Riding without intention of showing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-13-2014, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Riding without intention of showing

My kiddo has been riding, she has shown in both schooling and C shows, but I guess my question is if any of you all ride but do not show? Can you try to explain the benefits of showing versus not showing. It seems like a strange question, but we have never been super competitive, and I can see my daughter at some point just not being interested in showing but still learning and improving her riding. To me (which is untrained, not horsey by nature, and learning the ins and outs of hunters), it seems like the purpose of learning this style of riding is to show. Someone school me on what else is the "purpose" (for lack of a better word) to hunter riding. Stupid question possibly.
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-13-2014, 11:25 PM
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I don't show, but I am an adult so I will compare to the kids I knew that rode.

There are many different types of riding - competitive jumping, XC, dressage, showing, foxhunting, trail riding, endurance, happy hacking (my favourite ), mounted games, sidesaddle, plus all the western disciplines of which I know little.

Everyone is different, and we all like different things - whatever 'floats your boat' at the time. Your daughter might try out some things, she might change what she likes. Much of it will depend which has the most fun and most friends. The important thing to focus on is enjoyment.

Oh, and the point of showing?

Ummmm... A goal to aim for? A day out sharing your horse with like minded people?

The point of hunter style riding? Well, originally it was a chance to 'show off' your favourite hunter horse and enjoy a bit of friendly competition with your mates. Then less people hunted and more people had horses, and so the point of it is more to have a goal and to enjoy the competition. No more, no less.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-13-2014, 11:57 PM
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My daughter is not competitive and would be happy just taking lessons or just goofing around on her horse. We encourage her to show because as a way for her to test her progress toward her goals as a rider. It's easy to get in a rut or believe you have mastered a skill if you are only looking at yourself. However, being in the show environment allows you to see yourself vs. other riders working on similar skills.

For us, it's not about winning or even placing at a show. It's being able to see incremental improvement. I'm at every single lesson and watch my daughter ride at least 3x per week... so I know she can ride. But showing really opens our eyes to where she is compared to other riders her age and it gives us new goals to focus on after every show.

I'm sure we will stop showing someday, but for now, we plan to keep on showing. We love meeting other riders (and parents) and socializing with friends on the show circuit. It helps us feel connected to the local horse community.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 12:13 AM
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For me I go to shows because I really like the competition and the learning experience. As well it is like a huge social club where 150+ of your friends are out having a blast. I also enjoy running competitions (despite the few nasty competitors and/or their parents).

However, I coach quite a few folks who do not show! They like to spend their money on learning through taking lessons :) if you have a good coach they will be able to provide you with an accurate assesment and help you find " the next step" without having to show. I also have a Facebook page where I post interesting articles, photos and videos and lots of times I try to specifically find things related to problems students are having! Which is also helpful.

I would say the benefit to not showing is mostly financial, personally I encourage my students to learn how to show and to enjoy a day out with their horse every once in a while :)
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 12:46 AM
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I do the occasional show here and there (and show for my college's equestrian team), but I'm in no way competitive

I like showing because it teaches you the importance of being ready on time as well as losing and winning with grace. Beyond that, I love putting on my nicest clothes and showing off the ponies a little! It's also like "the final test" of if you have a skill down, horses are distracted, you're nervous, the pressure's on, and it's the best feeling in the world to have all these things against you, but pulling together a beautiful run.

That being said, it's in no way necessary. I like having a slow day out on the trails just as much. Some people like showing, some people don't. If she doesn't seem interested in showing, I might leave it until she brings it up. Then see if she wants to continue once she has a show under her belt

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post #6 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 01:06 AM
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I haven't shown in almost three years. When I did show, it was only a handful of times a year due to the cost. I liked being able to show others, and myself, everything my horse and I had accomplished since the last show we went to. I found that showing is not only fun, but a good way to judge when you are ready to move up levels as well. :)

I haven't shown in the last few years because I've switched riding disciplines and am more focused on learning the ins/outs of my new discipline. I plan on showing this year just for fun and to see how I am progressing in my riding. It is not at all necessary though. A rider can learn just as much at home as they can learn through showing. I do feel it's good for a rider to get the experience of riding in a stressful situation, such as showing, so that they can be a more confident rider.

Strength is not defined by physical ability. It is determined by your actions and the compassion of your soul.

Last edited by Bagheera; 04-14-2014 at 01:11 AM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 02:25 AM
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I did a couple of in-house competitions, and one away from home.
I enjoyed it, but I didn't have a wide community of competing friends.

I have a naturally competitive personality, and I stopped team sport and got in to riding because I was too competitve and kept getting super stressed when team mates couldn't do as I thought should be done. With riding, the only person I had to blame was myself.

I prefer training and learning. If I'd stuck with it, I'd probably compete; the horse I had would have been more than capable of it.
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 03:26 AM
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I dont show, but I would like to attend some shows in the future. Going to shows and winning is by far not what I hope to achieve through riding.

Going to a show and getting a ribbon, yeh its nice and all, but at the end of the day its the experience that I look forward to. I've only been to one show, and the best part of the day was actually competing in my show jumping class, not winning (not to mention i did pretty bad in that class anyway).

Where would the fun in life be if we all saw learning as simply something we must endure in order to compete? Doesnt sound like fun huh, the point in learning is to reach a goal. For some, that goal is competing, for others, it can be something as small as jumping a horse for the first time.

Im not one to set goals, i like to go with flow, so i set dreams (like goals without deadlines). Every time I achieve something I just feel so great, that I worked hard and it payed off. I have a list of things on my ipod that I wish to achieve. My previous dream was to jump, now that i have achieved that I would like to jump at a canter.

So for some, their goal may be to get first place in a show. Some might not even have goals, they may simply want to enjoy what they are doing.

So, to me, whats the point in doing something if you dont plan to show? The process, working hard up to something and achieving a goal :)
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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A lot of good responses! Thanks! I can see that a show can confirm your abilities as a rider. Shows are fun but they can become costly and they its a long day for everyone, especially this mama! LoL! It will be interesting to see where she goes in terms of riding. Her pony is not a perfect hunter pony and its hard to compete against fancy ponies who have been there and done that so to speak. I've also found that the judging is so subjective and its frustrating to know that you've done well but the cute kid who rides at the hosting barn gets the blue ribbon. Just a few rambling thoughts on my end and some things I've observed since we've been showing.
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-14-2014, 08:00 AM
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As an adult novice, I just enjoy the riding experience. Once I improve I may possibly enter shows, but doubt that I will. The younger set seem to love it and I agree that the competition and experience is healthy.

If your daughter wants to go in that direction I would certainly encourage it, but I wouldn't push it. I would hate to see her eventually dread or stop her lessons because she felt pressure. We all have have different goals. Mine is currently to not fall while cantering. :)

I would however take her to several shows merely as a spectator (especially at the entry level). You sound like a good mom.

My very best to you both.
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