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Riding vs showing

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  • Riding vs showing

    Does your barn have rules about how much you need to ride before you are able to go to a show? Or how often your horse needs to work before it is able to show? Or is common sense used?

    I have one boarder who wants to show, but rarely rides between shows. It bothers me as I think it is going to cause her horse to break down...but then I think, it is not my horse, and she isn't jumping at these shows (other than maybe hunter hack) so perhaps I am over reacting.

    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    I would say that it depends on the situation.
    While my trainer does not require it, she encourages everyone to ride at least 4 days a week if you want to show and take one lesson.
    I always ride 5-7 days a week.
    Personally I feel the more time spent in the saddle, the better rider you become. But not everyone can make the time to ride often during the week with work or other responsibilities. So as long the horse and rider are not an absolute train wreck while showing, I say let them be. Especially if they are not jumping.


    • #3
      Is the horse getting ridden by someone else when the owner isn't riding?

      If the horse is still getting worked, it's probably not a huge deal. If the horse is standing around six days a week and then the owner wants to show, that's more of a concern.

      What kind of classes does she show in? I saw you mentioned she doesn't jump. If she's just doing some flat classes it may not be a big concern. Any flat class I've ever ridden in didn't go for very long.

      If she isn't riding regularly she isn't going to be as prepared as a rider on a regular schedule.

      If she were wanting to jump in a bunch of classes at the show, and the horse wasn't getting worked at all in between, I'd say the trainer should tell her no.


      • #4
        Are you the trainer or the BO?

        If you are the trainer, make your own rules based on what you are comfortable with. If you are the BO, I think then that generally it is best to only interfere with your boarders' riding habits when there is an immediate safety or health issue, or if the level of horsemanship reflects poorly on your barn.


        • #5
          Originally posted by CHT View Post
          I have one boarder who wants to show, but rarely rides between shows. It bothers me as I think it is going to cause her horse to break down...but then I think, it is not my horse, and she isn't jumping at these shows (other than maybe hunter hack) so perhaps I am over reacting.
          What does this horse do when it is not showing? Is it stalled 24/7? Is it turned out daily with enough room to run around with its buddies? Is someone else riding it?

          What is the horse doing AT the show? W/T/C for a couple of classes? Entering everything in sight? Breaking gaits and huffing and puffing and blowing after the classes?

          Personally, I doubt that a horse turned out in a big field and then occasionally ridden in 1-3 W/T/C classes is going to have any "breakdown" issues. If the rider is pushing the horse well beyond its fitness level, that's a different story.

          Also, if you're the trainer and you simply don't want this person showing with no practice and making you look bad as a trainer, that's okay too - time to set some rules about rides before shows.

          If you're just the BO, I don't think there's much you can do.


          • #6
            Originally posted by CHT View Post
            I have one boarder who wants to show, but rarely rides between shows. It bothers me as I think it is going to cause her horse to break down...but then I think, it is not my horse, and she isn't jumping at these shows (other than maybe hunter hack) so perhaps I am over reacting.

            What do you mean by break down? If the horse is going to go lame from doing a few flat classes thats not just being out of shape, there must be some pre-existing condition. Or do you mean a mental breakdown because other than showing he sits in a stall six days a week?


            • Original Poster

              Horse is on outside board with two other mares. Not ridden other than by owner. Horse is overweight/unfit. Shows are the kind you pay to play all day...so not 1-3 classes...more like 5-9 classes including gymkhana.

              I am BO and trainer/coach.

              I think my issue are

              1) I don't I want my barn/program represented by an unfit horse that really isn't part of my program, and when a horse leaves my barn to show, I feel it is representing me.

              2) I am not interested in boarding for people that lack empathy and compassion for their horse and just use it like it is a bicycle to be pulled out of the pen when needed.

              Which I think has lead me to realize that it is time to ask her to find a more suitable home for her horse. I will call her mom this week to discuss. I hate conversations like this.

              (this is the same kid who is often late or a no show for lessons).
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


              • #8
                It's too bad--but it sounds like if she moves, you might get rid of a headache. Hopefully you will find a new boarder who is a better fit at your barn. Good luck!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by T-storm chick View Post
                  It's too bad--but it sounds like if she moves, you might get rid of a headache. Hopefully you will find a new boarder who is a better fit at your barn. Good luck!
                  This. Good luck with the phone call!


                  • #10
                    I think it completely depends on the situation.

                    We have one client who only has time to ride on the weekends as she works an incredible number of hours during the week. She has two horses and lessons them both each day. So even though she is only at the barn two days, she rides 4 times a week and takes 4 lessons a week which is actually more lessons than most folks at the barn take with just one or two mounts! Her horses are also in full training, so they are ridden 3-4 days a week by a professional. They are kept in great shape and ready to rock-and-roll for her on the weekends and for horse shows.

                    However, if this person you mention, OP, is just riding a time or two a week and wanting to show and their horse is not otherwise kept fit during the week, I would not be comfortable sending them to a horse show, for the horse's sake and for their own as well. But that's JMHO.
                    Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.