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Showing without your trainer

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  • Showing without your trainer

    Posting for the first time after reading and following for a while

    I am an adult and have been riding for my entire life, and training young ones. I feel confident I can handle my horse in any situation. I jump and ride at home without my trainer on a daily basis. I take lessons about once a week or every other week. I reglarly show at the A shows with my trainer. Well she is out of town a lot this summer. I wanted to take my mare to a couple local (very small) shows for a day. I would have someone come with me who can help set jumps for warm-up and help tack, etc.
    My trainer returns this week and I will ask her opinion on this too!

    But I was wondering is it wrong to go to a local day show without your trainer? I almost feel like I'm cheating on her...

  • #2
    I show most of my shows without my trainer. I am like you, been riding for a while, feel confident in handling my horse, and take lessons once a week. I have been lucky as of late that I have a friend that is a trainer and teaches like my current trainer so she is there to help me in case I need guidance. But for the most part I go alone and am able to do quite well.

    But I also film all my shows when my trainer cant come so we can review the show afterwards together. So I can see what I was doing and what I could have been doing better, and I have learned a lot from that process!

    Good luck with your mare and your summer show season!
    Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
    Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


    • #3
      Don't let your trainer's non-availability hold you back in what you want to do. I don't think it's wrong, and I also think if someone can't make do without their trainer at a show, they aren't truly prepared enough (not saying this is the case with you, as you seem to have a different concern, but just saying in general).

      I just did a local show without my trainer (just a couple ladies from my barn, and we all supported each other), and I actually had the best show i've ever had! Glad I went, even if it was trainer-less.
      Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


      • Original Poster

        Thanks! Makes me feel better to hear that there are others who do this ...I grew thinking it wasn't ever allowed. I will be going to a local show soon!


        • #5
          I go to local A shows a few times a year without my trainer and do the A/Os. I even did my first Derby without the trainer. My trainer has always said that if they have done their job, I should be able to do shows here and there on my own by applying what I learn during lessons. If I was to really get in trouble, I do know people at shows I could go to for help.

          I take lessons weekly, but do jump on my own at home. All that said, I have had my horse for a long time and know her well. I have a helper with me to set jumps and tell me my course. It would be hard without someone to help.

          My biggest problem was other trainers at shows. My friend used to have a hard time grabbing a warm up jump (trainers would just push in) and the ingate people were not always the most accommodating. It has got much better though!

          Overall, it’s nice to know that I can do it on my own sometimes! It’s a great feeling


          • #6
            I do it all the time, she actually encourages it to get me more independent lot her (not that I'm clingy, but my gelding and I needed a LOT of help the first year.)

            Go have fun!


            • #7
              Go for it!

              One summer I had an internship that I was getting college credit for, and while it allowed me to ride everyday, I couldn' be going to KY/VSF for weeks on end- or even Thursday-Sunday! So I decided to hit some RIHA/MHC/NEHC rated shows on my own (usually not USEF rated, just sate association rated) on the weekends.

              So I went to one-day shows on my own- sometimes my mom (super UNhorsey) would come watch, but that's it. I knew plenty of other trainers in the area, and my trainer was happy to let me 'show' with them, but she nor I saw the point.
              I've owned my saintly jumper for close to a decade, and we were playing around in the hunters/eq divisions for fun. He's a crazy-easy shipper, and I'm quite self-sufficient, so it worked great!

              If you are going to have a friend go with you- maybe have them video and then you and Ms. Trainer can go over them when you're both in town!


              • #8
                Then there is me- I am low budget/independent (board at my friends house). I trailer out to have lessons with my trainer. I have never shown with a trainer. It would be nice but she would be going out of her way to show up at a show just for me and that would be pretty pricey. I do think video would be great though. Maybe someday my situation will change, it would be mighty nice to have a trainer giving you feedback at the show!!!


                • #9
                  I would totally go. I have shown a few times sans a trainer and it's always gone well. However I do enjoy having a trainer there to help set fences and to talk to about what I can improve and strategy. If you would LIKE to have a trainer there, you can ask your trainer to set you up at the show with a trainer she respects.


                  • #10
                    I do it all the time. Most trainers don't mind. If I am the only one going out of my trainer's student's, I'm not going to ask her to come for such a small fee. Obviously the more students, the more the trainer makes. So I don't want to bother her to come for one student. Besides, my trainer sits on my shoulder telling me what to do when I show without her anyway!
                    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                    ¯ Oscar Wilde


                    • #11
                      Be ready to be pushy or down right bitchy in order to get a schooling fence. (You might be o.k. since you have a friend to set jumps). If you are alone trainers will be down right rude about taking your jump). Also, be ready to be pushy about your spot in the order of go or stand around a lot. Be ready so if you have to be a bitch you don't get flustered by the time you go in the ring.


                      • #12
                        Nobody I've ever worked with has been terribly bothered if I say "You're going to X, but that's not on my schedule, so I'm going to Y, see ya." And especially if you're showing locally you shouldn't have much problem with staking out a schooling fence, either- although I haven't had problems with asking trainers I knew well "May I borrow your schooling fence?" and then not getting in the trainer's way. (I'm aware this is not always the norm!) I've also never had a problem with getting pushed down in the order of go, either. Maybe this is because I am a starter myself, and I'm friendly with the in-gate people at the venues where I tend to show; but I'm also extremely organized and I make sure I am ready, waiting, and prepared to go when I am due to go. (This is how you don't get pushed down!) I do generally let the starter know I'm working by myself (I know that when I'm squinting out in the schooling area to make sure my next set is accounted for, I find trainers more recognizable than navy coats on bay horses, so I like knowing who is working with whom- or not- so I know not to think Amy's going to be late because I don't see her trainer Susan.) Then I make sure I'm prompt at the gate, dressed, dusted off, and ready, a trip or two before I'm slated to go.

                        If you get into the habit of doing this in situations where you don't have a friend on the ground to help, I'd suggest being even more organized than you already are. Have water and your grooming kit ready with you at the ring. Get proficient in dusting off your own boots and dropping your boot rag into your grooming kit- that kind of thing. Know how many trips you are out from the flat class so that your martingale is off and your horse is tidied up and you are ready to get in the ring when you need to be.
                        "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.


                        • #13
                          There's nothing wrong with showing without your trainer! The main thing is having someone to help you set a warmup jump. Personally I've never had issues getting warmed up, etc. At schooling shows I don't always bring help and somehow things work out. Renn's post summed things up nicely!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                            Be ready to be pushy or down right bitchy in order to get a schooling fence. (You might be o.k. since you have a friend to set jumps). If you are alone trainers will be down right rude about taking your jump). Also, be ready to be pushy about your spot in the order of go or stand around a lot. Be ready so if you have to be a bitch you don't get flustered by the time you go in the ring.
                            This. Times a million.


                            • #15
                              I third fourmares post. I had to be more aggressive about order of go than schooling. I usually make friends with the ring steward(s) since I often show by myself and they come to recognize me. Plus I dont mind going first (jumpers) so I often times became the stewards' best friend.