, or even expensive.

                        I want to thank you guys for your thoughtful comments and input, it's really helpful and I do want to better understand they way dressage riders view this business.
                        Katie

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by HJStyleReport View Post
                          Ok another question- in HJ there is a lot of standing ringside, so people love wool dress sheets and scrim sheets. Do dressage barns use these types of blankets? I'm asking because we also have a blanket line but I would like to know more about how non- HJ people would use them.
                          I came from H/J land too, and took those traditions with me I do a set up -- not as extensive as H/J though -- banner, stall curtains, matching directors chairs, wood trunks, brass "travel" name plates (on wood with brass chain), and custom horse clothes (wool dress, scrims, coolers, etc). I love the look, and I enjoy having my things coordinated.
                          Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
                          http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
                          https://www.facebook.com/PiaffeGirl

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by HJStyleReport View Post
                            This exactly. Most of my clients want to establish a "look" or a brand with their set -up and they feel like the way their barn looks is reflective of who they are. A beautiful area for clients to sit and relax represents a level of service that a trainer provides to his or her customers. Barn colors, a logo and matching trunks, blankets, etc. gets a trainer's name out there and also gives the impression that those who ride with this barn are serious competitors. It's all about marketing.

                            I have to say, it's been a REALLY fun job so far! I love working with clients to design a beautiful and functional outdoor space. I think if a couple of trainers decided to start doing it, everyone would see how nice it is! It certainly does not have to be complicated, hard to put together, or even expensive.

                            I want to thank you guys for your thoughtful comments and input, it's really helpful and I do want to better understand they way dressage riders view this business.
                            I think of it as a business decision. It's a tough market, and if I'm going to ask X amount for a horse, (s)he should look like (s)he's more than worth every single penny.
                            Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
                            http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
                            https://www.facebook.com/PiaffeGirl

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Call me shallow, but I would neither chose a trainer nor buy a horse based on their stall trimmings.
                              ... _. ._ .._. .._

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                Call me shallow, but I would neither chose a trainer nor buy a horse based on their stall trimmings.
                                I don't think anyone would pick a trainer solely on those things but I think it does say something about the trainer who also has horses and riders who are going correctly and getting good scores. To me it says they take pride in their business and their clients, just like any other business we might frequent. This holds true at shows and at a trainer's facility as well. I'll use my trainer as an example. When you drive up to my trainer's barn you will find that the landscaping is neat and clean. The grass is always cut,the hedges are trimmed, the outdoor arena is dragged daily, and the fences are clean and in good repair. The fields are mud-free, grassy, and picked out. Inside of the barn it is very clean, organized, nicely decorated, and kept in beautiful condition. The stalls are bright, deeply bedded, and the horses always have hay in front of them if they are inside. There are comfortable places to sit and watch riders in the indoor and there is coffee and tea for guests and boarders. All of this says nothing about her skill as a trainer (she is top notch, fwiw) but it says A TON about how much pride she takes in her business, how she cares for the horses in her charge, and how much she values the clients that are paying her bills. Of course the environment wouldn't mean much if she couldn't back it up with correct and knowledgeable training, but add that to her amazing skill as a rider and teacher and you have an extremely professional presentation that impresses potential clients and makes current clients very happy.

                                Professional presentation backed up by skill and substance are the two most important keys to success in every business and that is/should be no different in the horse world. Being skilled at what you do is not an excuse to be lazy when it comes to how you present yourself.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                  Call me shallow, but I would neither chose a trainer nor buy a horse based on their stall trimmings.
                                  ??? Who says that?

                                  And it is not because a trainer has a nice set up that s/he is incompetent either and only have badly trained overpriced horses...

                                  Would you pay 100k for a dirty horse in a backyard barn from a nobody?

                                  The first impression is important, that you like it or not.

                                  What is your problem with trainers having nice set up for their clients?

                                  People that have money, who are succesfull and look pretty aren't all fools, idiots and bad riders/teachers with badly trained horses.

                                  No one is forcing you to buy anything...get over it.
                                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                  HORSING mobile training app

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                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by HJStyleReport View Post
                                    I've never been to an upper level dressage show and was wondering if you all do the elaborate set ups that the hunter/jumper folks do?
                                    Just a thought after reading this thread.

                                    Would it be possible to rent a stall (or however many you think necessary) at a show with your target Dressage demographic and make a small set up of your own as a demo? You could determine the level of set up that wouldn't be too foreign or too far a leap, just kick it up one notch. Have pictures and material available of your other, more elaborate products for anyone who is interested.

                                    You could make your set up in the style of a "hospitality tent" and offer drinks/snacks, playing up the idea that barns themselves might be able to enjoy a show this way if they took to your set ups. You could even try working out a sponsorship with the show that would allow you to be promoted as providing say, morning coffee on Saturday between the hours of * and *. You'd probably get great traffic!

                                    Good luck with your research into the Dressage side of things.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                                      ?

                                      Would you pay 100k for a dirty horse in a backyard barn from a nobody?

                                      The first impression is important, that you like it or not.
                                      I think that's very true. There are many, many nice horses on the market, and I think it's important to treat your buyers and clients exceptionally well; after all, they're investing in us. I don't care if someone's buying a $100K + imported FEI prospect or a $500 dollar grade pony for their grandchild to learn on: each client should feel equally special. For me -- and I'm not saying anyone else must or should do things this way -- that means a comfortable and elegant set up at home and at shows, with quality, well-fitting, and well-matched equipment. I appreciate the argument that those things don't cause the horse to perform better . . . but they can and do impact the client / buyer experience.
                                      Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
                                      http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
                                      https://www.facebook.com/PiaffeGirl

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Well, goodness.

                                        I am an amateur that goes to shows a LOT without my trainer.

                                        I own my own stall drapes.

                                        I own my own color matched chairs.

                                        I have stall racks to hang up clothes, hats, bridles, saddles.

                                        And my own tack stall mats so everything doesn't get covered with dust and dirt.

                                        I spend the extra 20 minutes to set up my tack stall so I have a nice area to change clothes, store my stuff, hide out in if it rains, etc.

                                        It has to do with making it a little more comfortable to be at the show. And if I want to invite my friends in for a drink or two, I can.

                                        Does it help me get better scores? Probably not. But why not

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          ^^^^

                                          Exactly.

                                          I'm not a professional. When I go to a show, primarily I go for ... well, fun. Being relaxed.comfortable and among friends or people with common interests is fun for me.
                                          The scores are secondary, important yes but still secondary.

                                          For the professional, it is different. They are there to be successful with/for their clients and to present their program or horses to prospective clients. To me, a pleasant, smoothly functioning set up is one demonstration of success.

                                          I know enough about horse flesh to see beyond the bells and whistles when shopping. But that doesn't mean I dislike a melody.
                                          See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

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