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IHJA B Circuit Versus NIHJA Shows

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  • IHJA B Circuit Versus NIHJA Shows

    Does anyone have any recent experience riding the IHJA B circuit? My daughter rides NIHJA and there was talk of moving to the B circuit and I'm just trying to understand the differences in terms of attendance, cost, competition level etc. Anyone who has some knowledge as to the differences your input would be helpful!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Hello, I am no expert but have shown or attended both fairly recently. My summary would be that IHJA Bs are a half step up from NIHJA. Not even a full step up from NIHJA, just a half step. NIHJA is slightly more affordable and you get to go to a variety of showgrounds, which can be nice. At a NIHJA show you see generally decent riding, not too many yahoos in the schooling ring and most horses are suited for the job. Most breeds are represented at NIHJA and while there are always a few quirky rides, the horses and riders do a good job. NIHJA is a nice circuit to show on!

    B shows have, in my opinion, an ever so slightly higher quality of horse, turnout, and general polish. When I was there about half of the horses were braided at the B show, more for the derby of course. The horses are a bit more suited for the job and you will see a few more warmbloods, nicer movers, etc at the Bs. Some of them are at the B show to get show miles before going off to be successful at the A shows. If your daughter is getting good ribbons at NIHJA shows, she will do just fine at the Bs. If your daughter rides a horse that is a bit non traditional or if she struggles to get noticed in the ring, that will also happen at the Bs and will be more pronounced because the competition is that half-step better. Thoroughbreds, paints, etc seem to do just fine at the Bs as long as they know their job and do it well.

    In the end both circuits are wonderful and it is so nice to have so many options in our neck of the woods - we even have two great one-day starter circuits for riders/barns who need that. Sometimes everyone needs to mix it up a bit and then swapping circuits for a season or two can happen. Hope that helps! Perhaps another person will chime in with their perceptions. Good luck to you and your daughter!

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    • #3
      There are no drug and medication rules at either circuit. NIHJA riders tend to show in every division they can. B show riders are more knowledgeable, but still over medicate the horses. The A shows have much better protection for the horses. NEither of these circuits are affiliated with the USE or USHJA, they run by their own rules. I haven't been to a B show in years, as I prefer to strive for a higher level, and I ave been to a handful of NIHJA's to go look at horses, and was appalled by what I was watching
      But then, I'm an opinionated old snobby b***h

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      • #4
        The B circuit is the Banned circuit and everyone in Chicagoland knows it. I would ask your trainer why they are going B instead of just going to the A's if they are moving out of NIHJA.

        Ps. B circuit shows rarely fill classes. It's basically the Perfecta farm circuit.
        Power to the People

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sswor View Post
          The B circuit is the Banned circuit and everyone in Chicagoland knows it. I would ask your trainer why they are going B instead of just going to the A's if they are moving out of NIHJA.

          Ps. B circuit shows rarely fill classes. It's basically the Perfecta farm circuit.
          All true!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kirbydog View Post
            There are no drug and medication rules at either circuit. NIHJA riders tend to show in every division they can. B show riders are more knowledgeable, but still over medicate the horses. The A shows have much better protection for the horses. NEither of these circuits are affiliated with the USE or USHJA, they run by their own rules. I haven't been to a B show in years, as I prefer to strive for a higher level, and I ave been to a handful of NIHJA's to go look at horses, and was appalled by what I was watching
            But then, I'm an opinionated old snobby b***h
            From what I've heard from friends still showing in the area, NIHJAs are a hot mess nowadays.
            Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ybiaw View Post

              From what I've heard from friends still showing in the area, NIHJAs are a hot mess nowadays.
              I have a friend who is a judge, that sat for one of those a few years back. I ran into her at a show, and she told me how sad it made her. A horse that I had started, and showed as a pre-green horse was there, and it did as many divisions as the owners could enter it in, from long stirrup, through 3' hunters, to 3' jumpers. And he wasn't the only one.

              It just kills me, because there is so much chatter about how terrible the A shows are, and how awful the BNT's are, and how much better the smaller shows are. There is WAY more drugging and abuse of horses at these unrated shows. Many times the abuse is simply sheer ignorance, but abuse nonetheless

              I watched an undersaddle at a NIHJA, and I'd call roughly half the class lame. They didn't know enough about meds to even try and help these horses, that shouldn't have been showing in the first place. At the B(local level, not National B, very different thing), most of the horses are too lame or too hot to show as A/AA horses, so they are over medicated.

              As someone who has had her horses drug tested many times, I can honestly say that at the bigger shows someone is looking our for the welfare of the animal

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              • #8
                I think this might be a "Your Mileage May Very" situation. I don't show, but I let people at my barn show my horse under the supervision of my trainer and I will attend the show to watch. We do mainly NIHJA shows with an occasional IHJA B show if it works better for our schedule. My horse has shown at Ledges under both and I can't say I noticed a big difference between the two.

                At my barn, we're not showing every weekend, even in the summer. I think the main thing our trainer strives for is to apply what we've learned in lessons in the show environment and see where we have made improvements and what still needs work and work on horsemanship with tending to the horses at the show grounds and the preparation at home (i.e. a good ride is better than what color ribbon you won).

                I have seen some barns that show at A shows that have shown at NIHJA (Red Coat Farms and Bull Run Equestrian Center are two that come to mind).

                We also have some dressage riders at the barn so the NIHJA show at Silverwood was a great opportunity to bring them along because there was usually a dressage show going on at the same time, but that didn't happen this year.

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