Being The Poor Kid At The Rodeo - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Being The Poor Kid At The Rodeo

I always feel uncomfortable pulling up to rodeos and seeing these huge rigs hauling several horses when I've only got a used three horse trailer that I got for $6,000 and my two horses. I know that my animals are bred just as well, if not better than, the other horses there. They'll work for me and they're natural born athletes. But when I see my old, hand me down tack next to the shiny, brand new tack of another high schooler who's the same age as me, I feel dejected. My uncle always told me that I couldn't make it in rodeo because I'm not a rich kid. My family doesn't have much money. I've worked my butt off to get half the opportunity these other kids have had handed to them. I just feel like I don't belong. I felt the same way, if not worse, when I rode English. Does anyone else struggle with this?

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post #2 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 02:33 AM
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Donít be bummed out about this. Odds are the owners of the fancy trailer and truck outfits are drowning in debt or have little savings to fall back on because they want, for whatever reasons of their own, to live this way rather than look at sensible long term financial planning for a secure future.
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post #3 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 02:50 AM
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I well remember years ago, when at a major show, a tatty old car pulling up with a single horse trailer. A large family poured out of the car, all rather scruffy. The pony wasn't much better!

That young lad took on the best and beat them all. He went on to represent the U.K. Junior Show Jumping, went to work for a renowned race trainer and was champion jockey several times now helps present racing on TV.

His name is John Francome.
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post #4 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 03:27 AM
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-coming from another teen- I think it's worse in English riding. I mean there's judging all round but still. There's nothing wrong with well-loved tack so long as it's structurally sound. And in most rodeo events the tack doesn't have much to do with it. I mean in barrel racing they probably wouldn't count you off if you went in bareback and bitless (in our smaller rodeos anyhow) so long as you didn't knock the barrels over. Shiny tack doesn't mean anything. They've got nice tack? Good for them. Show them you're just as good with your beat up old saddle. Shine it up really nice and replace the conchos with new ones and braid your horse's mane and tail.

You know what, you know the value of your things because you work hard for them. I've met some spoiled rotten kids who were handed everything and it got them absolutely nowhere in life. Not saying all rich kids are spoiled, but I am saying that kids who are handed money by their parents don't appreciate it nearly as much as those of us who work our tails off.

Then getting out there and doing well with your horse means so much more. If you can ride and your horses are good then go at it.

May I ask what you do at a rodeo? I personally do barrels...never tried poles though.

No matter how much you think you know about horses, there will always be one that'll come along and teach you something new.
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post #5 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 04:30 AM
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If you've worked hard for what you have then hold your head up high knowing you have a right to be proud of your accomplishments and what you do have. One of life's lessons is that you do not need what other people have and to be content with what you do have. That is not to say you shouldn't set out to achieve more but is more about the moment. Do good in school, go to college and get a degree in something that will allow you to find a good paying job and work towards being able to pay for the bling you want. You'll appreciate it more and take care of it better.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #6 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 06:35 AM
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Yes, you do have to have money to do things with horses. It's expensive. Entry fees, the cost of getting there, a place to sleep while you are competing, Veterinary bills, feed, and other expenses of the horses upkeep. But, here you are right now doing this. You have wheels to get there, wheels for your horses, and tack to ride. What this stuff looks like is not going to help you or your already awesome horses perform better. You have what you have right now and it seems that you are doing pretty well with what you have so give yourself credit. The horses don't care about shiny and new

All I can say is there are many ways to be rich and having lots of money is only one of them.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Coffee is my spirit animal
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post #7 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 07:31 AM
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I always feel uncomfortable pulling up to rodeos and seeing these huge rigs hauling several horses when I've only got a used three horse trailer that I got for $6,000 and my two horses.
But when I see my old, hand me down tack next to the shiny, brand new tack of another high schooler who's the same age as me, I feel dejected.

When I was a teenager I had one horse, who cost my parents $500 to buy for me.
I had a Argentine made A/P saddle, a ugly thick flat bridle, one bit, one girth, and one martingale...oh and a winter blanket along with some brushes...all for the whopping amount of $125 did that load cost me., not in this house.
Shows...yup what I could afford to take lessons to learn and then ride to the show grounds and show my horse.
Was I outclassed then...yup.
Did I care? Nope...
My horse & I had a blast of fun and did pretty good for not having a trainer per so go to school us, often no trailer ride to get to the show...
I would ride for an hour along roadsides with my mom following in the car to light the roadside with headlights in the dark of morning.
Once we got to the show, the horse stood tied to the luggage rack on top of my parents family station wagon.
I usually did the first couple of classes then repeat our method of travel going home...this time though it was light out so we could trot or canter part of the way home.
I had no fancy anything...
My horse though was gleaming clean, my tack was clean and functional and my personal appearance was the best it could be...
All that = quite a few blue ribbons and ribbons of other colors earned. What it gave me though was a sense of accomplishment that I was as good or better than some of those who spent the oodles of money and my $500 nag beat the snot out of their horse costing thousands...
I couldn't go far away from home because we had not the means at that time to do so...

Yes, its nice to have those pretty things if that is what makes you the rider...
What is more important is that you have the commitment, the pride and the knowledge to carry off any look in the ring and win.
So the tack is fancy...does it make you ride better?... Answer is no!
Fancy trailer...did it make you get to the show any better?... Answer is no!
When you are footing all the bills for your wants and "I feel cheated cause I don't have"...then go for it.
Invest and be in debt...but remember just cause you have the fancy doesn't make you any better a rider nor any better a horse...
Being better comes from working for it...being a team... and working for the magic moment of harmony and job excellently done!
Personally, as a teen I would of loved to have had several horses and any kind of parents couldn't afford that so I did what I could with what was offered..
Ohhh...and I worked every weekend and many weekday nights babysitting and paying for my horse to have "extras" and me to have lessons.
Few of those were afforded by my parents...what I had was a gift and things they did without so I could have.
Biggest was my school grades were not permitted below a B+ upper 80's minimum.
Bad grades, no horse...period. My parents meant it...
That was my end of the bargain to uphold or do without the horse...

Make sure you choose a living with high earning potential as you will need it to afford a home, car/truck, the fancy horse trailer, the fancy horse and fancy tack to show everyone.
Me, I'll take my cheap trailer, horse and tack and have as much fun without the debt overhead...
When I win it is because it is deserved not the fashion palette showing $$$$$$$ spent.


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 08:17 AM
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I remember my sister and I going to a "Class A" show -- this would be in the 1970s. These were the local junior circuit shows which were the regional stepping stones to the big league. I think she was eleven and I was fifteen -- I had a green filly then so I was just grooming for her. We pulled up in a rusty rented two-horse trailer and unloaded my sister's fat, cold-blooded 13.2 pony, a mostly-white pinto built like a micro-bus. We had both labored mightily to get him and keep him clean for this event. I remember our stall wraps were cut-up old mattress pads. My dad had driven us, and he immediately left; he had no interest in horse shows. We were on our own. Parked right next to us was a gorgeous chestnut TB type mare and a tall slim immaculate girl who sat in a folding chair while her crew polished and tacked up her horse.

Meanwhile I'm still scrubbing Gus's grass stained knees with a toothbrush ...

My sister was entered in mainly hunter hack and english equitation classes, which were the same classes as the girl with the chestnut. They were all big classes of fifteen to twenty-five horses. My sister won almost all of them, with one second and one third. The girl with the chestnut was always pinned just below her. In the end, my sister won high point trophy with her $125 pony, and this girl was visibly seething. We could hear her complaining bitterly to her friends about favoritism, on the other side of the trailer. We wept for her. Just kidding. We gloated.

Believe me, buying the fancy stuff to look like you belong is a perfectly unrewarding thing to do. Working hard and achieving what you deserve, is what will make your heart glow.

It sounds like your dad may have put a bad idea into your head about being too poor to win. Maybe that is true at the tippy top, where deep pockets as well as talent and hard work are needed, but geez, not where you are at. You are building your skills. Enjoy the opportunity to get out there and play. Life is short.

Short horse lover
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post #9 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 08:27 AM
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It's funny, I read your post and while I really do empathize with how you feel, I was thinking, "wow, you own your own trailer? I sure wish I did. I bet he has land to keep his horses on, too." Every free penny I have goes to pay for my horses (mostly boarding) and while I fantasize about having my own trailer (I guess you have your own truck, too?) one day, I don't see how it will ever happen. If I ever show up somewhere with my horses, it will be with a nice truck and trailer because I would have had to rent them (not sure where THAT mone would come from either) and no one rents out cheapies from what I understand. I have bought used tack wherever I could, but at least where I live it's hard to find so most of my stuff is shiny and new. I actually generally prefer used tack because it's already broken in, and you get a better idea of the general quality of something if you can look at it after it's been used for a few years.

Maybe you'd look at me and think, "Wow, she owns three horses? She must be rich!" Ha, ha, and ha.

I think we all tend to look at what other people have and get a little jealous. I think it's really hard when you're younger, but the sooner you can learn to be happy with what you have (not that it's wrong to want more, but you shouldn't feel bad because someone else has something you don't) the happier your life will be.
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post #10 of 37 Old 04-30-2019, 08:38 AM
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I can sympathize with feeling "less than."

I started showing with plastic tall boots that I found in an alley. My western boots were the same. Both about two sizes too big. My jodphurs were ancient twill with the huge thighs on them. My coat was a brother's sport jacket. I bought a cheap helmet by recycling pop bottles.

Despite my clownish appearance people gave me rides at local shows. I won, or at least placed well, in low level hunter classes, equitation, and handy hunter.

I cried sometimes because of the mean things other kids said. But I couldn't quit the horses.

Funny, though... Now I play polo. I could afford a gleaming 10-horse trailer. A string of ponies. High end tack. But all that comes at both an economic and personal cost. Personal, because it would take away from other areas of my life.

So... I cheerfully pull my 3-horse bumper pull (cost $6000) in between the lovely goosenecks, unload my one horse, and whoever else I'm playing that day, and have a great time.

I have friends all over the country. Some who appear to have it all. Others who, for various reasons, economic or physical, can't play at all, and we have good times together.

Enjoy what you have. The hurts are real, but the blessings are "realer!"
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horse tack , horse trailer , rodeo

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