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IEA or show my own horse?

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  • IEA or show my own horse?

    My trainer recently announced that she's going to start an IEA team at my barn. I was really excited because she wanted me to be on the team and I wanted to do it, but there's a bit of a conflict. I can either do IEA or show my own horse, but not both because that would be too expensive. I want to show my own horse, especially now that we're finally doing rated shows (C shows only so far, but I've been waiting to do those forever), but I also want to do IEA because it would pretty much be like being on a traveling equestrian team. I know I can always do IEA for a season and then show my horse some other time, but I've waited for what seems like forever to do "real" shows and I finally have the chance. Right now I'm trying to find a summer job so I can maybe do both regular and IEA shows.
    IEA pros:
    -I'd show pretty often
    -It's a great experience

    IEA cons:
    -I'd show a lot, but none or almost none at all with my own horse

    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

  • #2
    You could show your own horse until college (when you'll likely sell it or lease it out) and ride on an equestrian team while you're in college. I say do as much with your horse while you can.


    • #3
      I did IEA this past fall! It's a great experience, but that is considering that my horse is a 3 yr old and is not ready to compete. IEA only goes up to 2'6" so if you are jumping higher than that with your own horse, it can be redundant. Had my horse been ready to compete I would have chosen to show her. If you show your horse you will probably show in more than two classes per show, but with IEA you get one flat and one jumping class. Also with IEA you show a horse you have never ridden before, which could go really well or really bad depending on your draw. if you draw a bad horse that hurts your ride you won't place well and the money wouldn't really be worth it. But on the flip side there are some really great horses in IEA that are rockstars in the arena. So that is something you will probably want to weigh, is the money worth it when you aren't guaranteed a good horse? I really enjoyed IEA, but this coming year I am focusing on starting to show my own horse rather than compete with the team. But with whatever option you pick you will have a blast!


      • #4
        I would show your own horse. Its not a waste to have your own horse and not show it, but it might feel like a waste to have your own horse and not ride it as much since you would want to be practicing on a wide variety of horses for IEA. Plus, as another poster said, if you do an IHSA team in college you will be able to get an experience very similar to IEA.

        Is there anyway you could travel with the IEA and handle or maybe school horses? This way you get the team experience without the cost. I'm on an IHSA team and not everyone gets to compete, but the fun of being on a team is getting to hang out at the show all day with your teammates.

        It sounds like you've been really excited and really anticipating doing rated shows for a while. Do you have to do every IEA show? Perhaps you could compromise and just do a few, and maybe sacrifice a rated show in exchange.


        • #5
          My kid sister rode IEA and my college's IHSA team rode out of the same facility as her IEA team.

          At least in this area (although it may have been just her team- it's 1 in the morning, I am not digging out the rulebook,) IEA riders cannot ride in more than 5 shows per regular season, not counting zones etc. Are you factoring that into your financial calculations? IEA is also a fall/winter sport whereas the regular show season tends to be more of a spring/summer proposition, so the time frame where you'd be spending money on each is different. You may have already planned for that, but my amount of disposable income is seasonal.

          Have you catchridden before? Did you enjoy it?

          Do you want to ride IHSA in college? My sister liked how well IEA prepared her for IHSA. She was not a confident catchrider before her IEA participation and is now much more confident hopping on different horses. I don't know how if her IEA experience affected her coaches' decisions to name her to the IHSA team, but it can't have hurt.

          Generally, I'd say show your own horse. But if you really want to ride IHSA in college, and/or if you want to improve your catchriding skills, doing a season or two of IEA might be very beneficial for you.
          "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.


          • #6
            You may be able to do both; as the poster above pointed out, IEA riders are limited in the number of shows they can do during the season, so you may be able to afford a few shows on your own horse. In addition, if you lend your horse to the IEA team, you may get lucky and draw your own horse for the show!

            IEA is a great experience, and IMO, you should go for it. Being part of a team and helping host shows are experiences you can't get going to the regular shows with your own horse (rewarding as that can be). Try to do some of each if you can afford it; I don't think you will be sorry.
            I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Dewey View Post
              You may be able to do both; as the poster above pointed out, IEA riders are limited in the number of shows they can do during the season, so you may be able to afford a few shows on your own horse. In addition, if you lend your horse to the IEA team, you may get lucky and draw your own horse for the show!

              IEA is a great experience, and IMO, you should go for it. Being part of a team and helping host shows are experiences you can't get going to the regular shows with your own horse (rewarding as that can be). Try to do some of each if you can afford it; I don't think you will be sorry.
              Unfortunately the five required shows for IEA would be all I could afford to do--I couldn't do those and show my horse. I could do a few IEA shows, and then show my horse but if I do IEA I know I'd want to do as many of those shows as I can so I can try to qualify for post-season shows (regionals, zones, etc.) So maybe I'm a point whore
              Thanks for the great advice so far!
              If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
              If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
              If I smell like manure, I tripped.


              • #8
                I agree with Rel6 - I would show your horse and plan on doing IHSA in college if you find the format of IEA appealing.
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