To show or not to show?
 
 

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To show or not to show?

This is a discussion on To show or not to show? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    • 1 Post By Golden Horse
    • 1 Post By Woodhaven

     
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        04-08-2014, 10:59 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    To show or not to show?

    Okay, I must be the worlds most indecisive rider... I have been waffling between western and english for years now, unsure of which one I like more. I haven't been training for anything, no plans to show, I was just riding to ride.

    But then...

    I had a very productive dressage lesson yesterday that left me feeling very confident and motivated. I found my seat, my legs were solid, my hands were quiet, I had great contact, and my horse was forward and round... This has never happened to us before. I mean, I've had good lessons in the past, but never with such beautiful results. My trainer was so amazed and ecstatic, she couldn't contain herself. She is a tough cookie and doesn't dish out compliments lightly, but I heard her using words like "lovely", "amazing", and "that horse is a sexy beast". Light bulbs came on, the gears started turning, and things just fell into place. I actually had FUN! It all started making sense to me and seeing results in both me and my horse was exciting.

    If I start concentrating on dressage, I will most likely want to/be asked by my trainer to participate in the shows at my barn. I know that I have a lot of work to do before I think about showing, but I could easily do the Intro A or B test. The first show is on June 8th, which gives me a little under 9 weeks (18 lessons including yesterday's) to prepare. I think that is plenty of time to get a good trot established, work on my posture, and iron out all the little details (such as curing my horse's fear of the judges table/umbrella).

    My main concern is the training, of course. Pushing myself and my horse, making enough progress as so on... But my next, slightly smaller but still important concern is my tack. I ride in a dark brown AP saddle and a dark brown raised snaffle bridle. I don't even own breeches, let alone a show coat, and I don't have any other footwear besides my brown paddock boots and half chaps. I'm not planning on showing anywhere other than at my barn, but they are still judged. Can I get away with brown tack? I know I will need to get some show clothes and different boots, but I can't afford a new saddle and bridle...

    I'm just looking for advice. Things to really concentrate on before my first show, what is expected at a local/open show, where to find cheap show clothes... That kind of stuff. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
         
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        04-10-2014, 03:48 AM
      #2
    Foal
    In low-level dressage I know you can use an AP saddle, but you should definitely have the correct attire! Good luck(:
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        04-10-2014, 06:42 AM
      #3
    Yearling
    Your horses tack is fine for the classes you would be entered in...

    You though must be in suitable attire.
    That does not mean $300 breeches or the best of the best...
    You can purchase or borrow a jacket {if required}. You must have breeches though and I would not want to see you show in half chaps as an adult honestly...entry level boots {again at your level can be field boots} bought or borrow a pair.
    Ask your instructor what clothing attire you must have and if she knows of any you can borrow and return clean pieces you don't currently have.
    You must be neat and clean, polished and smile on the face as you enter any ring...even if it kills you.
    Then you get to work and impress the heck out of them....

    Have fun...

    ** Dover Saddlery - Quality English Horse Tack & Horse Supplies has some incredible sales right now in many apparel items...in case you decide to purchase instead of borrow.
         
        04-10-2014, 05:49 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    I talked with my trainer yesterday and she said because the shows at her barn are just schooling shows, my tack is fine and my half chaps are okay because they are full-hide leather, not fabric. She also said that I could wear tan breeches instead of white, which makes me happy because tan breeches would be more useful for me outside of showing. So I'll need those and a show shirt, I can borrow a jacket from someone (there are 12 other people in my barn that show).

    I'm excited about this! I haven't been excited about a riding goal in a long time... if ever. I have always loved riding and spending time with my horse, but we have never had a long term plan to work on, it's kind of nice!
         
        04-10-2014, 06:03 PM
      #5
    Trained
    I showed in Half chaps and boots, it's fine at lower level, also I had a brown, as in tan saddle, also fine.

    Go and have a blast, it is about your horse and you dancing, not about what you are wearing.If you have fun at the schooling show then start looking for the stuff you will need, most are available second hand.
    waresbear likes this.
         
        04-10-2014, 08:23 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    I also say "go for it". We have some club/barn shows in our area and they are more interested in getting people started so they are very lenient about tack and clothes etc. An all purpose saddle if ok for lower levels, and half chaps as well. I know some people went to a thrift shop and found a good fitting black jacket that worked ok for them. When you are just starting out it's good to see how you like dong this before investing a lot of money into it. Later on, if you want to go this route you can start budgeting for some proper clothes, I found a lot of mine lightly used and saved a lot that way. The main thing is to go out and have some fun, that's what we are supposed to be doing with our horses, and I hope that your fellow stable mates will support you all the way in this.
    Good Luck
    Golden Horse likes this.
         
        04-10-2014, 09:56 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Go for it! I find having a goal to work towards gives me more motivation to work harder and improve my riding. Honestly, who cares about the colour of your gear, so long as it is safe and clean then colour doesn't matter.

    Like others have said, if the dressage bug takes hold and you want to show more, you can always save up for your show attire.
         
        04-11-2014, 11:50 AM
      #8
    Started
    You will do FINE!!!

    My first show was on my 17 year old Paint, who had not been ridden in a WHILE. I took him as a back-up horse to a lesson, teacher liked him, said she thought I should show him at her show, and she would accept my entry, even though they had closed. Two weeks later....we showed, won a class, came in second in a couple, and started a new sport!

    I had to jump through MANY hoops in those two weeks, because it was a recognized show, and the horse was registered in my son's name. I was not a member of anything. Had to join USEF, USDF, and HDS. That was not a cheap show, lol!!

    Good Luck!

    Nancy
         
        04-13-2014, 12:29 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    If its your first show and a schooling show what you have is fine. My first show was fancy dress so everything about rules went out the window, my second show I wore dark breeches, half chaps and a riding school polo shirt. I haven't showed since because of lack of funds but would love to at some point. See if your local tack store has any second and items, they're usually In good condition and relatively cheap, plus you can try them on no not have to worry about sizing if buying online.
         
        04-22-2014, 07:45 PM
      #10
    Foal
    If it is a local competition that tack will be fine and the attire isn't the best, but you could do worse. Paddock boots and chaps that are clean should be alright, and a nice shirt or sweater will probably do. The only problem is the breeches. Those are like a neccessity, so I would suggest buying or borrowing a pair for your show.

    Good luck!
         

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