Beginner friendly showing...?

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Beginner friendly showing...?

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  • What to practice for a beginner trail class in a schooling show
  • Trail classcschooling show

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    03-23-2011, 01:21 AM
Beginner friendly showing...?

I have owned my QH mare for about 1.5 years. I am new to horse ownership and she is my first horse. When in training last fall the trainer (and others at the trainer's facility) said she has great confirmation and encouraged me to show. I've been wanting to get involved in something but cannot decide what would be appropriate. Any ideas?

Back info: I am alone in my interests and have no one to bounce ideas or talk to. The farm she is boarded at is small (but I love it there) and I've honestly never seen any of the other boarders. I'm there almost everyday doing something at all different times. I've put up flyers to encourage group rides etc but no one shows. :(

I would be going at any sport or showing blind and learning via books and Internet. I'm sure I would make friends, but worry I'll make a fool of myself before. So what's a good beginner activity.

Lola is uber quiet. A bit lazy. Okay alot lazy. Loves trails. Not spooky. I love my horse and would like to DO something other than riding around the arena alone. We are both bored with that!
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    03-23-2011, 01:54 AM
    03-23-2011, 03:40 AM
Picture didn't show up. Do you ride western or english? Would you be able to trailer to a show? Do you want to be alone in the ring or with ohters (like equitation classes)
    03-23-2011, 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Picture didn't show up. Do you ride western or english? Would you be able to trailer to a show? Do you want to be alone in the ring or with ohters (like equitation classes)
I've done mostly western. All my tack is western.

We are shopping for trailers but I am unsure when we will make that purchase. However I can borrow or rent one as needed.

I guess I would prefer alone to begin. I know no others so I couldn't do anything team oriented in the beginning. :)
    03-23-2011, 12:54 PM
Have you check to see if there are any local trail riding groups? Maybe you can find someone to ride the trails with from there. I know the AQHA has some sort of trail riding program but haven't looked back into it.
As for shows, look for a local schooling show or fun show and do a trail class since your horse is super quiet, normally if you're not the first one in the ring, you can see what you've got to do and go from there.
    03-23-2011, 09:54 PM
Post at local tack shops as well as a great way to meet people. Check out local shows and games - schooling shows are often inexpensive, low key, and a great way to practice while also meeting like minded horse people. :)
    03-24-2011, 10:45 AM
The first thing you should do is find a show in your area and go and watch. Big, little, 4H, doesn't matter. What classes look interesting, challenging and are something you and your horse can do? What are people wearing and how are the horses prepared and presented? You will learn alot more sitting in the bleachers watching than you will ever in a book. Offer to help be part of the ring crew for a 4H show.

It can be very demoralizing to show up thinking you're ready only to be clueless in what's going on. Some judges can be brutal and will crush you as well. Understand the terminology and class descriptions.

Local groups will advertise at feed and tack stores. They might show up on CL. If you have a state or county horse group, join it. Typically this time of year, everyone has schooling shows. Horses will be fury and slightly out of shape. It's just an opportunity for people to get back out, maybe show a young horse for the first time. Very informal. Usually no show clothes (chaps or sparkles). Fun shows are another good place to start. They will have some traditional classes but might also have some "fun" classes. They might be timed events, eliminations (command class or bareback dollarbill), WT or costume. Horses will not be turned out perfectly, show clothes are left at home, classes are cheap and the expectations are not too high. Most first timers start with halter and showmanship classes. It's funny because those two are probably the 2 hardest to do right and win but they're a good safe way to break the ice.
    03-24-2011, 12:40 PM
Green Broke
Do you have a local fair? Almost every fair has something! Or a bits n spurs! Ooo! Ooo! Try to sign up for your local 4-H club! They always have the inside scoop!
    03-24-2011, 01:57 PM
Thanks for the great ideas. I def will check out the fun shows, to get my toes wet. I worry about going straight into a show and bombing, I get the impression some lifetime horse owners can be slightly unforgiving of adult novices. Just an impression. Does anyone know of a southwest MI trail riding club? I've been looking for about 1 year now because Lola shines on the trails. Again thank you for the ideas. I'm looking into them all.
    03-24-2011, 09:45 PM
[QUOTE=nworkman82;973754] I get the impression some lifetime horse owners can be slightly unforgiving of adult novices.

A class of 15 year olds is 10 times more scary to a novice than any adults can be. The 13-17 year olds are always the most competitive, cut throat, take no prisoners group in just about every discipline.

Have you contacted your local fairgrounds? They can tell you who's renting the facility and having shows. They can also give you contacts for 4H leaders. They might be on the county's website as well. Have you figured out who the "show" barns are? Stop in and ask them where to find a good schooling, low key show.

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