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Do Dressage Folks do Show Set Ups?

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  • #81
    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
    While perhaps the "envy" argument may apply to some, it does not apply to me.

    I have my own personal horse who is leagues further along in his training than my training horses. Some of my customers regardless of financial status have green horses that will be very fancy one day and others have horses that will never be super fancy but benefit from good training all the same. Regardless, my own personal horse is the fanciest thing I've got going right now, so it is not like I am riding other people's very green horses because this is my ticket to a fancy ride. I already have a fancy ride.

    I used to teach for twice the money I teach now, but I keep my rates absolutely cut rate because many of my customers (and their horses) simply would not have access to quality training otherwise. I have a day job which affords my bills, and my own very fancy horse, so I actually do not NEED to ride other people's baby green squirrels at 6am before work or teach in fifteen degrees for half the rate I charged downstate; I do it because I like making high quality training and instruction available to people who could otherwise not afford it, or people who could afford other trainers but like how I do what I do.

    I have certainly been in my share of barns where the pressure from the trainer (and other customers) to buy matchy matchy everything and in the most expensive possible version of the item was intense. Some of my customers came from programs previously where a credit card was on file with the trainer and blankets/coolers/etc. would be purchased as the trainer deemed fit. My rates are a pittance comparatively and if they wanted to go train with people with stall drapes and $3,000 a month in fees they could.

    I know that my other customers, who scrimp to afford even my cut-rate fees, appreciate that I keep that kind of extra fluff out of my program for the good of everyone's wallet. They do not need to hear (from their trainer who drives a Benz to the barn, rides a five digit warmblood, and chooses between 3 saddles cumulatively worth $8,000, $2,000 in bridles, the $850 'fancy' journeymans, the $400'plain' journeymans, three Charles Owens, the custom Vogel field boots or the Konig dress boots when getting dressed to ride in the morning, and thus is not ENVIOUS of other people's nice things, but rather can GET IT how prohibitive those expenses would be for many) that an $800 Oakcroft tack trunk is an "asset" when their board bill is $250 a month and the Stanley trunk they already have has been serving them faithfully for years already, or that, when their board bill is $250 a month and tacking on a $70 "set up" fee is 1/3 of their board bill again for no reason it is not *that* expensive and don't we want to have some place "nice" to sit.

    But envy?
    Nope. I can afford it. I just think it's completely unnecessary, and snobbishly prohibitive to those who can't.
    One green thumbs up is not enough.

    BTW, my tack trunk is a big Igloo cooler.....

    I won a cooler in last Year's COTH sweepstakes and I said "Oh neat, I won a cooler" to which Mr P replied "Don't you have enough of those already?"
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    • #82
      Originally posted by mvp View Post
      A reality check:

      Trainer decides whether or not to get a tack stall. Not gouging clients, but clients also have relatively little input on this decision.

      There is a difference between the kind of stuff the OP's company is selling-- trunks, drapes and such-- and the whole nine yards with sod and ficus trees.

      Dressagers already spend plenty of money on fashion and bling. What differences does it make whether that goes into brow bands and the IT saddle or show equipment?

      One person can do her own show set up. Been there, done that myself.

      The best custom thing I designed and bought evah was the hanging halterboard that doubled as a saddle rack. That and a medium trunk will fit outside my one stall and keep things need as well as stuff off the ground.

      Easy to work from, too. That's most important since I'm the groom as well as the rider. If you do bring a saddle stand and, say, a grooming box to your stall as most dressagers currently do, it will look messy but also be harder to work from.

      I have done it both ways. I have paid for all of the show equipment (just once), and it really does work better if you designed your show set up intelligently.

      Last, I don't think good barn set up and time spent getting a good performance from your horse are mutually exclusive. IME, the folks who bring thoroughness to one part of their horse life bring it to the others as well.
      LOVE the idea of a halter board / saddle rack combo. You must share

      Meanwhile, although clearly not everyone agrees, I definitely think the setup you describe makes a difference in "ease of use" at shows. I noticed quite a few people who only had their portable saddle racks and grooming boxes at my inaugural dressage show and frankly I was a little surprised at how little care was paid to keeping that expensive tack organized - saddles sitting on top of grooming boxes is not my thing at all. I *really* missed having my nice show trunk there, organized so I had everything at hand.
      **********
      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
      -PaulaEdwina

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      • #83
        Wow, I can see that envy has nothing to do with it, lol.
        And I had no idea that dressage training was considered charitable work. Are you a 501-C3?

        Most people I know are strong and responsible enough to resist peer pressure after adolescence. Offering hospitality is a good thing where I come from, not a vice. It doesn't jeopardize caring for horses. Usually the more time I spend around them, the better care they receive.

        Of course, your mileage may vary.

        I'd love to see a picture of halter board/saddle rack

        nhwrofftoaddcilicestopostlottopartypreplist
        Last edited by nhwr; Mar. 11, 2013, 02:55 PM.
        See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

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        • #84
          You folks that are so anti presentation are making me smile. Over 40 years ago I attended my first fair as a 4-h member. The barn had all tie in stalls, we were judged on the "presentation" of our assigned aisle. My club was pretty much poor farm kids so we never won, but we did the best we could by keeping the aisle and stalls clean, our tack was clean and positioned on trunks at each stahl and our club name and colors were on a banner overhead.

          Even then horsemen knew the value of appearances.
          Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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          • #85
            Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
            LOVE the idea of a halter board / saddle rack combo. You must share

            Meanwhile, although clearly not everyone agrees, I definitely think the setup you describe makes a difference in "ease of use" at shows. I noticed quite a few people who only had their portable saddle racks and grooming boxes at my inaugural dressage show and frankly I was a little surprised at how little care was paid to keeping that expensive tack organized - saddles sitting on top of grooming boxes is not my thing at all. I *really* missed having my nice show trunk there, organized so I had everything at hand.
            Originally posted by nhwr View Post
            Wow, I can see that envy has nothing to do with it, lol.
            And I had know idea that dressage training was considered charitable work. Are you a 501-C3?

            Most people I know are strong and responsible enough to resist peer pressure after adolescence. Offering hospitality is a good thing where I come from, not a vice. It doesn't jeopardize caring for horses. Usually the more time I spend around them, the better care they receive.

            Of course, your mileage may vary.

            I'd love to see a picture of halter board/saddle rack

            nhwrofftoaddcilicestopostlottopartypreplist
            I really think some people need to read for comprehension.

            Just because certain people find awnings, drapes and "display" tackrooms in addition to the actual tack stall (or just keeping stuff in locked trunks on the aisle) completely unnecessary does not mean they leave their sh*t laying all around. I was unaware you needed to wrap your saddle in a stall drape before putting it away in locked, plastic, and easily transportable trunk (which is itself locked to something via bicycle chain).

            Personally, over my dead body would my or any of my customers' saddles be left out on a fancy hanging saddle rack for the viewing (and taking) rather than locked away in a trunk that is itself locked to the stall. Bridles are not left hanging decoratively on mahogany bridle racks, they are locked away. In no way shape or form would I leave my own or my customer's tack prettily displayed in even a locked tack stall, since it is easy enough for a thief to climb over and toss equipment over the top to an accomplice. I can never believe it when I walk through for night check and see thousands of dollars of saddles on vertical hanging racks and a few more thousand dollars in bridles on nice bridle racks, in a temp-stall with a locked chain around the door... and the only thing between the world and them is an easily scalable temp-stall wall. The only piece of equipment that is not in a locked trunk in my program is each horse's halter and lead rope, which are clipped to a neat loop of baling twine on the stall via the lead snap.

            And no, I am not a 501(c)(3), although I do represent not-for-profit organizations for a living. I charge my horse clients for my services. The fact that I do not see the need to incur extra expenses on their behalf for extra "display" tack rooms and stall drapes and fancy unsecured "display" racks when they can lock their stuff away just fine without all that fuss does not mean that there is no hospitality. It means I get their budget constraints and don't spend their money unnecessarily any more than I would my own, and also don't leave their sh*t out on display for other people to steal.

            I can't even imagine meeting another trainer at a show without bringing my own lockable trunk, especially if their plan is to have half the tack out on "display" racks during the day. If someone was like, "Our groom is just going to leave your saddle on this hanging mahogany rack in the grooming stall, no worries!" I would be like, "OH HAYULL NO."

            My and my customers' things get locked in trunks which are themselves locked to a stall grill or barn/tent support beam. It is not for display and it is not placed on display.
            Last edited by meupatdoes; Mar. 11, 2013, 04:08 PM.
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            • #86
              Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
              LOVE the idea of a halter board / saddle rack combo. You must share

              Meanwhile, although clearly not everyone agrees, I definitely think the setup you describe makes a difference in "ease of use" at shows. I noticed quite a few people who only had their portable saddle racks and grooming boxes at my inaugural dressage show and frankly I was a little surprised at how little care was paid to keeping that expensive tack organized - saddles sitting on top of grooming boxes is not my thing at all. I *really* missed having my nice show trunk there, organized so I had everything at hand.
              Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
              I really think some people need to read for comprehension.

              Just because certain people find awnings, drapes and "display" tackrooms in addition to the actual tack stall (or just keeping stuff in locked trunks on the aisle) completely unnecessary does not mean they leave their sh*t laying all around. I was unaware you needed to wrap your saddle in a stall drape before putting it away in locked, plastic, and easily transportable trunk.

              (Snip).
              Reading for comprehension is a beautiful thing. For instance, you might note that in my post that you quoted, I referenced the people I saw at a dressage show recently, who used their grooming totes as saddle racks. You might also note that I have never suggested, nor advocate, wrapping a saddle in a stall drape (but it was a funny visual, LOL.)

              Really, I get that you think that doing a set up with drapes et al is a bad idea, but there's no need to get those panties in such a twist. No one is suggesting it's mandatory!
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

              Comment


              • #87
                Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                Reading for comprehension is a beautiful thing. For instance, you might note that in my post that you quoted, I referenced the people I saw at a dressage show recently, who used their grooming totes as saddle racks. You might also note that I have never suggested, nor advocate, wrapping a saddle in a stall drape (but it was a funny visual, LOL.)

                Really, I get that you think that doing a set up with drapes et al is a bad idea, but there's no need to get those panties in such a twist. No one is suggesting it's mandatory!
                Well, maybe you should inquire with mvp if that saddle rack she designed that you are interested in has a lock on it. As far as a thief is concerned, leaving a saddle on a portable saddle rack vs. fancy halter board/saddle rack combo is the same difference. Saddle lifts off unimpeded all the same.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                • #88
                  Personally, I find the exceedingly crowded aisles at some shows annoying and borderline hazardous. I show on a budget, just like the majority of us, but there are times when navigating the barn aisles is difficult for all the chairs, tables, hay bales, etc cluttering the way.

                  I pretty much do the local, licensed shows, where I treat each day as a day show and come from home, or I plan on meeting up with another barn or friends and splitting a tack stall, or if the group is big enough, a shavings/feed/wheelbarrow stall and a tack stall for tack/changing, etc.

                  Sometimes it falls through, and I had one show where I had the entire tack stall to myself as the other people ended up not entering, but it was pleasant enough to make me like it.

                  If I were attempting to show 12x or more a year, I might not be so quick to say I'd add it to my annual budget, but for 2 or 3 shows that I go far enough away to warrant it? I like the comfort. I also don't camp in my trailer these days, I get a hotel room, but do try to find a roommate for those too.

                  I have no curtains (yet) and need more organizational stuff, but every year, I add one more thing to my collection, and each year, showing gets that much more pleasant.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    It's one thing if it becomes a mean-spirited My Topiary Is Bigger Than Your Topiary pissing match, but it is another thing if show set-ups help people who ride with the same trainer feel like part of a team and give friends and family someplace to sit and have a free cookie and enjoy hanging out at the show.

                    It is all in the spirit of how it's done. I'm no more amused by people who look down on show set-ups than I am by people who look down on those who don't have them.

                    To each his own.

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      It's very nice for show moms and dads, as well as competitors to have a nice place to sit down, have a snack, cold drink, and maybe even a meal while chatting away. It takes away a lot of stress. It's also very nice to be able to put on your show clothes and makeup at your own get-ready room instead of lugging everything to bathroom. That is one aspect I miss when I show dressage. When I show dressage, since I have only two horses, I don't do all the curtains and refrigerator and microwave and landscapes and whatnot. But, I insist on having a tack room regardless. I don't understand how some people are willing to run the risk ruining their expensive tack by leaving them on the aisle.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        Oh I am with you there!

                        Originally posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
                        Personally, I find the exceedingly crowded aisles at some shows annoying and borderline hazardous. I show on a budget, just like the majority of us, but there are times when navigating the barn aisles is difficult for all the chairs, tables, hay bales, etc cluttering the way.

                        I pretty much do the local, licensed shows, where I treat each day as a day show and come from home, or I plan on meeting up with another barn or friends and splitting a tack stall, or if the group is big enough, a shavings/feed/wheelbarrow stall and a tack stall for tack/changing, etc.

                        Sometimes it falls through, and I had one show where I had the entire tack stall to myself as the other people ended up not entering, but it was pleasant enough to make me like it.

                        If I were attempting to show 12x or more a year, I might not be so quick to say I'd add it to my annual budget, but for 2 or 3 shows that I go far enough away to warrant it? I like the comfort. I also don't camp in my trailer these days, I get a hotel room, but do try to find a roommate for those too.

                        I have no curtains (yet) and need more organizational stuff, but every year, I add one more thing to my collection, and each year, showing gets that much more pleasant.
                        Certain older show grounds in the VA area, (which shall remain nameless) are just awful with their narrow aisle ways with all the clutter of tables, chairs , tack and grooming stuff. I hate it when I am stabled in those barns and am more than 3 or 4 stalls from an exit or entrance! just getting your horse in and out with all that stuff everywhere is a night mare. In fact we can't show at that showgrounds when we have the stallion because of it.

                        I always get a tack room, and we have a mat, but I have not sprung for curtains or a valence yet, though I probably ought to. It is nice to have somewhere to sit and relax and to keep the tack organised. It might be nicer if it had curtains as well.

                        Since it's just April and myself and mostly my horses I don't have to worry about clients, just us.
                        MW
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                        • #92
                          Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                          When I go to shows by myself I bring my vertical green plastic tack trunk that I bought used which locks and has room for two saddles, bridles, and all equipment and grooming supplies. It has wheels so I wheel it from the trailer to the outside of my horse's stall myself. The hay gets stacked immediately adjacent with the wash bucket plus grain tupperware on top. That plus a collapsible folding chair leaned up somewhere and voila, set up.

                          Same applies when customer's horses go to shows.

                          If too many horses are going for their supplies to be efficiently stored in front of all of their stalls, then collective purchase of a tack stall is considered.

                          Not really seeing how then getting an additional extra tack stall in which to house the "display" tack and "display" trunks and covering all of it in stall drapes ala Christo would add to "thoroughness".
                          I like your system and I think it would work for me.

                          I usually meet trainers at shows, so I have never bought into someone else's color scheme and all. Also, I think one stall's worth of drapes wouldn't look that great or be worth the set-up/tear-down work.

                          That's why I think the OP and others who are open-minded would to well to recognize that there is

                          1) Equipment that looks nice but primarily helps you keep your stuff the way you want-- clean, locked up, within easy reach or whatever. That's not the same as a huge set up with topiary and whatnot.

                          2) Trainers would do well to buy the show trunks (at least) and rent those to clients. Most of the time, trainers would prefer not to work from a messy barn aisle, all things being equal. But they don't want to dictate anything expensive and ridiculous to their clients.

                          IME, dressagers don't know what they are missing. Even small things like hanging a tack hook. I do this so that cleaning my bridle and girth at the end of the day is easy. I watch my barn mates do no tack cleaning while at the show, or they have to get someone else to hold the bridle while they clean it. Don't you think the trainer wouldn't prefer horses to be turned out with clean tack, or blankets being stored neatly if they were bringing someone by to meet a horse they had for sale?
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

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                          • #93
                            One thing that your company could look into making is stall front banners (more square flag than rectangular banner) that hang in front of the horses' stalls, have the trainer's name (or barn name) and have some useful features like a built-in pocket for bridle numbers/last minute stuff and a way to hang halters.

                            I've seen one trainer who has basic banners in front of each stall. It's nice because then you know who the horses are with. It pulls the whole area together without much set-up at all, advertises, and if you could make it useful too you probably could sell a lot.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #94
                              It's been so great to hear everyone's thoughts on this subject! There's so much diversity here but it seems like the majority of you really would consider a simple set-up type situation or a few specific organizational items if they're functional, affordable and unfussy. This is very helpful for me to hear so that I can approach the riders/owners/trainers in my area appropriately.

                              Originally posted by SerenaGinger View Post
                              One thing that your company could look into making is stall front banners (more square flag than rectangular banner) that hang in front of the horses' stalls, have the trainer's name (or barn name) and have some useful features like a built-in pocket for bridle numbers/last minute stuff and a way to hang halters.
                              We do have something similar to this. Not as popular in H/J land but I love the idea!
                              Katie

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                              • Original Poster

                                #95
                                Oh... I had to google "topiary" because it was mentioned several times on this thread and I didn't know what it was
                                Katie

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  Personally, over my dead body would my or any of my customers' saddles be left out on a fancy hanging saddle rack for the viewing (and taking) rather than locked away in a trunk that is itself locked to the stall. Bridles are not left hanging decoratively on mahogany bridle racks, they are locked away. In no way shape or form would I leave my own or my customer's tack prettily displayed in even a locked tack stall, since it is easy enough for a thief to climb over and toss equipment over the top to an accomplice. I can never believe it when I walk through for night check and see thousands of dollars of saddles on vertical hanging racks and a few more thousand dollars in bridles on nice bridle racks, in a temp-stall with a locked chain around the door... and the only thing between the world and them is an easily scalable temp-stall wall. The only piece of equipment that is not in a locked trunk in my program is each horse's halter and lead rope, which are clipped to a neat loop of baling twine on the stall via the lead snap.
                                  Nah, the halter board-cum-saddle rack doesn't hold the saddle just sittin' out there like a sitting duck all night. I bring my saddle back to my locked horse trailer or room at night.

                                  I'll need to set it up and take pictures for you guys.

                                  It's thin, so it can fit next to any stall and over the trunk. You can open the trunk to get stuff you need from there while also having your saddle at hand. If you tried to do the same thing with a trunk and on-the-ground saddle stand, your set up would stick out into the aisle much more.

                                  I was heavily influenced by a H/J trainer who objected to crap around, even trunks left open. A little over the top, but the woman ran a tight ship and I appreciated it.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Something to keep in mind with the breed shows before you knock us for being over the top: We show western/hunt/saddleseat/etc and require changes of clothes/tack, often with very little time. Going to the bathroom isn't always an option, time-wise. Having a changing room/tack room in the stall area keeps everything we need close at hand and saves a HUGE amount of time. It is rooted in practicality for what we do, even though we all love trying to upstage each other.
                                    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                                    Comment


                                    • #98
                                      MyssMyst, what breed? All on one horse? VERSATILITY REIGNS!!!!
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                                      • #99
                                        Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                        Well, as a recent convert from H/J land... I will say that I miss the nice set ups that we always had. It's nice to have a comfortable place to get changed, have some place to relax between rides, chat with friends, and let the DH hang out in some comfort during the show day. Plus, I do think that it presents a nice, professional appearance. Maybe it's just what I'm used to, but I've always enjoyed the social aspect of showing as part of the fun.. I don't find it ostentatious at all.
                                        I agree with this. My trainer has a very modest setup, she puts it all up herself and does not charge her clients anything for it, but its nice to be able to have a place to sit down out of the sun and grab a cold drink from the cooler we take turns filling. Even as a spectator I am exhausted walking back and forth between the stabling and the rings all day, I love knowing we have this small spot where I can get off my feet for a bit. I realize at dressage shows that there is a lot less standing around and waiting though.

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                                        • Originally posted by ccoronios View Post
                                          MyssMyst, what breed? All on one horse? VERSATILITY REIGNS!!!!
                                          I show Arabians. My mare goes from main ring hunter to sport horse show hack to dressage. Gelding shows sport horse under saddle, sport horse in hand, dressage, and will be showing working hunters next year. This fall, I'm looking at buying a saddleseat horse (depending on the horse, factor in some combo of saddleseat, main ring show hack, costume, and side saddle).

                                          Several horses in our barn show in various combos of sport horse, western pleasure, hunter, and dressage. Not at all unusual to have a trainer showing a horse in western turn around and show hunter two classes later, or have a horse show sport horse under saddle in dressage tack, then turn around and show hunter pleasure. A Country English Pleasure horse can go from saddleseat tack to dressage for show hack, then to sidesaddle or costume. Most of our barn's hunter pleasure horses also show dressage. Each barn is a bit different, but tack/clothing swapping with little time is pretty normal for us. And most saddleseat horses in our area also show in show hack, costume, or side saddle.
                                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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