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Competing when you know you don't stand a snowball's chance.

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  • Original Poster

    #41
    You're right about horses being mirrors and right about I'm going thru a lot. All of what you mentioned plus more I can't talk about. The *more* has no solution, no end. I'm a caretaker. Horses used to be my break. Not so sure now if they're just another problem.
    Ride like you mean it.

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    • #42
      I used to have Morgans about a zillion years ago and actually did OK against the trainers- usually got a ribbon- not bad for a teenager with no trainer on a self-trained horse. My favorite ribbon was a 2nd place in WP on my 4yo that had only worn Western tack twice. There were maybe 8 in the class and IIRC the winner was Jeanne Herrick. I realize it's a different world now.

      Now I have ASBs. And a BN trainer. Still, because I don't have a 100G horse, I don't win. I usually get decent ribbons, but I'm selective. I'm an hour from Louisville and our World Championships, and showing there would be easy. Yes my horse qualified. BUT, I know my mare doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting a ribbon there so I don't go. I also skip some of the County Fair shows that are incredibly deep. If I showed on my own I'd skip most all the County Fairs and head into areas where my horse could win- I'd still be showing against good stock, just not a ring full of World Champions and BNTs. Be selective (and realistic) about where you show and you might be happier with the results.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
        You're right about horses being mirrors and right about I'm going thru a lot. All of what you mentioned plus more I can't talk about. The *more* has no solution, no end. I'm a caretaker. Horses used to be my break. Not so sure now if they're just another problem.
        Well, your OP was about the politics in the show ring and guess that was the least of it.

        I hope you gained some perspective with all that has been discussed now and can find a way to make your own happiness with what you have that is good.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
          I am looking at going to some open shows. Not sure about those because they usually have a stock judge for the western. Not sure I want to go to all the trouble there for more *also ran* ribbons.
          I don't show rated shows - I REALLY want to one day, but I don't feel like I know the secrets of presentation that really set the good ammies and pros apart. I doubt I'll ever be the type to have a horse in training in a big barn because I love doing it myself, but eventually I hope I can lesson with a big barn and learn how to show my guys well.

          BUT I have in the past (and will be again) showing in open shows. I own Arabians, and I haven't had a big problem with the judges at the open shows. Sometimes we don't do well in the halter classes, and I do think it is hard for a stock-type judge to judge both stock and pleasure type horses in the same class. But I use halter classes just to get my new horses into the ring and used to the commotion and don't expect to place.

          I HAVE placed well and even won pleasure and equitation classes, on my Arabians, competing against stock breed horses with a stock breed judge. I've done better on my hunter pleasure horse, but I've also placed well with my WP horse in open shows.

          I have only had one experience where I really felt that 'politics' or 'not owning the right breed' kept me out of the ribbons. I had a fellow exhibitor come tell me that she felt I was cheated after a class. She told me the judge kept turning his back and not looking at the horse and I. I watched in the next class, and that did appear to be the case. So I didn't show under that judge any more.

          I hear more complaining about politics in the smaller, open shows than I do at the breed shows, but my experiences haven't supported those complaints. Most open show judges so a fine job...
          Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

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          • #45
            Sorry for all you've been through. I will second dressage on this horse. You say you fall off the saddle but that sounds like a different horse and this orse takes care of you. If this horse behaves try it. The dressage judges loved my Morgan before I had to retire him. Loved loved him. I dont have a big name trainer at all, I don't even think most judges know my trainer but it didn't matter. We were correct and he was steady with a nice tempo and they all loved his knee action lol. I'd give it a try. I've shown against bnt students and even against those trainers at schooling shows and we usually were 1st or 2nd. Its judged on how your horse is trained and not as much on politics because they have a set standard to score from.
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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            • #46
              Just curious does AOTS mean Amateur Owner To Show? Or something like Amateur Owner Trainer Showing?

              I know nothing about Morgan showing. Is there a class for those trained solely by the owner?

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              • #47
                I've shown my ASBs at open shows for fun and I'll give you this advice - take your horse into the English Pleasure classes if you're worried about not being competitive against the stock horses in Western. English Pleasure is where Saddle Seat TYPE horses do well. You don't need motion or a chesspiece headset like you do at the breed shows. You need a well behaved horse who can wear a full bridle and execute three gaits. If you're showing Western, your horse can likely wear a full bridle and can do the gaits. You'll probably do quite well.

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                • #48
                  AOTS= amateur owner trainer shown

                  To the OP- blaming your lack of results in regular amateur classes on "politics" is a cop-out. Look at your proofs, look at your videos and look at yourself and your horse with a critcal eye. Amatuer-owner-trainers CAN take lessons, that does not violate the rules as the horse is not in training. Make sure your turn out is on par with the top level horses, your tack, outfit and grooming. Have family/friends help you at the show or pay to stable with a training barn at the show.

                  If your horse appears unsound or your riding and ringmanship skills are not polished you will not get a high ribbon in a competitive class, thats how horse showing works, it's not politics.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Tiffani B View Post
                    I've shown my ASBs at open shows for fun and I'll give you this advice - take your horse into the English Pleasure classes if you're worried about not being competitive against the stock horses in Western. English Pleasure is where Saddle Seat TYPE horses do well. You don't need motion or a chesspiece headset like you do at the breed shows. You need a well behaved horse who can wear a full bridle and execute three gaits. If you're showing Western, your horse can likely wear a full bridle and can do the gaits. You'll probably do quite well.

                    In the area I live at the open shows they have Bridlepath Western Pleasure for the Arabians, Saddlebreds and Morgans. So look to see if any of the open shows around you offer that.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Also,

                      Have you ever considered hiring a trainer for just one season? I bought a nice horse and used a trainer for one season and we won some nice ribbons and I got to show at a level I only ever dreamed I would before then.

                      It was kind of a childhood dream/bucket list thing. Now I will show local shows and trail ride and ride dressage... what ever I feel like doing. The big shows for me were a thing to savor rather than a lifestyle (as I can't afford to continue to play in the big leagues). I knew it was for a season. Knowing that, I enjoyed the heck out of everything from riding to show grooming.

                      What really are your dreams? Maybe it is time to look for some help, even if you can only afford it for a while. There is nothing wrong with wanting to place well, but it may take just a little more help.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        You've all given me a lot to think about. I appreciate all your responses and your taking the time to read mine. I don't know where I'm going with this. Maybe just sit it out instead of dance. Maybe it's time. 35 years is a long time. Maybe I'm just tired. Thank you. It does help.
                        Ride like you mean it.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          It sounds to me as though you have a lot going on, I can't even imagine coming back from an infection so severe my sternum was removed plus the meds and all. Good Lord.

                          I think that you might be at a place where you are thinking you've missed the train? I know I feel as though I didn't quite make it, I'm a wannabe and probably will be forever.

                          I did OK as a teen, showing at little open shows by myself. I had help from people who showed me how to present my horse at her most attractive, I'm sure I would have done better with more money and a real trainer and all that but we did OK and everytime I cry about how we got cheated out of our ribbon because I didn't have time to do . . . beforehand I think about how I should have at least reached out to my horsey friends and even my own parents. My mom was perfectly capable of bathing a horse, I just never gave her the chance. Anyway perhaps you have some friends or acquaintances or family that might accompany you to the show just for fun? Just for fun, to wave at you as you pass the stands and help carry stuff. And I'll let you in on a secret, I always try to enter classes with less than six and that way I always get a ribbon. (of course I value the fourth out of 22 the most of anything I've ever won, but lots of ribbons sure look good!)
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                            I always try to enter classes with less than six and that way I always get a ribbon. (of course I value the fourth out of 22 the most of anything I've ever won, but lots of ribbons sure look good!)
                            I entered a Western Riding Class a few times, not with any expectations except to practice lead changes and fight my show pen nerves. One time there were only TWO in the class - my 1/2 Arab and a WP trained QH. I was happy - I was going to get 2nd!! NOPE, the QH bucked with her rider so was DQ'd and we finished the pattern (badly) and got FIRST! I laugh alot about that, LOL ..

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Paradressage?

                              This might be completely out of left field, but have you considered trying to get classified for paradressage? You might be able to make tack modifications that help you stay on in a dressage saddle and there are definitely Walk only tests. It could be fun.

                              In dressage, it's not really about the ribbon-it's more about the score so you'd have something to shoot for re: improvement, etc.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I think diversifying is a great idea! So is trying open shows. If nothing else, you'll meet some new folks. Competitive trail riding is fun, too, as are trail classes. You could also prepare your horse for local parades. All this outside stuff will freshen you and if you want to return to your Morgan classes, I think it will pay off in your confidence in your horse, if nothing else. Morgans always stand out, whenever they go. You could think of yourself as an ambassador for the breed.

                                Back in Colorado, the open shows were mostly stock horse judges but my friend showed an Arabian stallion (he was exceptional) and won. Quality is quality.
                                “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                St. Padre Pio

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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by kewpalace View Post
                                  I, the QH bucked with her rider so was DQ'd and we finished the pattern (badly) and got FIRST! I laugh alot about that, LOL ..
                                  I watched a class back in early 1970s that no one was pinned first; they were all bad so the judge started with second place.

                                  As to the OP, we rasied Morgans showing them nationally at Class A shows during 1990s and 2000s against the big names.... there were a few judges we did not or would not show before as they just did not like our old style horses. We kept a record of the style horses each judge preferred and if we were not a match we would pass.

                                  My mare I think must have won more second place ribbons than any horse in the world (we kept telling her it was OK as these were Canadain ribbons)

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Of course there are politics and there are trainers' riders who get a boost just for being with that trainer/from that barn/representing that country/from the right 4H club/whatever. It happens in every other judged sport, of course it happens in horses, no matter who has the best ride. You live with it or you do something objective. If you stick with it you find the level/locale that you can live with the most. Sometimes you skip judges you know are a problem.

                                    Frankly at this point I would be pleased if I decided to take my horse to a show, he kept his head (I have no reason to think he WOULDN'T but as old OTTB would spend the first day or so losing his mind, I am conditioned to expect the worst) and we got around everything in one piece, even if it was just the English Halter class at the local Westerners Club show (which sounds like a BLAST; open to anyone and everything, with the most "serious" part being the speed events. Kids and families and fuzzy spotted creatures in synthetic tack kind of show.)
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                                    • #58
                                      Have you considered driving rather than riding? Morgans excel at it! And you can do carriage dressage, obstacles, all sorts of cool things that are judged on performance. And there are plenty of driving classes at Morgan shows, as I'm sure you know.

                                      Your horse sounds sensible, you might find that you enjoy it more since you don't have to worry about falling.

                                      Otherwise, good luck and I hope you find something you consider FUN again.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Have you considered driving rather than riding? Morgans excel at it! And you can do carriage dressage, obstacles, all sorts of cool things that are judged on performance. And there are plenty of driving classes at Morgan shows, as I'm sure you know.

                                        Your horse sounds sensible, you might find that you enjoy it more since you don't have to worry about falling.

                                        Otherwise, good luck and I hope you find something you consider FUN again.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by NCRider View Post
                                          This might be completely out of left field, but have you considered trying to get classified for paradressage? You might be able to make tack modifications that help you stay on in a dressage saddle and there are definitely Walk only tests. It could be fun.

                                          In dressage, it's not really about the ribbon-it's more about the score so you'd have something to shoot for re: improvement, etc.
                                          Way to think "outside the box"! I wonder if that is possible and very up the OPs alley. That would be awesome!!
                                          Draumr Hesta Farm
                                          "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
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