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How important is competition?

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  • How important is competition?

    How important is the competitive aspect of riding for you compared to just the riding itself?

    If the world somehow changed and competitions no longer existed, do you think you could be just as happy riding for the sake of riding itself?

  • #2

    This is me now. I showed for many years as a child/teenager.

    When I got back riding consistently after time off to travel/school, I found that I just didn't really care about showing. I foxhunt mostly now and will do a schooling show if I have a greenie that needs the mileage, but other than that?

    Yeah, I can do without it.
    Friend of bar.ka!
    Originally posted by MHM
    GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
    "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."


    • #3
      Hmmm... I would have to say Yes, I would still be happy as riding is my best stress relief.
      I am the person who would buy 'horse scent' by the gallon if it were made, I just love the smells, everything about it. It is my happy place

      But taking competitions away would sadden me. I thrive for showing my horse off... (I know that sounds bad). But it is her time to shine and regardless if I get a ribbon it feels great to remember, "I taught her all this and look at her now..."


      • #4
        definitely. I love riding no matter what.


        • #5

          As long as I can ride, I'm okay. More and more the labor intensity of showing is getting to me....I showed through week 6 at WEF and since then have kind of run out of gas....but still ride and work on my horse every day. I am older and wonder if maybe I am finally "over it"? I will still love riding without showing.
          "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt


          • #6
            Even if I couldn't ride, as long as I could be around horses I'd be happy I do love showing, but it's not the reason why I ride.
            I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
            Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
            Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


            • #7
              Yes definitely! I have a strong drive for competition (at this time in my life and particularly because it ties in with my career goals) but I also LOVE just riding for the sake of riding. Riding in general is just so therapeutic... I would not be prepared to give that up, as expensive as my therapists are
              ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
              ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


              • #8
                Horses are and always will be part of my life. I have been out of the show ring for many years, hoping to start up again when the stars align but I am still out there 4-5 days a week, riding 1-3 horses a day. I do all the horse care myself (I have 4) and have had a horse with me all the time except my first year of law school. I was so depressed without my horses to keep me on track. Since then I haven't shown but have kept a horse.

                No day is so bad that a ride on a horse can't set it right.

                So no, I don't need to show. But I would like to show again. I love to compete. I have big plans for my 2 year old -- 2014, watch out!


                • #9
                  If I could no longer show but could still continue to ride/own nice horses, jump bigger courses, lesson under a knowledgeable trainer, and continue to be educated, then I would absolutely continue to ride, because THAT is what I love doing. Shows for me are just a way to show myself and my horses off, and to get away from the day to day gist of things.
                  However if it came down to plodding around on a little horse/pony that couldn't jump more than 2' or not riding, I'd probably pick not riding. I ride to challenge myself, and I don't think doing something I moved past when I was 6 would really do it for me.

                  I don't think I'd ever not have at least one horse though, even if it was just a "pasture pet." I couldn't go without having that type of connection in my life.
                  "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
                  Blog | YouTube


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AlyssaSpellman View Post
                    If I could no longer show but could still continue to ride/own nice horses, jump bigger courses, lesson under a knowledgeable trainer, and continue to be educated, then I would absolutely continue to ride, because THAT is what I love doing. Shows for me are just a way to show myself and my horses off, and to get away from the day to day gist of things.
                    However if it came down to plodding around on a little horse/pony that couldn't jump more than 2' or not riding, I'd probably pick not riding. I ride to challenge myself, and I don't think doing something I moved past when I was 6 would really do it for me.

                    I don't think I'd ever not have at least one horse though, even if it was just a "pasture pet." I couldn't go without having that type of connection in my life.
                    Couldn't have said it better myself!
                    Originally posted by EquineImagined
                    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


                    • #11
                      There was a time in my life when I really wanted to show a lot. I put that down to a deprived childhood A few years ago I indulged the (fleeting) urge to do a lot of showing, qualify for some year end indoor finals, and see if I could play in that company. I enjoyed it, but I am not sure I have any inclination to do it again.

                      These days? Meh. I enjoy showing once in a while because I have a nice horse and it's fun to go to a well run show, ride in a big ring, and jump somebody else's jumps. It's as much a social event as anything else. If it went away I wouldn't really care.
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                      • #12
                        A couple times a year it is fun to get dressed up in horse show clothes (thought I complain if it is hot, cold, raining or windy) and have an extra well turned out horse jump a course of pretty fences. As long as I stay on and don't embarass myself, I am pleased.

                        That said, if I could ride and continue to learn like someone else said, I would keep at it without ever showing again.
                        The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)


                        • #13
                          I have gone many years at a time without showing but I love to do it. Showing keeps me focused.

                          I like competition of any sort so I am not sure it is the horse part of showing that makes the big difference. I will have fun and try to beat you at a watermelon seed spitting contest.


                          • #14
                            Yes, I would absolutely ride even if there were no shows. I would miss them, because I do love to show, but horses are more than just horse shows for me. I love progressing in my riding and helping horses progress as well, and that doesn't have to involve horse shows.


                            • #15
                              Keeps me motivated but no, definitely would still ride no matter what and feel thankful each and every time I can right now! Truly thankful.


                              • #16
                                Showing is a bonus!


                                • #17
                                  I don't compete (haven't except one or two shows since high school), and don't miss it very much. I really loved the environment at my schooling barn shows in high school- that was a lot of fun and just the right amount of pressure v relaxed atmosphere. I also really liked going to away shows with the OTTB because while the other barn horses were freaking out over the new scenery, he was cool as a cucumber- completely a product of his time at the track. It was nice having a horse that took it in stride.

                                  I could show now, but work constraints may prohibit it... And that's alright.

                                  I get more out of a really eye opening lesson than I do from a nice trip through a show ring. A clinic or several would be AWESOME though. Even auditing one again- we as a barn went to a George Morris clinic last fall and I'm STILL benefitting from it.

                                  Whenever I feel like id like the dressing up, showmanship part of horse shows, i just take extra long on my turnout for a hack or a lesson. It doesn't bother me that myself, a boarder or two, and my trainer will be the only people to see the horse all bathed, mane pulled, sock scrubbed white, coordinating saddle pad to my outfit....... :-)


                                  • #18
                                    Yes. I find the daily rides much more important than showing. I use to love showing - life happens and it no longer is a priority. To me the journey is much more important than the destination.


                                    • #19
                                      Well, I don't show NOW. So obviously it's not that critical.

                                      However, I don't bother with lessons and I don't ride on a set schedule or anything like that. If I were competing, I'd put a lot more effort into it.
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                                      • #20
                                        I think showing helps me more with goal-setting and working towards being able to do something specific, like a course at a height, or a specific dressage test. I'd probably make, and accomplish, fewer of those goals if there wasn't something to work towards to "test" them, as a show does. Plus, I'll be shallow and admit that I think my girl is gorgeous all spiffed up, braided, and ready to show. She's a lovely horse to SHOW off!

                                        That said, I don't ride to show. I love riding, and I love my horse, and if someone told me tomorrow I couldn't ever do more than mosey around fields at a walk? I could make peace with that.
                                        A Year In the Saddle