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Going to a show by yourself (without a helper)

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  • Going to a show by yourself (without a helper)

    Looking for feedback on going to a show by yourself without a helper...

    I'm used to showing without a trainer, but usually have another friend or two there also showing, taking pictures, etc to hand me water, wipe my boots, give me advice during the o/f warm-up and concur on how we think a particular line should be ridden.

    I trailer out for lessons or rides in an indoor by myself without a problem. My horse stands on the trailer fine by himself and I have no issues getting him and myself ready for a ride at the trailer.

    I have an upcoming show the "usuals" can't come to - would I be unnecessarily torturing myself if I didn't ask someone else to come along with me as a groom/moral support? I think of things like what if I need to run to the restroom while waiting at the ring... hopping off 100 times to get water for me & my horse if it's hot, things like that.

    How was your experience showing alone?
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

  • #2
    Is this just a one day show or a whole week/weekend? Will you have a stall or just be trailering in for the day? Do you show hunters or jumpers?

    I think you should be fine. The biggest issue you might encounter is needing someone to set warm up jumps for you in the schooling arena. If this is a problem, you could always ask one of the trainers if you can "share" a jump with them while they are warming up their own students.

    Many shows have large water jugs ringside, so you should be okay with water. If not, you can always bring a small soft cooler and leave it by the show arena.

    Have fun!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by HorseLuvr View Post
      Is this just a one day show or a whole week/weekend? Will you have a stall or just be trailering in for the day? Do you show hunters or jumpers?
      Just for the afternoon, no stall, modified adult eq (2-3 o/f classes and a flat).
      "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

      Comment


      • #4
        I used to go to shows by myself all of the time and had no troubles doing so.
        I think that you sound experienced enough to do alone, just by the questions you are asking.
        What I would highly recommend is writing an emergency contact name and number on the entry form just in case, and possibly explaining to the show secretary as well, depending on the size of the show.
        http://www.fouroaksfarmva.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LDavis104 View Post
          Just for the afternoon, no stall, modified adult eq (2-3 o/f classes and a flat).
          I go to shows by myself pretty frequently. I try to get there with enough time to check in, learn my courses, scope out the schooling area, and put my number in. Parking as close as you can to your ring is also a huge help. I also like to bring a step stool and bucket to the ring to use to hop on and off and to fill with water. If no water is nearby, you can set everything up for yourself by the ring before you get your horse out (i.e. water bucket, grooming bucket, etc). The key really is to be early so you don't feel rushed (which I'm not good at). I've also noticed that whatever the level of the show, most people are friendly (especially the parents of kids) and will offer to help when they see that you are alone.

          For schooling jumps, especially at your height, others in your division will likely be jumping the same height and you can catch a jump or two when no one else is going right over it. Or if a trainer is by the jump, just ask if you can hop over it a few times. Good luck!

          It isn't quite as fun as going with other people but it can be done!

          Comment


          • #6
            You'll be just fine. If you anticipate a wait at the gate, pack your grooming kit in a bag, sling it over your shoulder, and lead your horse to the ring with a water bucket in hand. In the warm-up, ask someone if you can borrow "their" jump. Be organized with your own time. Check in at the in-gate as your division gets near, know where you are in the order of go, and plan your activities around your knowledge of when you will be needed at the ring so you don't have to get on and off 100 times for the bathroom.

            It seriously helps if your horse stands quietly on the trailer and ties quietly to the side of it, or ground ties, while you tack up.
            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

            Comment


            • #7
              When you are ready to go, ride up to the ring steward and ask them who's lined up to go, look at the last horse, and tell both the steward and that person that you are next in line. Thank both of them and be friendly. That way if someone comes up there are other people who know you were there first.
              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                I show on my own quite frequently. I bring me, my horse & my dog (for someone to talk to lol)

                My horse is not great at standing unattended, so I try to park the trailer within sight of the ring, and bring a show sheet with me so I can keep track of the classes. It also helps that I am either in the first division of the day or the last. For potty breaks, the trailer is often my friend - unless I have gotten a stall for the weekend.

                I use a golf towel for wiping boots, with a little clip on it. I can clip it to teh d-ring of my saddle, mount, wipe boots and then drop it (or reclip if we are just going to warm up). I strategically place water bottles on fence posts at a reachable height.

                Never had an issue warming up - usually just share what others are warming up over. Once, I did have to go in and do 3'6" after only being able to warm up over 2' but we survived and actually won all those classes.

                The only thing that sucks is if you knock a rail in schooling and no one is kind enough to notice you're on your own and you have to go pick it up yourself.

                I'm not quite friends with show management, but "good acquaintances". The show office knows me very well at 2 of the circuits, as do the in-gate folks. Show office knows who to call in event of emergency (plus its in emergency binder in trailer). In-gate people love me because I am usually the first one ready for the division, but also happy to be flexible and fill gaps in rotations or go when they are held up by trainer conflicts.

                Other trainers have gotten to know me quite well, as have other riders, and I make a point of cheering for everyone I talk to at the end of their trips. That way I have people to cheer for me, too - and I dont look like a loser That's said tongue in cheek, but it does make you some friends to hang out with at shows!

                For awards banquets, they seat me with other "independents". Last year, we've decided we are the Amateur Owner Cooperative and we now want to be stabled together and help each other with all the things you mentioned be worried about.
                CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

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                • #9
                  That way I have people to cheer for me, too - and I dont look like a loser That's said tongue in cheek, but it does make you some friends to hang out with at shows!
                  Funny you say that- for me that is the biggest weird thing to showing without a buddy. I had one great horse show last November where my horse and I won two of the biggest classes of the day and did well in the other two. Good trips. I'm used to at least having a couple people I know at the show and we support each other, so it was flat out bizarre to know my horse had laid it down and not hear anything. It's surprising how you get used to it and don't notice you're used to it until it doesn't happen!
                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks everyone! You've affirmed that it can be done, and given me some great pointers
                    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've showed quite a bit on my own and the only bit that bothers me is not having anyone to share how well (or badly you went). It's kinda disapointing to win a big class and not have anyone to celebrate with.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've done it. I rely on the kindness of strangers to hold my horse if I need to use the litter box. I set up a directors chair with my water and grooming supplies near the in gate. I can hang any ribbons I win on the back of my chair. Works well for me. I am a pro at wiping my boots off whilst on horsies back! Have fun!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OP - have you considered asking a local lesson kid, probably an older teen with some horse experience to be your groom for the day? You offer them a small payment, buy lunch, etc. It might be a fun experience for them if they've never groomed at a show before.

                          ET
                          “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would go on my own on occasion. I would ask one of the "friendly" trainers out there if I could catch some jumps with them. She was great, even offered some words of advice. Otherwise, I hopped off before I went in the ring, wiped my boots, his mouth and in the ring we went.

                            Usually I show with the trainer and groom in tow, but there were a few times in the past few years where I had to make do on my own. Kind of peaceful and non-stressful. I enjoyed it...especially because I have a cooperative horse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have to pee to often to ever show alone! But it sounds like you're very self sufficient and will have no problem. Good luck!
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Just wanted to update those of you who replied... went to yesterday's show completely solo and it was great! No issues at all. Well, besides forgetting the halt in my medal class, but something to work on for the next one

                                Your suggestions were greatly appreciated and put to use.

                                Now I need to figure out a way to bring a full water bucket up to the ring without sloshing it on myself and I'll be golden!
                                "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by TwoDreamRides View Post
                                  For awards banquets, they seat me with other "independents". Last year, we've decided we are the Amateur Owner Cooperative and we now want to be stabled together and help each other with all the things you mentioned be worried about.
                                  That's awesome!

                                  I, too, have shown alone and I like it.

                                  It's like traveling alone: You meet more people that way. I have met Creationists who took great care of their nice little backyard mare.... and won with her. (I'm a hunter princess who has groomed professionally and now card-carrying historian of Chuck Darwin's science.) I met other old lady ammies who can git-r-done on nice horses by themselves, thank you very much. I met my current trainer by asking her to help me out with a horse at a show.

                                  Good times, no drama because the only person to yell at would be yourself.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    An afternoon show, just one division, all hunter?

                                    Sorry, I'm trying not to be unfeeling here, but I showed Aps for years and often showed hunt seat, saddle seat, & western on the same horse all in one day - without help.

                                    I have faith that you can handle the situation. I'm sure someone would be willing to hold your horse for a few minutes for a 'comfort break'.

                                    (Just scrolled down and see that you did, indeed, survive - and succeed. I'm glad! Yeah, toting buckets isn't all that fun - I, at least, had a stall to return to!)

                                    Carol
                                    www.ayliprod.com
                                    Equine Photography in the Northeast

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      There are always solo riders at the shows I go to. I am always happy to stop and help them hold a horse or wipe something so don't be afraid to ask some kind looking passerby. But don't monopolise one person's time. Looking back, some of our good friends were passing strangers who were pressed into service for stubborn zippers, tack changes or suprise disasters Sounds like a good opportunity to make new friends.
                                      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I do it a lot. I didn't have time to scan the other replies, but I make sure I arrive in plenty of time so that I can do my entry, groom, dress, etc. without being a harried mess. Pee and hydrate before getting on (both horse and rider, preferably!!) I have always been fine!

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