When did you begin showing?
I recently began lessons (I'll have my fourth lesson this Thursday) and was wondering how long it'll take me to begin showing? Now I'm not asking people to give me estimates on when they think I'll start being able to go to schooling shows, local shows, charity shows, etc...because I know I still have some learning to do. XD However, I'm just curious as of when others began their show career so I can have a bit of an idea so I can make a reasonable goal for when to start competing.
So when did you go to your first show? How many months/years of lessons did you have? Etc.
P.S-I don't know if this will make much of a difference, but I am getting lessons in Hunter/Jumpers. :3
You will probably wait a while. My first show was 4 1/2 years after I started riding.
I have ridden as a toddler, took group lessons from age 8 to 15, when to the occassional show at 13 then the next few years I went to lots of gymkhanas. Still went to occasional open show in my 20's but at 29 I started working with private coaches then started to show on circuits & haven't stopped.
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I started riding the summer I turned 15. I took lessons almost everyday (4-5 days a week) for 2 months. I know that seems like a lot, but I worked hard at a barn everyday and in exchange I got lessons. By the end of it I could walk, trot, canter, tell my posting diagonals, and tell my canter leads most of the time. Then I went to a show and had a terrible time. The horse I was riding was the type who was safe, but tested you if you weren't confident. At the show she was quite tough. Rude on the ground, and fast and fussy when I was riding her. I went in mostly beginner walk/trot classes, which went ok but I didn't place well in. I went in some classes for my age group too which was a mistake as I was too nervous and wasn't able to handle my horse properly when she was misbehaving. In hindsight, I wish I had waited until next season, I think I would have had a better time.
Thank you all your input. I appreciate it.
I began showing 3 years ago (this will be my third year) and I took lessons for 2 years prior to that! :)
There are so many variables. The answer will vary depending on many factors.
My daughter was 7 (almost 8) when she started riding lessons. She went to her first schooling show (with 4H) after 6 months of weekly lessons. Her horse was a school horse who had BTDT and took very good care of her.
Later she showed her Godmother's 23 year old horse. He was more spirited (even at his age) and gave her more trouble...but with just around a year of lessons, she was able to handle it.
Her horse (Acey) can be a brat. We have good and bad shows with her. Kitten is much more confident and handles Acey's moods well...but I'm so glad we didn't start showing with a difficult horse...I don't think she would have continued.
So, if you have a good horse, a good trainer, and self-confidence, you can show sooner rather than later. Add 3 months for every missing element.
Oh, and remember, showing is expensive! We average between $250 - $300 per show for show fees. (Trainer, gas, stall, entry fees, hotel, supplies). We only show smaller local shows. Kittens English show clothes average around $300 per year (she grows like a weed). So, don't show until you are financially ready too. :)
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Thank you for the comments, HorseCourage and HorseMom1025!
Right now I'm riding one of our riding academy's horses and she's definitely one that has seen it all, done it all, etc.
My goal is to hopefully start showing in farm shows and/or local schooling shows.
Our riding academy does "farm" shows and they're kind of like practice shows for the students.
Then we have a few local "schooling" shows between the nearby facilities.
I mean I've definitely taken into consideration that the training, how fast the student learns, etc with the time frame.
Also, since I began my riding lessons a few weeks ago, my confidence went up greatly.(:
As for money, our facility gave us a sheet of price ranges for the shows, so I've been aware of those costs now too.
Again, thank you for the comments/advice!
I always warn people about the fees because I think it can be deceptive. Our shows are normally $8 per class, which seems cheap. But then you add office fees ($7), stall fees ($15), ground fees (if no stall), shavings ($7/bag)...and I normally write a check to the show for $80.
A cheap hotel? $75
1/2 tank of gas to pull the trailer? $50
Coaching fee? $50 per day
Our share of the coach's hotel? $25
It adds up quickly!
If your barn offers smaller schooling shows, that is wonderful. I bet you could start those within 3 months of riding lessons (with your coach's approval of course.). We loved schooling shows when Kitten first started and still attend them 3 years later because they are a great way to hone skills and prepare for the larger shows.
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Trust me, I know they can seem deceiving. Before I had received the "estimated costs" sheet I figured it'd be a bit cheaper (I wasn't way off--but then again, those costs are for the nearby local shows). I'm sure whenever I'm skilled enough to travel cross country I'll have to be a little more worried about the price XD thankfully I have some time before that happens though.
Again, thank you! I absolutely appreciate it(:
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