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I feel like I've been blacklisted and haven't been here long enough to be hated...

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  • I feel like I've been blacklisted and haven't been here long enough to be hated...

    I have been trying to put on schooling shows with prize money in all but 4 classes, $20 entries, no office fees, from x-rails to level 4 if needed. I don't get any response to my ads for the shows.
    I was told I needed to offer points for the state H/J club, but if I can't get even a few people to come to these, how can I justify spending a few hundred on a judge, to get an approved show? And it's not like the club is giving away a trailer, or anything of great value. Do people really like just saying, "My horse was high point low schooling against 3 other horses and I'm the only one that went to 14 shows..(Yes major exaggeration, but not in some class levels)"
    I have even decided to have a show series with high point for series being directors chairs that say "High Point NTS Show series then the class level" Thought these might be nicer than trophy's, and something people can haul to other shows and put in front of their tack rooms, instead of leaving them at home to gather dust on the mantle..
    " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs
    http://www.bluemooncustomsigns.com

  • #2
    Honestly, I would jump at the chance to use shows like that.

    Maybe you're advertising in the wrong places? Forget the big show barns, and contact the smaller ones, the pony clubs, and other barns in your area. Eventing barns are worth a try.

    Good luck!
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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    • #3
      I have seen your ads. It's nice to have some more shows in the area. I wish I had horses that were ready for shows and money to do it...I would be all over that! But alas, I have no $$ and green OTTBs that are no where near ready for shows. Hopefully things will pick up for you.
      Brandi
      "A horseman or horsewoman must have only one thing (and each in his own way): a passionate, obsessive love for the horse. Nothing more." George H. Morris

      Comment


      • #4
        If you can afford to, give your new series some time. Don't get bummed out too fast. It takes people time to get off the beaten path. Your prizes sound like very nice bait to lure them there. I'd go.... if you were 1,200 miles away.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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        • #5
          Don't give up just yet. I have a fairly new schooling series (this is our second year) with cheap entries, great prizes, nice footing, good judges...and some of the shows have run from 8am til dark, while others have had only a handful of folks show up from outside the barn and finished up by mid-day. Back and forth with no obvious pattern over about 8 shows. I am hoping to get a more consistent turnout, but so far the shows here have either been bigger than I was expecting or way light...and not a lot of rhyme or reason why some dates have worked better than others. How many shows have you had so far?

          A few things that have helped mine: when I've called area trainers to tell them about the shows, I always ask if there's a division or class not on the schedule that they'd like to see. Adding more pony classes, as requested by one trainer, got me a lot of new entries. I am also thinking of doing something like "bring 3 or more students and show your own horse free" type of deal to get trainers more motivated to bring a group. Reaching out the to local event barns has been quite fruitful - they have actually been the most consistent attendees.
          Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

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          • #6
            Great advice on the bring x amount of students and show in x amount of classes free, Vandy. I'll be borrowing that myself.

            Don't give up GPJ. As others have said, give it some time, if you can. I've really noticed where I am, high end well done "schooling shows" are getting a lot more action than they used to before the current financial squeeze. A good show with a great class selection, good judging, and nice prizes can and will lure in the folks who might not be able to attend the amount of rated shows that they used to. We have some local non rated/non affiliated with the xxhj club shows that are in themselves a series and a big hit. A few local, very nice barns have gotten together and done their own series, with their own points and their own season end awards.
            "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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            • #7
              I think that in this area, the people who don't go to the rated shows want year end points from HJA's. (And even if they do the rateds too, they still want the points and the halters and chairs at the end of the year from their schooling shows.) I think if you could get in with MHJA, LHJA, and/or GCHJA, you'd see your numbers increase.

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              • #8
                It takes time. I remember 15 or so years ago, walking around the show grounds at Asheville (which used to be quite the place to show...) and this man walking up to everyone, practically begging us to come to his new series. My trainer, along with pretty much everyone else there at the time, turned up her nose, didn't even take him seriously, and walked away. That was Rick Cram. If you're not familiar with him, go to www.psjshows.com and check it out. To put it mildly, he has done quite well for himself, but it took a while. Don't give up- be persistent! Good luck!!!
                "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH

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                • #9
                  Hi I haven't posted in eons...

                  IMHO - I love these one day schooling shows. They are so much fun for those riders and or horses who are green or those who just want to have fun in a less stressful environment.

                  The chairs should be a huge hit! Here in California we have a publication called the California Horsetrader - perhaps you have something like that where you are?
                  Libby

                  There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grandprixjump View Post
                    was told I needed to offer points for the state H/J club, but if I can't get even a few people to come to these, how can I justify spending a few hundred on a judge, to get an approved show?.... "My horse was high point low schooling against 3 other horses and I'm the only one that went to 14 shows..(Yes major exaggeration, but not in some class levels)"

                    Nope, no exaggeration at all. And it's High Point Low Pre Modified Special Intermediate Level .05 Jumpers and Itty Bitty Wannbe Someday Maybe a Hunter at 18". Get that one straight. Those people are positively cut throat, worse then any breed show close to year end or qualifying cut off.

                    Seriously, it does help to offer points from your affiliates. Some, myself included, will not show unless it is affiliate rated because at least you got some shot at rules and decent jumps and courses. You also get on their calendar/website and you can have access to their mailing list.

                    If they don't know you, they probably are not going to commit to a show with you unless they are sure you are on the up and up and know at leat there is a semblence of organization they can expect to see.

                    And you do not HAVE to hire a carded judge, it's just suggested you get a competent judge with some experience. Plenty of good ones that are not current...and if you want to attract Hunters and Eq riders, you need a decent judge.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • #11
                      I would love to have shows like that in my area and they would be a big hit! But I'm rather far away from you....

                      I wish there were more good schooling shows like that around here especially with Jumpers since the only schooling show series close to me only has hunters. I think the schooling shows especially take a while to get the word out though and you have to make sure that the classes you are offering are what people want. It sounds like you are trying very hard to give fantastic prizes and to run the shows well so if you can stick with it you probably have a good chance of success.
                      My blog:

                      RAWR

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                      • #12
                        We have a series of little schooling shows who give a year end 'trainer's award'. Goes to the trainer whose riders earn the most points (based on their placings over the year). (These are averaged over the number of riders the trainer brings.) You could even take out a nice photo ad in a horse magazine at the end of the year recognizing the trainer.

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                        • #13
                          We do a small schooling show every few months at our barn. We've had a dickens of a time getting people there. We do have riders from other barns, sometimes. I've sent showbills to area trainers, posted in feed/tack/farm stores/vet offices, posted on email listings and craigslist. I think it just takes a long time to get things started and get people into the habit of coming to your shows.
                          A proud friend of bar.ka.

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                          • #14
                            I recently went to a schooling show (more of an event show than h/j) which had relatively high $$ compared to the local hunter shows but included lunch - imagine it wasn't the greatest deal for the barn because of all the extra people that were there also but that'd be easy to control.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I took a couple of students to a 'new' schooling show series. The BO told me that they were discouraged by the turnout. I didn't think it was bad for the first show, first year, new barn.
                              I like the show and told her we will be back, and we will, in a couple of weeks.

                              It takes a little time for word to get around that the show was nice and safe, people friendly, all the stuff you want at a schooling show.
                              Be patient for a while longer. Pass out fliers at boarding barns...that's were I am right now, struggling with a few determined but inexperienced riders who need lots of schooling shows.
                              Pass out info at other schooling shows. Especially schooling shows with a good turnout during a "real" show weekend. Those people are not showing at the recog. shows and are looking for schooling shows.
                              Nina's Story
                              Epona Comm on FB

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Are you new to the area, or have you been around there for a while? I lived in Jackson several years ago and felt that, in general, the horse world was operating in some sort of parallel universe.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm sorry that you haven't had a good response. Having lived and shown in mississippi I can tell you that its probably less personal and has to do more with the fact that there just isn't a lot of demand in the area for shows. And yes, the MHJA is terrible but it is true, people like to be able to say they "won the MHJA year end award for___ division" so it might be hard to attract people without offering MHJA points. $20 seems a little high for a schooling show that's not counting towards points and therefore year end awards, but I guess you're offering money. Does your barn have an established showing reputation in the area? A few barns do schooling shows in the area but it is mostly the bigger established barns and I think they offer MHJA points, although I never went to those. Honestly, MHJA isn't a very strong organization anyways, the shows at Canton aren't all that great but for some reason people still like it, I even still show there occasionally.

                                  I've moved to another state and the barn here does 8 schooling shows a year, does year end awards for their shows with pretty good prizes, and class fees are only $12 for members $15 for non-members. I think it took them a few years of only having boarders at the barn and a few random people come before it got really established and got people shipping in. Now, some bigger hunter and eq classes offer prizes like sheepskin half pads, bridles, halters, polo wraps at the bigger shows and they do a $250 gamblers choice, maybe a few other jumper or hunter money classes too. I think you just need to be patient, you're definitely trying hard, maybe do some networking with the trainers to get them interested.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Agree with Findeight and Skipchange completely...the local circuit is a HUGE deal to the people who follow it. And the class fees seem a little high. My local circuit shows don't have office or haul in fees, and the class fees are 10-12 dollars. Stall is usually 25 a night.

                                    If you have 2 rings, running schooling classes in one (ground poles, beginner cross rails etc.) and the "rated" ring tends to be pretty successful. Ask around for who you can get to judge. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

                                    It will take time to catch on, but if you have good footing, nice courses, solid judging, and the show runs smoothly and seems organized, it will catch on.

                                    To me, I would rather pay a $10 entry fee and have no chance of winning money than $20 and a chance to get money back. Many many people are beginners or are bringing green horses so they want to have the show experience for minimal cash up front.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Actually, surprisingly, yes, the local/state circuit points year eend award schpiel type thing is HUGE to some people. Yes, people actually want to say my kid was champion beginner rider, etc. I have nothing against it though. I find that when shows join up on the local circuit/state circuit type associations, they get a lot more people. Point chasers. Honestly, I've never heard of some shows until they join up with USEF or the NJPHA.

                                      Give your series some time. A big local series around here was a huge jumper-only series for years and from large requests made a 2-day show for a weekend ever month. a jumper day, a hunter day. the hunter day even though it had so much request was still kind of a very quiet day for almost a whole year. This year it's become REALLY popular, and it's really an excellent show. It had a winter series and finals sponsored by pessoa. They are going to start having some USEF shows too, now. Things like this take time, so you have to be patient I know it can be kind of tough to have such a nice thing organized like you do, but when you're starting something up it will always take time to really get going don't lose hope!
                                      (|--Sarah--|)

                                      Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by LegalEagle View Post
                                        To me, I would rather pay a $10 entry fee and have no chance of winning money than $20 and a chance to get money back. Many many people are beginners or are bringing green horses so they want to have the show experience for minimal cash up front.
                                        I completely agree

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