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Experiences with AQHA?

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        07-25-2012, 06:43 AM
    I've been showing AQHA for over 15 years, and I've met a ton of super nice people and some snobby people. It's simple...I don't hang out with the snobs so it's like they don't even exist to me. The big name people win...simply because they have the best horses. I've only see politics come into play a few times, but I don't let it bother me. I know quite a few World Champ trainers, and quite a few judges (I was on AQHA's Show Committee for 5 years so I met a bunch), and they really do a good job at being objective.

    In all honesty, I've met more snobby people at open local shows which is why I stopped showing on that circuit a long time ago.
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        07-25-2012, 06:56 AM
    My friend shows through AQHA in Australia. She does very well, is not famous, doesnt come from a fancy barn. All she has is raw talent and a will to perform at her best. She loved the showing and finds it no difficult and "Political" From the normal hack rings around. Sorry, im not a QH person but added what my friend thought of them. :)
        07-25-2012, 09:38 AM
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    Touching on the judges. For the most part, in my experience, the judges are great. When I went into halter for the first time, the other competitors were very helpful, the told me how to stand and hold my halter and where to go etc. The judge smiled and kind of guided me through it. After the class, one of the competitors stopped me and gave me some really neat tips on how to square your horse up for the judge.

    It was a very good experience for me.

    Last year I did trail for the first time and it was so embarrassing, I thought I'd cry. The judges had to fix every obstacle. I had signed up for green and novice but I wasn't going to do the novice after that course but the judges made me go in. They were really encouraging.

    The show staff at the shows I go to (the gate crew and the office staff) are also really great. They actually cheer you on. I really like these shows and as I said before, I'm not the big winner. Once in a while I do something wonderful and win a class but not very often. For the most part, I'm somewhere in the middle.
        07-27-2012, 12:45 AM
    I find a lot more politics at local saddle club levels. I was mostly self-taught when I showed at Nationals the first time, but did okay. (Meaning I placed in a few classes.)

    I did find a big name trainer in another state that I spent a few weeks with every summer. I placed much higher in many more classes after that, but it was because my trainer was awesome. He helped me polish my performance in ways I never would have thought of.

    I guess my advice would be to get as prepared as you can. Even finding someone that can give you a few lessons and show you how to groom your horse and yourself would be a tremendous help. And finding a trainer that also judges is a great idea, even if you can't show at the shows he/she judges.
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