Hillbilly horse riding with "A" rated jumpers?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-15-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hillbilly horse riding with "A" rated jumpers?!

So, I've been trying to find a farm in my area that is willing to let me haul my horse to their farm in order to ride in their indoor throughout the rest of the winter. Well, I FINALLY found one!
There's only one "problem." It is a private farm, and boards and owns only "A" rated jumpers. It's an extremely high class facility. Lots of money. The kind of barn that's nicer than my home.
I went and visited last week. I talked with the barn owner who (while being stuffy at first) turned into a very nice lady. She introduced me to her horses and told me all about the levels of competition that each horse competed in.
I felt completely out of my element. I own a 17 y.o. grade QH gelding. He's still relatively "green" after spending the past 10 years or so (prior to me getting him) as a pasture pet (sold as a green 7 y.o). I want to be able to show huntseat at the local shows in the Adult W/T/C classes. I keep him at home. I do not have any sort of arena. When I'm schooling him, I just ride in the flat part of the cow pasture (which is impossible in the winter). My horse doesn't come into frame, he's still inconsistent about picking up the correct lead at the canter and he's very average. I did tell the lady about my showing goals, trying to get across the fact that we are not of her caliber.
I've never spent time at a barn like this... Am I going to be judged? What should I expect? What should I wear and how should I turn out my horse? What are the expectations as far as "unwritten rules" or big "no no's"...
I half expect that I'm going to pull in the yard and unload my little horse from the green monster of a stock trailer I have and have her tell me to load him right back up and go home...
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-15-2013, 07:20 PM
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No matter what there will always be people who judge based on appearances. Don't let them get you down. :) My trainer one time told me that any "horse person" who judges and ignores/declines a horse based on their breed or looks is not a real horseman. If she tells you to load him right back up and go home than I'd say that isn't a trainer or person you need, even if she is that good or has a nice place.

I'd make sure that you and your horse look presentable (no burs or anything in the mane/tail, groomed and not with clothing that has any excessive tears in it). As for do's and dont's just follow the barn rules and do everything else how you usually do it.

Can't hurt to try and get a ring for the winter! :)
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-15-2013, 08:34 PM
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As said by Incitatus show up with you, your horse and tack clean and neat. You don't need to go to the "show" level of presentation - no braiding, no hoof polish, no jacket (stuff like that). As far as you are concerned, breeches, boots, helmet plus a nice fleece top with/without a vest (I don't know what your temperatures are like where you are) should work. You'll want a written copy of the barn rules, if they have them, to use as reference. As far as unwritten rules, be courteous and polite, keep your eyes and ears open so the pair of you remain safe both in and out of the ring while you get the lay of the land (I suppose technically arena in this case).

Good luck with it and do let us know how it works out for you.
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-15-2013, 08:39 PM
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I forgot to mention -- if you have time, try and go once or twice to sit and observe as that's great for finding out unwritten rules; and try to get a schedule of arena use and pick the quietest times for the first time or two that you go to minimize any stress on you and your trusty mount.
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-15-2013, 08:41 PM
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Go have fun. I moved my guy to a stuffy upper level dressage barn-by stuffy, I mean not the BO-she is a friend. The boarders were teens who thought their poo didn't stink, with moms who catered to them, a lady who had a WB who was the same cold and markings as my grade horse….and one day I said something to her-she scoffed in a disgusted tone….and the other guy who "trained in Sweden with Anky….." I could not have cared less about any of these folks. I rode western, and was looked at like a foreigner, and the Bo-again-a friend-referred to my horse as her "little cow pony". However-I do reining. I went out and rode. I rode with whomever, and over time, noticed that they took notice, and were watching, in a positive way. I also had the only horse in the barn who had ground manners. Literally. Their horses were so rude and unruly it was ridiculous. So, while they were trying to get their cross tied mounts to stand to be groomed…..I found my own amusement in ground tying my horse in the aisle, and he, as he does-never moved. I would walk away, go to the tack room…..he stood right there. I got my own amusement in my own ways. So don;t let them get you down. They put on their pants the same as you, and are no better or worse.

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post #6 of 19 Old 12-16-2013, 07:17 AM
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Give those folks a chance, they might surprise you and be very down to earth and friendly. I've found that if you go into something with a bad preconceived idea, it usually turns out that way. Either way, you're going there to ride your horse and NOTHING should deter you from having fun horse time!
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-16-2013, 07:55 AM
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The above posters all have very valid points made.

Attitude is everything....

Go, ride and Enjoy!!

Go with a clean horse and tack, riding helmet and appropriate attire....doesn't mean boots & breeches, not everyone rides that way everyday every-time honestly. Be comfortable, be yourself.

You might be very pleasantly surprised that the BO and boarders may offer tidbits of information to help you along if you have a receptive attitude to them.
A very upscale barn may be more friendly than you think...

Fundamental ideas and practices of teaching a horse "movements" close the gaps of all riding disciplines in a hurry.

Don't sweat the small stuff... follow or lead by example ring etiquette and politeness astride and in the barn.
Ride your horse as best you can and remember that you were invited to use the arena.

Enjoy the atmosphere and learn by seeing how and why things may be done as they are. Some day in the future you never know if it will be you boarding in such a place and having "seen" also enlightens you to looking for the good and bad every barn has. That benefits your horse.

Go....Enjoy your ride!

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post #8 of 19 Old 12-16-2013, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the advice! I'm waiting on a "price list" before I schedule some riding time. I'll let you all know how it works out!
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-16-2013, 10:50 PM
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Oh yes, please let us know how it goes!
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-02-2014, 12:19 PM
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Girl, don't you let ANYONE tell you that you or your horse isn't good enough. I ride a 15.1hh Appaloosa and let me tell you about those nasty looks at horse shows. Even judges will stare at me with a concerned look. Kind of like "you sure that thing is going to make it over a 18" jump, let alone a 3' one." And boy did me and my gelding shove them back in their place. Jumpers- psssh easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I kicked everyone's booty. So if you get judged by those fancy priss people, and get those mean looks, just get on and show them what you two can do.
Hope that helped.
I bet your horse is better then those "fancy" jumpers.
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