First Show in 14 Years - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 93
• Horses: 3
First Show in 14 Years

Sunday (Aug 7th) will be my first show in 14 years. I am a nervous wreck! I was a seasoned Pony Clubber and competed almost every weekend as a kid/teenager. Now at 31 I feel old as heck!

I am showing my 6 year old Pinto mare. The Saddle Club offers open classes meaning you can ride english or western in any class that does not state specifically state western tack. So we have english pleasure, equitation, W/T, colored horse pleasure, and SR. horse pleasure.

I have watched these classes for almost 2 years now and there are riders from every genre of english riding; jumpers, hunters, country pleasure (gaited), and dressage. The one common thing with all the judges is that if the rider is sloppy and the horse drags it nose or tries to kiss the sky, they are always on the bottom.

My mare has some dressage basics and has learned to use her back and hindquarters correctly and frames up nicely but not severely. She is good with loose reins or direct rein. She knows her leads.

Her only hangup is she stops all forward motion to allow other horses infront of her. We have been working on this and hopefully this show will be a good experience for her to remain forward and listen to me and not be passive to the horses around her.

My biggest hangup is my right leg. I shattered it last fall and have only recently been able to post with balance and keep my heel level. I have lost the ability to put that heel down. I am nervous that the judge will take notice of my right heel and penalize me for my handicap. Which I guess is only fair to be judged as an equal to the other riders, but it would seriously suck if that was the deciding factor on a placing.

I plan on having photos and possibly a video of the show to post for critiquing. I am curious as heck on how I look myself!
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 12:48 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vidor, Texas
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Yes, please post some photos! Good luck.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ft. Worth, Texas
Posts: 277
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Welcome to the "Showing as an Adult" club. I showed a few times as a kid, then decided to buy my first horse at the age of 38 and started showing at 43. As adults, we somehow become so afraid of messing up. As kids, we never thought about all the 'what if's'. With that said, here's are my words of advice........have fun, don't expect a lot from your first show, and pretend like you do this every weekend. So what if your right heel isn't down as much as your left ? Don't get concerned about your placing, but rate your performance on how well YOU think you did. Showing is very subjective and sometimes you absolutely deserve a higher placing than the judge gives you, sometimes you place higher than you really deserve. It all evens out in the end. Bottom line....relax, enjoy the experience, and enjoy the new things you and your horse will learn together.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2011, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 93
• Horses: 3
I am starting to get very excited for the show on Sunday. I have to go pick up my tall boots from our leather shop. The owner was so kind to condition and stretch/work them to help break them in faster for me because of my weaker leg. Every little bit helps!

I keep giving myself the pep talk that it's my first show in 14 years and it's Sierra's first show. I need to be calm and relaxed and not overreact to her inexperience and not to beat myself up for my handicap.

My best friend is coming to help me and other friends and clients are coming to cheer us on and help.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-06-2011, 03:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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Just go and have fun, you don't have to win your first show as you are getting back into it.

Enjoy yourself and let us know how you make out.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-06-2011, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
Just go and have fun, you don't have to win your first show as you are getting back into it.

Enjoy yourself and let us know how you make out.
I couldn't agree more. My first show was as a kid at age 11. I didn't show again for nearly 35 years! I only have a handful of shows under my belt now, but we do it because it is so much fun. It gives us something to do with our horses and challenges us to have something to work toward for the next show. It is so easy to fall into bad habits when you spend most of your time riding trail. It reminds me how to be a skilled horsewoman again!
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-06-2011, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
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I didn't show for the first time until I was 42. I guess I'm not like most adults. I actually found age an advantage because I've long since stopped being self conscious. We're having fun, horsey and me, so it's all good. Welcome back to showing!

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-08-2011, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 93
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My first show as an adult is now under my belt. There was an average of 15 horses/riders in each class. This was also my 6yo mare's 1st show and she did better then I expected.

Colored Horse Halter - 4th out 11
Open English W/T - 4th out of 17
Open Horse Pleasure - 4th out 15
Adult English Eq - 4th out of 7
Open Walk/Trot (western & english riders) - 5th out of 25
Adult Walk/Trot (western & english riders) - 4th out of 12
Novice Horse Pleasure (western & english riders) - 5th out of 11

My daughter and her 4yo mare did even better. They placed 1st in all 3 of their walk/trot classes that had over 9 riders in each class.

My daughter and I hanging out between classes

Sierra & I

Makayla & Honey getting ready to warmup
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-08-2011, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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AlexS is offline  

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