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chelz 03-19-2013 03:34 PM

Starting Horse Showing at the Ripe Old Age of 21!
Hi everyone. I didn't get to grow up with horses (I had one for an ill-fated year when I was 10 but all he did was buck me off and make me fearful of horses for years. So I didn't have the best of beginnings!) When I was 18, I got another horse, and right now my herd is 2.5 (two big horses, 1 mini lol.) Last year, I showed my Quarter Horse at a local, open show in Halter Class (we finished 2nd) and Trail Class (we were unplaced, but did pretty well.) It was so much fun. Over the last year I saved up enough money to finally buy my own truck and trailer so I'm going to try to go to more local shows because I thought it was so much fun. Right now I'm interested in western divisions, mainly like western pleasure, halter again, trail again, and maybe a few others. I just wondered how out of place I'll feel at shows being 21. Luckily, the show I went to last year was a variety of ages. But I want to join the local saddle club but I'm afraid it's mostly younger 4H type kids and I don't want to be the old person! Also, I've never had lessons so I want to start of pretty basically (I still consider myself a beginner so I'm not looking to be a national champion or something! Just show on a local level.) I just wondered if anyone else started showing this late in life, or at least if you can offer me some tips on doing it!

kenda 03-19-2013 03:54 PM

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I started showing when I was about 23. In every show I've been to there have been age divisions, so even if there are a lot of younger people around, you won't be competeing against them. Actually, when I first started that was my concern, that I'd be competeing against people my own age and older who had been riding ALOT longer than me. Gradually my fears faded and I began to think of competeing against myself moreso than my peers. As in, how well can I get my horse going through these classes compared to last time, compared to how we're schooling etc., rather than how does my horse and my riding look compared to the horse and rider next to me. A first place ribbon is nice, but the feeling you get when you get into the ring and everything goes RIGHT is far superior to my mind.

Laineylou 03-24-2013 04:30 AM

Subbing, I'd really like to hear this advice as well. I'm 20 and I've been taking lessons for a year now. I'm hopefully looking to be ready for my first show next year, providing I have a horse by then.
Kenda, that is my biggest fear. I am so afraid of looking like a silly little kid in front of way more experienced people my age.

SouthernTrails 03-24-2013 07:04 AM


The General Shows (some call them fun shows) we always went to always had Age Classes in WP and Halter.

There were always plenty of people well over 21, some even over 50 (you know those ancient ones) :lol::lol::lol:

I would go have fun with your Horse :wink:


Jake and Dai 03-24-2013 08:14 AM

My daughter came to my first show in a stroller. So let's see **doing the mental math** I might have been 28? ish?

It was a fun local show...I rode in a few hunter under saddle classes on a 17hh tb named Roman Count (how I loved that horse!). I remember being in a class of about 15-20 in a huge ring. I picked up the canter immediately feeling proud of myself and as I passed one of the other folks from the barn I heard her say quietly (wrong lead). Not sure if I cued him or if he heard and understood her, but he switched immediately. LOL

Luckily the judge didn't see and I took 4th in the class. LOL

There were a variety of ages in that class and whilst I did feel a teensy bit awkward at first, I had so much fun!

So my advice? Saddle up and have some fun!

SlideStop 03-24-2013 08:54 AM

Your definitely not to old to start showing! I'm 24 and I've been to a whopping 2 local shows my whole life, back when I rode English. There wasn't enough entries to they combined adult classes with kids classes. I took grand champion at one show and reserve champion at the other but those kids beat A LOT of adults. Its all about ability, not age. I have kids that can out ride a lot of my adult students, and they do at our barns little shows!
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chelz 03-25-2013 04:45 PM

Thanks for the advice so far everyone! I'm feeling better about getting into showing as an adult hearing that some of you are the same way. :) Now I just have to hope I don't get embarrassed by the youngsters who are much better riders than me. ;) lol

aerie 03-25-2013 04:53 PM

Subbing! I am hoping to start getting back into showing within the next year, and I am 22!

Muppetgirl 03-25-2013 04:58 PM

Spent a career with horses, taking them to shows and races.....was never me showing! Going to ride in my first reining show EVER this year......and if you think 21 is a ripe age, then at 35 I've turned into compost and feeding the worms! Good luck:wink:

steedaunh32 03-28-2013 12:08 AM

Hey Chelz, I think we may be twins ;-) I'm the uber ripe age of 26 and starting showing this year, also. I had a rough experience a while ago and didn't get near horses for several years, which seemed to make the anxiety fester. Took time away from pretty much everything last year to have my baby, but I've deemed this year to be "my year" to pull my big girl pants up, get into weekly lessons and finally show. Western for me, too, and focused on showmanship and halter. Reassuring to stumble upon this thread!!

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