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Dedicated riders who don't show?

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  • Dedicated riders who don't show?

    How many of you consider yourselves to be serious, dedicated riders who are interested in progressing and improving your riding but are not interested in competing?

    What keeps you from competing? How do you stay motivated to continue pushing yourself for improvement if your not showing competively?

    Do you feel you are treated differently in your barn if you don't show and the majority of other clients do?

  • #2
    I'll answer, though I don't fit 100%. I show... but very little and only local non-rated stuff (few times a year).

    I find that lessons really help keep me motivated. It's like having a mini-show every week! And I have to prep for that! When I wasn't taking lessons and just putzing around, my motivation was in the tank. Once I started back with lessons... huge difference. My trainer gives me homework and she can tell if you haven't done any of it... and you get a bit of a stern look.

    Side note: I do Hunters and Eventing so I have to divide my show time between them. So I do only 2 Hunter shows a year and 2 Eventing shows. And maybe 1 CT.


    • #3
      I don't show because I mostly bring along young horses, and I realized I just didn't enjoy the atmosphere at the shows. I ride for me, my trainer measures my progress.

      I just don't see spending thousands of dollars to get a judge's opinion on my horse. If I want an opinion, I'll take my horses to a clinic and spend $300. Not $3000.
      Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
      you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


      • #4
        I love taking lessons and will work very hard at improving my riding, but I don't ever see myself showing seriously. The money is the real kicker. Even local, lower- or un-rated shows add up really fast - fun, for sure, but I don't have a budget that makes regular showing really make sense for me, especially since I value/enjoy regular lessons over occasional shows. Lessons can really add up, too, but for me, nothing beats the feeling when something finally "clicks" and you know you're finally riding halfway decently!


        • #5
          I'm 33, been riding since I was 5, have only just this year entered my first schooling show. My family was by no means well-to-do; I never even OWNED a horse until I bought my fist when I was 21. I took a weekly lesson with a fairly-BNT, leased when I could for more ride time, and rode my aunt's old pasture-ornament QH bareback for years before I could even afford my first (used) saddle. Showing was out of the question-- we couldn't afford it.

          Now I'm 33, a DINK situation, and I just recently got my second horse. We started doing our barn's schooling shows just for fun, with some other adult riders also just wanting to have a good time. I doubt I'll ever go to a "real" show; it just feels like a waste of money, considering what my goals are.

          I ride for the joy and fun of riding. I measure progress by what new stuff my greenie OTTB learns every week, how much quieter he is on the trail, etc. We do some jumping-- we're schooling up to 2' right now-- and hopefully this fall we'll be trying fox hunting for the first time.

          It makes me sad when I hear people saying things like, "if you don't show, why bother?" I don't need to beat (or be beaten by) other horses and riders to validate what we're doing. My question to those showing constantly would be, "if you couldn't show, would you STILL ride?"
          *friend of bar.ka

          "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


          • #6
            When I rode as a kid it was no lesson, back yard stuff so for me when I decided to go back as an adult the "show" world was a whole new thing.
            I did some showing in the late 80's and into the 90's. Showing, for me, has never been a top priority....the horses and riding and learning is. Now showing is beyond my pocket....I no longer have the money I once had in the 90's thanks to the crash in 01 and now. I work my butt off just to keep my 2 horses and both were bought as young greenies because that is how I afford to buy.

            Between fees to have them trailerd and fees at shows it has become prohibitive to show. I would LOVE to have my mare show because she thinks there is nothing better than to get on that trailer and go, LOL. She is a super hunter, but I am 58, broke and no longer want to show over fences...I do jump at home and lesson, both dressage and jumping are something I will do as long as I can.

            Would love to find a good amateur or junior who could afford trailering and show fees....I have the horse....LOL. I also have a super 3 yr old to bring along.

            Even when I had more money, showing was far from my number #1 prioirty. I don't need anyone to approve of my choices in horses as long as I enjoy them
            Happily retired but used to be:


            • #7
              I'm a dedicated 5-7 days a week (one of those each week is a lesson) rider with one 4 year old horse, and I don't show (except for the occasional schooling show at my barn, which is basically just a fun show, no show clothes or anything like that), and if I'm needed to fill an adult eq class if there aren't enough people to fill the class.

              It's definitely the money that keeps me from showing. I'd rather own my horse than show. Can't do both
              "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


              • #8
                I am one who would also like to do more showing but lack both time and money. I enjoy getting myself and my horse ready to compete and also the opportunity to show in a ring with nice footing and jumps, something I don't necessarily have at home.

                At the same time, I don't feel like I have to show to enjoy my horse. I do look forward to my weekly lessons and the exercises that the trainer sets up, and I would like to do more clinics.

                I'm hoping to lease my current horse to someone who is able to give him more show miles because he is at the point in his training where we are limited as to how far he can advance at home, and I am looking to get a young greenie to bring along. Since every ride is a new experience with a green horse it seems easier to stay motivated.

                Lots of people at my barn either don't show or only do small in-house and local shows year after year on the same horse, so there's no pressure there to show, but I think I would have difficulty staying motivated in that situation. But is it any different than those who do the rated shows but stay in the same division year after year, except of course for the money it takes?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Treasured View Post
                  How many of you consider yourselves to be serious, dedicated riders who are interested in progressing and improving your riding but are not interested in competing?

                  I like to think I am trying hard to improve.

                  What keeps you from competing? How do you stay motivated to continue pushing yourself for improvement if your not showing competively?

                  Money mostly, that and I prefer the dressage type tests for a true judgement of my effort. A high percentage is a high percentage.

                  Do you feel you are treated differently in your barn if you don't show and the majority of other clients do?

                  Oh my, this question could be so loaded. Yes and No. At the moment I show in my discipline, these are occasional schooling shows and I need the practice outside the home arena. At the last barn, I did not, but was not really good enough, and sometimes I did feel left out or as if my time had less value than a hard campaigners'. And this did have bearing on my choice to show in the current discipline.
                  Mostly I want to ride better and I feel quite capable of seeing my own progress mirrored in the school horses' way of going and performance.
                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                  Incredible Invisible


                  • #10
                    I don't show regularly - only when I feel like it. I have a 4 year old little boy, so I can't follow my trainer to A shows simply b/c it's hard to take 3-4 days away from my family (and my job).

                    Local, one day shows fit my schedule better and that's only when the weather is going to be good. I'm very picky about what I do with my riding time - riding is my fun time and showing in bad weather is not fun to me and I'm not going to be miserable at this point in life.

                    I take lessons 1x per week and ride 2 more times on my own. My trainer rides my horse 1-2x's per week based on what is needed. My goal is to 1. have fun, and 2). always ride like I show on the A circuit. Like someone else said - my lessons are like mini shows - I make sure I am well prepared and I go in and try my hardest to do the best that I can. Sometimes, it's harder to do that at home than at shows!

                    Am I treated different by others? Not really - everyone knows my situation and I try to stay included by asking how the show went, where are you going next, etc.


                    • #11
                      I can't afford to show, I am doing good to keep my horse. Being that I am 17 and I pay for all of my horsie expenses it just isn't possible.

                      I do ride almost daily my horse, a pony that I school and a wild mare that her owner isn't able to ride. Each of these horses have certain issues that I gauge our progress by.

                      I would love to show on a IHSA team college and I've dabbled at show on the farm. For me it is just about the enjoyment of the horses.
                      “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                      !! is the new .


                      • #12
                        Yes, yes, yes! We ride for fun and for challenge but not for ribbons. The challenge of lessons and learning more as a rider are enough.
                        Just because I talk slow doesn't mean that I actually AM slow.


                        • #13
                          I consider myself a dedicated rider who wishes she could show; unfortunately, costs and circumstances as they are, can't really justify what it costs to do even the local circuits around here.

                          Fortunately, I am happy with the way things have been going with my 1/2 lease and lessons. I ride 3x a week, including one lesson. My trainer keeps me challenged and moving forward, and it helps that the barn where I ride is not very show-oriented and other riders there and in my area seem to be in the same boat (in my area basic board generally starts around $700 and up from there so a lot of the riders I know are just struggling to keep horses at a nice barn and in a lesson/training program). I feel lucky to get to ride at the level I am right now.
                          Last edited by equest; Mar. 3, 2009, 02:24 PM.
                          Love my "Slow-T T B"
                          2010 OTTB, Dixie Union x Dash for Money


                          • #14
                            I get homesick for my pets I can't take along.


                            • #15
                              For several years I didn't show -- I actually worked harder on improving my riding and my horse then when my focus was strictly on myself and my horse --

                              'Winning' doesn't do much for me, even now that I have a young horse who does very well -- I get my thrills out of the good moments in a ride --

                              I tend to prefer clinics to shows -- Clinics can test you, like shows do, but they also expose you to different ideas, and give you more feedback than a h/j show --

                              I also enjoy showing dressage more than hunters, although I prefer riding hunters -- The benefits of showing dressage include the feedback given on scoresheets and assigned ride times --
                              "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM


                              • #16
                                I am not showing right now for a few reasons. The biggest reason right now is finances. I just can't afford to show. I am still very serious about my riding though and am currently looking for a new trainer for myself so that I can continue to improve. I have to say....the search has been challenging.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Treasured View Post
                                  How many of you consider yourselves to be serious, dedicated riders who are interested in progressing and improving your riding but are not interested in competing?
                                  yes, I fall into that category

                                  What keeps you from competing?
                                  the time investment, the cost, the potential drama of people and their animals being judged .... the value just isn't there for me. Timed events, sure, its more cut and dry which I prefer, but even that has lost its luster. I just don't get the enjoyment I used to. I do like to haul out with friends and go places, but standing around all day waiting for your class or event, getting home exhausted only to have to clean up a trailer and clean tack and put everything up... eh, no more for me.

                                  now I do like participating in things horseback, I used to love drill team for example.

                                  How do you stay motivated to continue pushing yourself for improvement if your not showing competively?
                                  Easy, I just have a desire to be better everytime I swing a leg over, and I always have something I'm wanting to work on or improve, even hacking I'm working at something. I never understood plodding around aimlessly. I have a stronger desire to study and improve now that I don't show frankly. I'd wager its because the "clock and calendar" have been removed.

                                  Do you feel you are treated differently in your barn if you don't show and the majority of other clients do?
                                  Eh, it depends on the barn, but generally yes, but not in a malicious way or any way that makes me feel uncomfortable, etc.
                                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                                  • #18
                                    I hardly ever show, partially because of finances and partially because I don't enjoy it that much. I get nervous, I get hot, I get sick of waiting around in 100 degree heat wearing WOOL.

                                    I think I always liked the IDEA of showing better than actually showing. I just finally decided to stop trying to match the idea with reality.


                                    • #19
                                      I don't show as much as I'd like or take as many lessons as I'd like because of money. But it's all good because that means I really focus on improving my own horse.

                                      What I do miss about showing is the chance to show the world the horse I made. I also like the way that shows allow me to focus just on my horse for a whole weekend. I love all of it-- from packing the trailer, to setting up my "barn" at the show, to being the person that guides my horse in the ring, and cold hoses his legs and cleans his stall.

                                      My horse also loves the attention. He gets to have his person at his beck and call and live at the very center of the universe for a few days.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat


                                      • #20
                                        I'm an extremely motivated rider and I actually love to show, but most of the time, I lack the necessary funds. My barn is a well known show barn in my area, so obviously there's pressure to show. My trainer is always trying to convince me to go to every single show, but when I pay over $500 to take someone else's horse to a B show like 20 minutes away for two days, that's too much for me to do more than every 4 months or so since my parents don't pay for anything.

                                        Luckily for me, since I'm very dedicated, focused, and willing to ride just about any horse, I've found opportunities in which I can show and pay very minimal fees.(My trainer says that the more I show, the more catch ride opportunites I'll have too so I'm hoping for more of those this year...) And while I'd love to take $40,000+ made horses to every single show and win most of the classes I enter, that's completely unrealistic for my tiny budget(since I can't work during school hours). Most of the time, I end up taking greenies around the ring. Though even if that means not placing at all, I'd still rather do that than not show at all. I'm naturally a very competitive person, so showing gets me very excited since I have a chance, along with everyone else in the class, to win. I'll love to go to every show my barn goes to like a lot of the girls I ride with do, but for now I'll just show when I can and keep getting better on the sidelines in the meantime.