Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You're responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it--details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums' policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it's understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users' profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses -- Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it's related to a horse for sale, regardless of who's selling it, it doesn't belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions -- Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services -- Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products -- While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements -- Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be "bumped" excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues -- Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators' discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you'd rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user's membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

DIY/Budget tips for winter circuits!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    DIY/Budget tips for winter circuits!

    Hello all!

    We're crowdsourcing here for a Chronicle article and looking for your input.

    If you show at a winter circuit and do so with a strict budget, how do you make it work? What DIY or money-saving tips have you found make it possible to swing showing in the sun?

    Thanks! Molly

    They're small hearts.


      I slept in my truck with a flysheet over the windows back in 91 in order to show at WEF with GHM. I would do it again today ,if I had the horse!
      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"



        Very well said. The way we save money is on shipping since we live close to Gulfport and it is $1 a mile for the rest of the year. Wish they had more shows at this wonderful facility -but they don't......So then we are off to Conyers, Brownland, TX, Tryon, OK, SC, not many AA venues around here, has always baffled me that this great facility is only used 1 time a year
        Last edited by Ponytoes; Jan. 6, 2015, 08:54 PM. Reason: thought of more


          All I know is that I paid for my horse to ship down and he is going to have to find his own ride home!
          Have heard good things about USHIP and friends who have used it (and horses arriving safely home). In all seriousness, have been competing in FL for the past 4 years but was shocked when sent the shipping bill this year (all variables being the same on my end...# horses/truck etc).
          And to think circuit has not even started.... Or let's not!


            I love Trixie's post so much. I hear ya sister!


              Originally posted by mroades View Post
              I slept in my truck with a flysheet over the windows back in 91 in order to show at WEF with GHM. I would do it again today ,if I had the horse!
              I was going to say, "And by budget, you mean you and the horse sleep on the trailer and share Top Ramen?"


                Love this post so much! I was waiting for people to reply about how they are doing weeks on their "shoestring budgets" while the rest of us enjoy their yearly showing expense as our annual salary.


                  Agreed with Trixie. As far as I'm concerned the winter circuits were designed around the elite. Nothing cheap about the locations and expenses. I could see the average horse person showing a week or two at one of the winter circuits, but I can't imagine the average person being able to afford to relocate to new location and show 8-12 weeks straight.

                  That being said, I did show at a local winter show last year. Facility has numerous covered arenas so even with wet weather, they can accommodate a small rated 2-ring show. Show manager runs a two week 'winter classic' series for those people who don't go to Thermal. That being said, I only showed in February because my horse is a head shaker at was the only time of the year he would not head shake and I could ride and show him. (After that show I decided to prematurely retire him due to the HS).
                  *Every horse, at least once in their life, deserves to be loved by a little girl*


                    A similar question would be: how to give Trixie a standing ovation while you are on the floor laughing?
                    My #1 budget tip for WEF is Netjets. Or hitch a ride on your friend's jet.


                      I think that the best advice I would give someone is to discuss actual costs including trainer splits with your trainer ahead of time, and have a good idea of what they are going to be. Especially if you are showing with someone new. You might be pinching pennies, but this does not usually translate to the entire barn. I have heard many people exclaiming in horror over their split bill in the show office (and have wondered a few times how it is possible that their split with a different trainer is four times more than mine. Maybe their horses sleep on Rumpelstiltskin straw?). There is nothing more uncomfortable than watching people pay thousands of dollars to go show with someone and only to end up screaming at them on their cell phone in the show office. Horse shows are supposed to be fun. The apartment offices (Thermal), set-ups, grooming stalls etc. all cost money, and this amount varies from barn to barn. Hotels/rentals are also usually more expensive near the bigger venues, so if you are staying at the Super 8 or in the back of your car to save money, be aware that you will still have to split the bill for trainer/groom accommodations at the Marriott. I have seen people sit down with their show premium and their regular day fees and try to figure how much each week will cost, only to be shocked when they see the bill.
                      Trinity Farm LLC
                      Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
                      Like us on Facebook:


                        Another 'hurrah' for Trixie's post. I have a very well paying job, but there is no way I can spend 1/2 - 3/4 of my paycheck on attending horse shows in Florida, not to mention the time spent away from my job and spouse. If I was to fly down there to show in the amateur classes on the weekend, then 'shoestring' budget is entirely out of the question because I would need a trainer to ride and manage my horse the 4 or 5 other days I am not present. My husband is certainly supportive of my equestrian pursuits, but there is certainly a limit to things, and I would be equally annoyed if he spent that much money on driving around the country with his boat or playing golf.

                        I went to WEF once as a groom in college and slept in the gooseneck part of a horse trailer on a pile of (clean) horse blankets. This was over 15 years ago. I didn't ride or show at all because of the expense of having my horse there, even if I was to live in the horse trailer, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, do my own braiding, etc.

                        Horse showing in the sun, in my opinion, is not feasible for the large majority of equestrians, no matter how many cost cutting options you take. I might be able to do it in a few years one time if I saved up for it, but I can think of a lot of other things my $35k could be spent on than lining the pockets of horse show offices and $12/bale of hay. I can take a cruise around the world for 180 days for that much!

                        It is a dream of mine to show at WEF one day; the financial reality of it and real life just don't seem like it is a wise thing to do.


                          So, based on the responses here I have honestly been afraid to respond myself, given that I am a person who has chosen to spend my dollars on going to WEF.

                          For me?

                          I drive my own horse, take my own hay/grain/shavings, don't show in any prep classes, no training rides, do my own work when I'm there, stay with a friend, cook my own meals, etc.

                          Yes, it is pennies on the dollar in the grander scheme, but every penny counts when you're counting them (hehehe).

                          There is no way I could do the whole circuit, but all told going to WEF (cost wise) is not that much different for me than any other "A" show I attend. The whole sport is elitist, I'm just choosing to spend my hard earned dollars to jump horses over sticks for fun.
                          My adventures as a working rider



                            Thank you Trixie!


                              It's been years since I showed at WEF, but through fortunate circumstances, I actually managed to "budget" WEF after I moved from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta. But this was in the late 90's so take it with a grain of salt.

                              1. Shipped my horse down there myself (actually a friend and I split the trip)
                              2. I had a decent bank of FF miles saved up for weekends when flights were expensive (but mostly affordable), also I live in Atlanta, so I could also drive down some weekends when work permitted - on those weekends I would drive as far as I could on Thursday after work, stay at a hotel that was close to WPB but yet MUCH cheaper and get to WEF early Friday then drive home Sunday after my classes.
                              3. I paid for the stall in November, I put the rest of the show bill on a credit card weekly (this was before things were really expensive so it was pretty manageable) and I paid my trainer weekly. And then I didn't show for about 3 months after as I paid off my credit card and made sure my savings account was restored to a happy place.
                              4. Most of all, I had a wonderful trainer who very graciously took care of my horse M-Thurs and only billed me for day care those days and I took care of my horse while I was there.
                              5. I bought my own feed so it wasn't full full daycare.
                              6. I still had friends/contacts in SFL so on the off weeks like jumper week, I shipped him to my old farm so he could have some R&R - good for him and good for my wallet.
                              7. My horse was doing the adults and pre greens, and the rule I worked with back then (and as long as I showed) is no more than 3 divisions over 2 weeks and then a week off (so if he needed 2 weeks of pre greens I skipped a week of adults). But this was also when WEF didn't have warm up classes and humpty bjillion divisions like buried crossrails, so you know, you did your division and that. was. it. So in addition to being how a horse show should be (thumps cane and growls "git off mah lawn kids") it was also more affordable. I too can succomb to the Friday division and warm up class if it is available (LOL I just don't think it should be available).
                              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                Originally posted by Nickelodian View Post
                                So, based on the responses here I have honestly been afraid to respond myself, given that I am a person who has chosen to spend my dollars on going to WEF.

                                For me?

                                I drive my own horse, take my own hay/grain/shavings, don't show in any prep classes, no training rides, do my own work when I'm there, stay with a friend, cook my own meals, etc.

                                Yes, it is pennies on the dollar in the grander scheme, but every penny counts when you're counting them (hehehe).

                                There is no way I could do the whole circuit, but all told going to WEF (cost wise) is not that much different for me than any other "A" show I attend. The whole sport is elitist, I'm just choosing to spend my hard earned dollars to jump horses over sticks for fun.
                                What Nickelodian says goes for Trixie here in the DC Metro area. Pick and choose, do your own work, don't try for a series. We are fortunate to have Upperville, Culpeper, Middleburg Classic, Loudoun Benefit, Deep Run, Keswick, and the wonderful nearby Maryland shows (among many) but to do it on a budget, a calendar comes out, work and trainer's schedules are consulted, and a show or shows is aimed for - fingers crossed and the creeks don't rise.

                                Trixie did a HITS Culpeper (ONE SHOW) last time at an A show. We hauled out from home, showed day 1, were put up, horse and all, by Elghund and his wonderful wife who live nearby. We hauled back for day 2 and went home, tired by very happy. Trixie has already detailed what proportion of her monthly/annual bills doing this right cost her.

                                Buy your riding attire used but of excellent quality - don't feel like you have to be on the cutting edge of what "everyone" is wearing "today".

                                Show the winter circuit is not a budgetable item for us. Showing A rated locally is.
                                Last edited by Everythingbutwings; Jan. 7, 2015, 11:47 AM. Reason: To get back to the OT
                                "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."


                                  Check airbnb and craigslist for less expensive room options. If you have a pickup truck, you can look into renting a camper for the duration of the show. Or, better yet, buy one off craigslist and then resell it when you get back. You'd probably get a good deal on it now, and selling it in late winter/early spring could even turn you a profit.


                                    Yep - just count me as another who thinks the idea of showing on the FL winter circuit on a budget is absurd.

                                    Chron - I have no suggestions for you, as showing at WEF or any of the big A shows is EONS from what I could possible afford. I don't even consider it for a moment.

                                    Now Chron - if you want tips on how to attend local shows, or events on a budget, well then I have TONS of tips because I have been doing that for decades.

                                    But the winter circuit?!? Hahahahahaha yeah right - I can't even dream of affording the entry fees let alone all the rest of it.

                                    There is a reason why This Article shows hoards of well clad ladies and gents, and a Maserati on the lawn - THESE are the types that can afford WEF.

                                    And to quote the photographer:

                                    "I went there with a lot of curiosity and could not have expected such a high level of professionalism, dedication and resources. The equestrian circle of Wellington is not an easily accessible world; it is very much about being elite, both in terms of professionalism and wealth. People in Wellington literally live with horses and travel with them in between major events. Most of them have lived this life since they were 5 years old or so."
                                    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                      So, based on the responses here I have honestly been afraid to respond myself, given that I am a person who has chosen to spend my dollars on going to WEF.
                                      Nothing against that - there is absolutely nothing about showing horses - whatsoever - that truly makes sense from a financial perspective, unless you're one of the precious few who actually manages to sell horses for a profit or win high money classes. For most of us, it IS about money vs. enjoyment returns, and many of us decide we get enough enjoyment out of showing to continue paying the outrageous costs.

                                      It's just that we've beaten "horse showing on a budget" to death in a number of other threads, and I'm quite curious about what is supposed to constitute a "strict budget" when referencing the winter circuit in the current era. On a budget compared to WHAT? (or "whom?")

                                      I'm not trying to be negative - I love showing, too. I'm just pointing out that there's a very large dichotomy between the average U.S. family budget and being able to afford showing in the sun.
                                      They're small hearts.


                                        I didn't respond yesterday because my reaction to this question is a bit knee-jerk.

                                        That said, I sort of find this question offensive. It feels like the implication is that if you cut your daily Starbs habit and braid your own the winter circuits should suddenly become attainable to anyone who is dedicated enough. And that feels a lot like the fantasy we are quick to decry in juniors who are stuck on the local circuit doing 2'3 on a schoolie but think they can make it to the Maclay as working students and go on to professonial careers.

                                        I'm sure there are ways to cut costs at WEF or Ocala but you have to have thousands and thousands of dollars to be willing to drop in the first place. Not to mention a horse worth taking. In the scheme of all that I'd be curious to know what cost-cutting measures can be taken that actually make a measurable difference in the overall budget. saved 2k so your overall expenses were only 18k?

                                        I have absolutely nothing against the people who are willing (whether easily or via extreme sacrifice throughout the rest of the year) to spend the money to show one of the winter circuits. But I really doubt there are that many people who can magically go from "can't afford it" to "can afford it" via sleeping in a camper so the conversation does seem a little pointless.
                                        Last edited by french fry; Jan. 7, 2015, 12:36 PM. Reason: Typo
                                        Originally posted by BAC
                                        I don't think FF's post was rude (not this one at least).