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A less expensive horse discipline?

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  • A less expensive horse discipline?

    Since I was little I have ridden hunter/jumper. Now that I'm on my own, living on a meager teacher's salary, I'm looking to transition into a less-expensive discipline and/or breed, if there is such a thing.

    I'm particularly interested in Quarter Horses and/or color breeds so I could continue to ride huntseat. Is there a difference in cost between these breeds and let's say, showing on a local A circuit?

    Any other suggestions? I'm really just looking to get back into riding and showing occasionally without breaking the bank.

  • #2
    Open shows would work, no matter what breed you have.
    You can even try new disciplines, all goes in those shows, there are all kinds of classes and the competition is only as hard as you want it to be, you don't have to show for points and awards, many show just for fun.
    The cost is minimal, compared with the bigger shows.

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    • #3
      My (not very well informed, admittedly) impression is that riding hunt seat in a color breed show, or QH, is very very different than riding in a regular A rated show. And it is not a difference that I love, but that's me.

      Why not just show at local shows? You don't have to stable, the entry fees aren't bad, and yet the competition, at least around here, is quite stiff. Showing anyway isn't what really breaks the bank, is it? It's more the cost of the horse, board, lessons etc. In which case I'd look to go cheaper in those areas first.
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      • #4
        Agree with SMF, I would try some of the local shows in your area or at Fairs. Definitely cheaper, more laid back and lots of fun. Just go for the day, have fun and go home.
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        • #5
          The breed and style really has little to do with cost, its all about the same. Its LEVEL of showing that determines cost! A schooling show or C rated show is easly 1/10th the cost of an A rated show or a Breed Show.

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          • #6
            Open shows are very inexpensive! Our area doesn't have any over fences open shows, but plenty of pleasure and speed shows. A day of speed running 6 events and payback class is $20. Not bad if you ask me. A pleasure day usually equals out to a bit more, and some shows have both pleasure and speed.
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            • #7
              Foxhunting! Foxhunting!! Foxhunting!!!

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              • #8
                What about finding some friends to trail ride with!! Travel some and see the country! Go camping with your ponies and your friends - doesn't take a lot of money to get set up with camping gear. No dressing up, no time schedules, no entry fees, no show drama. Meet great people just relaxing and doing your own thing. You can still take lessons and keep in touch with that side of riding and improve your skills, but it is just so enjoyable to do the horsey thing and have fun hitting the trails.

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                • #9
                  Double ditto the fox hunting. Hour for hour, activity and friendship wise it is the least expensive horse activity out there short of just good old fashioned plain trail riding.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I should add that I've been out of the saddle for a four year hiatus, hence the decision to consider trying something new. I'm just getting back into the swing of things and am looking for a (lesson) barn first and eventually a lease/permanent horse.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LJD View Post
                      I should add that I've been out of the saddle for a four year hiatus, hence the decision to consider trying something new. I'm just getting back into the swing of things and am looking for a (lesson) barn first and eventually a lease/permanent horse.
                      Then, just to get your feet wet to start riding again, why not go with whatever stable you find does and have fun, until you expand your equestrian horizons again?

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                      • #12
                        Try local hunters where you can have an off breed horse and show for $10 a class. Or try combined tests where you do dressage and jumping or eventing.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          Then, just to get your feet wet to start riding again, why not go with whatever stable you find does and have fun, until you expand your equestrian horizons again?

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                          • #14
                            Not sure how inexpensive foxhunting is. After all, one can cap only so many times then you have to become a member. And of course, depending on the hunt, capping can be pricey.

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                            • #15
                              Maybe consider limited-distance endurance? One of these days I'm going to do that with some of my youngsters.
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by lalahartma1 View Post
                                Not sure how inexpensive foxhunting is. After all, one can cap only so many times then you have to become a member. And of course, depending on the hunt, capping can be pricey.
                                I was going to say our local hunt's yearly membership fee is not cheap (although compared to multiple recognized events a year it probably is lol).. and you're only allowed to cap, which I think is $35, so many times before you must join for the year.
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                                • #17
                                  I was talking to my neighbor the other day, and he said his girls were barrel racing their horses at the local rodeo. I said, "What?! I thought you had hunter/jumpers?!" He said, "We did. But we can't afford the shows anymore. I can take them to a rodeo for $25." He said the horses took to barrel racing easily, and everybody's having fun. Go figure.
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                                  • #18
                                    My Tb mare's earliest discipline was hunters, some local and some A shows. It just got too pricey. So now we dabble. I belong to a very active riding club. Usually go on 2 group trail rides per month. Riding club holds many different type of clinics during the year(for either a nominal fee of $15-20 or free), everything from bombproofing to Prix Caprilli, to our year end rally(all discipline horse show/totally free with food included). My former show hunter, now does stuff like trail class,barrel racing, flag race, costume class, english w-t-c, dressage, and showmanship. We go camping, to bed& breakfast places with friends and their horses. These days it's all about just being in the saddle and having fun.

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                                    • #19
                                      My Tb mare's earliest discipline was hunters, some local and some A shows. It just got too pricey. So now we dabble. I belong to a very active riding club. Usually go on 2 group trail rides per month. Riding club holds many different type of clinics during the year(for either a nominal fee of $15-20 or free), everything from bombproofing to Prix Caprilli, to our year end rally(all discipline horse show/totally free with food included). My former show hunter, now does stuff like trail class,barrel racing, flag race, costume class, english w-t-c, dressage, and showmanship. We go camping, to bed& breakfast places with friends and their horses. These days it's all about just being in the saddle and having fun.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You're not going to save any money showing at breed shows. They're just as expensive as your A Hunter Shows...
                                        In addition, I think if you grew up doing traditional hunter shows, you'll find that QH (or color breed) hunters are NOT the same.

                                        Just stay local! Find your local H/J circuit and do their association shows. In this area, they keep track of year end awards. Lots of people grow up showing on that hunter "circuit" and never know there is a much bigger (and more expensive) world beyond.

                                        Once upon a time, eventing used to be less expensive but I just don't think that's the case any more unless again, you only go to unrated local horse trials.
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