• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



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 are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

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 1/26/16)
See more
See less

I want to catch ride!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I want to catch ride!

    At the moment I am financially unable to show. However, I would still like to continue showing to gain experience and get known on the show circuit.

    I am 17 years old and only 5' so I am able to ride ponies and horses. I have been riding for nine years.

    What is your advice/experience on becoming a catch rider? Is it possible even if you aren't well known and don't show every weekend?

  • #2
    Bumping this up... I'm the same, except I'm 5'7 :P


    • #3
      From my experience, a lot of my catch rides have come through my trainer. Like someone will ask my trainer who can ride their horse and sometimes my trainer will recommend me. Or, at a show last year, I won a really big pony class and later someone asked me if I would ride their pony in the low hunters for them. My trainer says, and I agree, that the more you show, the more catch rides you will probably get; but, like you, it's hard financially for me to go to a bunch of shows. Also, if you're a talented rider, and go to enough shows, you will get noticed. That's happened to both my friend and myself. Do you have a trainer? If so, ask them if they have any potential catch rides. It's late and that's all I can think of for now! Good luck!


      • #4
        Catch riding is not done for the benefit of the rider. An experienced, competent rider is used for a green horse or for a problem horse- the rider is helping the owner or the trainer. It sounds like what you want is to borrow someone's horse and have them foot the bill. If you lack the funds to show, it sounds like you need to go to work. If you have a trainer, find out if you can be a working student. You need to be prepared to bathe, clip, wrap, longe- whatever. It's likely that you will not be paid to ride, but you may get a few rides as a perk if your skills are good. The catch riders that you see out there have proved themselves in some way. They probably didn't get there by asking if there was anything out there that they could show.


        • #5
          Don't know how it is now, so this may be off the mark, but I used to ASK!! BEG is more like the right word, and like others have noted, I didn't ask to SHOW the horses, I was begging just for a ride. I hung around everywhere they didn't run me off, and tried to do anything to be helpful (including staying out of the way) just to literally "catch a ride." And I rode anything that was thrown at me and didn't complain about it - old beastmasters that just needed their legs stretched and greenies that were specialists in terror. My advice: if you've just ridden the thug of the world and your blood's turned to ice, come back grinning ear to ear and act it's the nicest animal you've ever ridden. A rep for crazy doesn't hurt, in my experience. And if you get to show, you're probably going to be riding the horses the owners are not brave enough to get on themselves. Again, just my 2 cents'.
          Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


          • #6
            I catch ride for people on mostly the low level circuit and some breed shows. I picked up all my rides through my trainer. I mostly take green horses to their first shows. It may not always be pretty but i can usually get them experience and in the ribbons. I have one horse I am riding to give him experience before his greener owner starts showing him. I am also riding a pony for a breeder that's children have grown and moved out of horses in order to help it score higher in the year end points. Honestly I would not get anything if it wasn't for my trainer because I haven't shown on the As and I am not well known. I agree with the others that you need to go through a trainer. If you are good enough to be a catch rider, the rides will come. I don't ask for rides, my trainer knows that I love to ride and am happy to help others and she offers me to friends and clients when they are looking for a rider. I do not get paid for any of this however, just do it for the love and a chance to ride.


            • #7
              Well...you start at the bottom and work your way up. Nine years riding is good but at what level did you ride? And did you show on the same level you are seeking catch rides at?

              Catch riders are on those show circuit horses and Ponies because they ARE well known and well experienced. Try not to present yourself as needing the experience and expecting to get the rides at the expense of the owners who do get billed by the trainer and/or foot the show expenses.

              You need to associate with a trainer who has alot of sale horses and if you are smaller, Ponies. After that trainer has worked with you for a period of time and you prove yourself, you will start getting offered catch rides at home and, if successful there, at the shows starting with the smaller ones and moving up if you continue to prove yourself.

              Many Pony barns do need small adult riders BUT that does make you a pro at age 18 with any consideration like free lessons at all plus you can't do the Pony routine at the big shows you are seeking experience at.

              Local show circuits may be a little easier to crack, maybe start there if you do not know any AA level trainers that do the circuit.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


              • Original Poster


                Thankyou to all who posted helpful replies.

                I've already been a working student for many years and have gotten catchrides from a trainer I was with for a majority of my riding. I recently moved to a smaller more private barn that doesn't have sale horses. I'm already planning on hanging out at every show possible to learn everything I can.


                • #9
                  I find that many barns are on the lookout for a good pony rider, so if you fit the bill that may be where you focus your energy. I think you will be more likely to get rides on ponies until people know you.

                  I don't think it would be rude or inappropriate to look up some farms that might breed or have young sale ponies and give them a polite call. Quickly tell them your skills and experience, and let them know that you are looking for any opportunities to ride. Be ready to provide references (ask your current and former trainers if you may use their names), and try to sound polite and professional. If they say no, thank them and ask them to let you know if they hear of anything.

                  I don't think it can hurt.
                  "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


                  • #10
                    I am currently on the lookout for a good pony rider for a medium for immediate showing through pony finals. Although I'd love to give a less fortunate kid a chance, I agree that it has to be a situation that would benefit the pony.


                    • #11
                      I'm not a catch rider, I wish i was, but i know enough to be able to respond: most catch riders get their rides through trainers. Some other trainer (a friend/connection to your trainer) is looking for XYZ type rider for ABC horse, because that horse has no suitable rider under that trainer. You have to remember, catch rides are almost never for the benefit of the rider, per se (as in if ive got a string of excellent hunter ponies and all their riders have outgrown them, and they need to be sold and shown some more until theyre sold, i'm not going to go to the backyard kid who wishes they could show and doesnt have enough money because i feel bad, or just some random kid, i'm going to find the kid who will be most suitable on the pony and will give it the best ride. I will find someone who i am confident will almost never give a bad ride, and someone who is willing to ride whatever comes their way and can adapt easily from horse to horse. What you need to do is distinguish yourself in the show ring. Does your barn have some tough ponies? Show them. Put in a nice round on what may be a clearly devilish pony. If the trainers see a bratty pony in the warm up ring and then see you go in there and put in a lovely quiet round, they're going to say 'hey, that kid can really handle that little pony. what a nice rider" and if they happen to have a naughty pony with no suitable rider at the moment, they may ask you to ride. Show in as many different divisions as you can (i dont mean all at once.) As in go to one show with a pony, ride in the ponies or children's ponies. Go ride in the children's horses. If you are talented enough for the 3'6'' and if your trainer has a horse that can jump, go into the jr hunters. Also try jumpers as well. It is good for people to see that you can really ride anywhere in anything, on any mount. I believe you said in your OP that you dont have the funds to show? Well, you might already have a job, but if you dont, try finding one. A great option is to be a working student at the barn. Youll usually get some more riding in (trainer might say hey, i need this horse excersized..) and with enough work you will be able to afford a show here and there

                      It's certainly not an easy task to accomplish, but you need to work your way up the levels and make yourself known if you want to seriously be considered for catch rides

                      Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                      • Original Poster

                        Thankyou again for all the feedback.

                        And I'm not trying to get a trainer to foot the bill, I suppose I worded what I said in the first post wrong. Any horse or pony that comes my way, I get on. Even if it is known to throw every rider on its back. I probably should have been more broader than catch riding. If I was asked to excercise a pony at home or school some at 3 in the morning or warm up a horse, that's all good.

                        I had a good reputation before I moved and now being with all new people at different show grounds it's deffinitly harder getting to know people. I did catch ride for the trainer who taught me to ride before I moved and I wanted to know if there was anything else I could do to start to get known in the new area since I haven't been here my whole life.

                        I found a lot of your advice really helpful and will deffinitly get to work introducing myself and asking my trainer if she knows of anyone in need of a catch rider.


                        • #13
                          Talk to your new trainer. Tell her you are interested in catch riding and that you're willing to get on anything with four legs that says "neigh." Then be professional and polite around the barn as well as the shows--help out whenever possible, don't gossip, don't talk smack about other people's horses, or disparage any horse. Keep your paddock boots clean, your (polo) shirt tucked in and do your hair like you would for the shows. In short, impress upon your trainer through your actions that you are serious, businesslike and professional.
                          Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                          • #14
                            I used to show up at the the teeny weeny backyard shows. When someone would fall off, or the horse would be excused etc... (it happened alot) I would offer to get on the horse for them. Most people would be grateful and take me up on it. Sometimes I would end up showing in more than one class. It also many times ended up with me meeting up with them at other shows. They usually couldn't afford a trainer, and were thrilled with the help. I was thrilled with the free practice!


                            • #15
                              i also would LOVE to catch ride. however, i feel like catch rides are offered to the lillie keenans and zazou hoffmans and sam schaefars (i know i cant spell her last name) because they have great trainers who not only go to the big shows, but are big names.
                              basically BNT=catch ride (usually at least)
                              catch rides, although often times the owner pays, is not usually done for the rider, but so that they owner can get the horse known and out there winning. i am not so suer how catch rides work on local circuits work, but im guessing theyre pretty similar?


                              • #16
                                Does your old trainer (or others that your rode for regularly back there) know anyone at all in your new area? You may think it unlikely, especially if you moved far, but the horse world is pretty small. Maybe make some phone calls back to them and see if they have any leads at all (may not even be a show barn...could be some breeder or small nabarnme they bought a horse from 10 years ago, but those people know someone who knows someone....).


                                • #17
                                  Last resort -- Stand by the in-gate dressed in your show outfit with polished boots and helmet on looking eager and wait for a harried pro to say "Can anyone hack this one in the under-saddle for me??" Pin his/her horse in the u/s and then politely ask if you can ride the horse in the under-saddles regularly
                                  "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
                                  Working Student Blog
                                  Current Blog


                                  • #18
                                    There are a lot of opportunities for catch riding outside of big barns. They may not be as easy to find, but often are bigger opportunities for more riding.

                                    I'm an amateur with my own farm and 6 horses. I'm ALWAYS looking for good riders to help keep my horses fit on a day to day basis. Each summer I have one or two kids who ride regularly for me (everything from hacking the greenies to helping keep my AO Jumper on a 2-a-day riding program which my job definitely doesn't allow me to do on my own!). I need at least one of the kids to come to shows with me, and I usually allow that kid to show one of the horses as though it was her own.

                                    Last year I had a teenager who nannied for my infant while I rode and then showed my green TB in the 3', then 3'3", then (at the end of the summer) 3'6" jumpers. I paid for the classes and the shows since she was there helping me out and watching my baby. This year I'm going to let her show the TB in the 3'6" jumpers as a pseudo-lease......she'll pay for the shows herself. I have another kid this year who's taken on my new project horse as her own personal project. She does most of the daily riding and she'll take the horse to shows on her own dime, though that's all she'll pay for (I do all maintenance and upkeep on all of my horses).

                                    Basically I'm willing to work with whatever it takes to keep a talented and reliable person helping me with my horses. I have several friends in similar situations who need help keeping thier horses fit and worked. No one can seem to find any kids who want to work hard in exchange for lots of rides. I would have KILLED for some of the opportunities I've talked to with friends!

                                    So my suggestion is to talk to some of the non-big-barn-affiliated amateurs (or amateurs that do their own riding at shows and have multiple horses) and find out if they could use some help at home.

                                    Good luck!
                                    Flying F Sport Horses
                                    Horses in the NW


                                    • #19
                                      i Am currently 13 years old and im 5'1. i have been riding for 10 years and show consistenly. I have a pony named So Darn Cute...but recently had some problems. SO i can no longer show her because she has hit a road block ...This is very upsetting to me because she has won many classes and we were going for Pony Finals this year....but hopefully she will make a turn for the best soon.!

                                      I was wondering if anyone needed a catch rider?

                                      I will show anything...i just love to ride and am willing to do anything! Please please Please Please Please let me know what you think!! Thanks Sarah


                                      • #20
                                        I have a barn full of horses that need riders. I have posted locally and online, seems no one in my neck of the woods wants to show at the owner's expense. All I required was the riders to pay for lessons and coaching. Shows are paid for, shipping paid for, etc.
                                        I posted on Yard and Groom and now get live in's from all over the US and Canada to help out. I have two great girls right now and we are focusing on the jumper ring this year. They get room and board and board for 1 horse in exchange for helping to muck, feed, turn in/out, ride horses assigned to them, etc. and they get shows and lessons paid for and get to keep their ribbons. I don't pay them, so they must have parental income or something else for extra spending money.
                                        These are all sale horses, some very green, some semi green and some showing locally and some starting to show the A's. We only do A's close to us like HITS Culpeper to save money on stabling, etc.. I wish there were more kids in my area that wanted to ride and show.

                                        Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA