I have a 12 year old Quarter Horse that is athletic enough (both in his looks and his movement) to be passed off as a thoroughbred or a sport horse.
He's a hunter/jumper, and I'm going to start showing him this year (we've shown in flat classes for a while at local shows, but we're moving up to jumping as well as bigger shows.)
I ride with a trainer who's pretty prestigious and shows her horses at rated shows (such as Ledges, Horse Shows by the Bay, WEF), and she wants me to show with her. She's at a different barn, and I've been taking lessons on her horses.
The barn I'm at breeds paints and Quarter Horses. I've helped train the owner of the barn's horses, and she wants me to start showing with her horses. I have loyalty to both barns, but I'm conflicted as to who to show with.
It really comes down to my horse. I want to show him jumping, and I'd likely enter an open jumping class at AQHA or normal classes at rated shows.
The biggest problem is, we don't have the money for the rated shows. I have a sponsor lined up, but if it falls through at any point, everything goes down the toilet. AQHA is expensive, but more approachable.
If I could take my pick, I'd do the rated shows. But I think AQHA is far more realistic for my family's financial situation, and where my horse and riding is at.
Which way do you think would be best for both me and my horse? (I'm 16).