Thursday, February 21, 2013

Horse Show Etiquette

Our family is huge football fans.  Some may be shocked to see how my husband and I act at a game.  Face paint and a coconut bra are not unheard of for my business owning husband.  I was watching the people around me at Maddie's horse show last weekend and paying close attention to how they acted at such an event.  I can say I was highly impressed at the conduct of not only the spectators, but also all those participating.  It was a wonderful environment for my young daughter.  I was doing some research on horse show etiquette and found a wonderful article which on posted below.  I know there are going to be times when individuals will act in an inappropriate way.  We are human and all make fools of ourselves at times.  But it feels very comforting to know my family will be in an environment where I don't have to worry to much about what they are being exposed to.

Pasted from website if you can not open the link:

"Just like any other social occasion, attendees at a horse show are expected to maintain certain standards of behavior. For the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved, both you and your horse should follow established horse show etiquette. Behaving well at a horse show comes naturally for some people. These folks naturally look out for others. Most people, however, need to take a look at some guidelines for good manners. Here's a list of ways you can show good etiquette at a horse show:
Give the right-of-way. If you're walking your horse through a show, keep an eye out for spectators and always give them the right of way. Remember that your horse could potentially injure someone if he isn't under control. Not every spectator is horse savvy.
Look out for other riders. When riding in a class with others, be aware of where other horses are and avoid getting in their way. Also, be sure to keep a safe distance from the other horses. Two to three feet is a good guideline.
Be aware of your surroundings. Know your horse and his behavior, and be aware of anything in your surroundings that may frighten or excite him. The safety of everyone around you depends on your being able to control your horse in under every circumstance.
Keep the in-gate clear. Don't congregate or starting mounting or grooming your horse at the entrance of the arena, called the in-gate. Leave the area free and clear for other riders to enter and exit.
Warm up right. When riding in the warm-up arena at a show, ride left-shoulder-to-left-shoulder to avoid crashing into riders who are going the opposite way. In other words, stay in the right lane of the horse traffic. If other riders are schooling over jumps (jumping practice), be conscious of staying out of their way. Anticipate where they will land and make sure you and your horse aren't in the landing zone at the wrong time.
Be a good sport. Horse shows are supposed to be fun. If you don't win, don't be dour about it. Throwing ribbons on the ground and loud, angry comments is the height of bad form. Losing your temper only succeeds in makes you look bad to everyone watching you.
Some Horse Handling Guidelines
Your horse doesn't know much about human social niceties, so you're responsible for making sure he behaves. Keep the following in mind when handling your horse at a show:
Tie a red ribbon on horses that might kick. If your horse has a tendency to kick at other horses when they get too close, tie a red ribbon at the base of his tail to warn others to keep a distance. Likewise, if you see a horse wearing a red ribbon, keep your horse far away from the horse's back end.
Give your mischievous horse some space. If you have a horse who likes to pin his ears at other horses and nip at them, keep him far away from the others. This courtesy also applies when he is tied at the trailer or just standing about in between classes.
Unload and load properly. Please don't even bother taking your horse to a show unless he easily and willingly gets in and out of a horse trailer. A horse who flies out of a trailer backwards when he unloads is a hazard to all around him. Fighting to get your horse back into the trailer at the end of the day only makes things difficult for those around you. People may try to avoid the chaos, but may find themselves innocently involved in the cross-fire between you and your horse."

Article Source:

Do you agree with the ideas above?  Are these things you try to do when showing?  Are there others which were left out?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Showing on a budget

I was searching the Internet for ideas on showing horses on a budget.  I came across this article below from  There's some great ideas and information in the article, but I know there has to be more tips and tricks for saving money. ( I have copy and pasted the article below if you have a hard time with the link.)

"Many people who have horses would like to enter some sort of competition with them. However, the costs of horse shows can add up! Transportation, stabling, grooming supplies, tack, entry can be daunting. Here are some helpful tips on how you can save money while enjoying your passion.
1. Schooling shows are much cheaper than rated shows. Use these for practice and fun to make sure that you're really ready for the "big time." There are numerous affordable schooling shows in the Sacramento area, such as the Twin Lakes Riding Club in Orangevale. Many schooling shows allow casual riding wear, so you do not have to invest in show clothes right away.
2. Limit rated shows to those that are close to home or meet your needs best: if you just want ribbons, pick a small show with a small turnout. If you need qualification points, pick a show that generally has a big draw.
3. For multi-day shows, pick the day that has the most classes that you want to enter, and trailer in for that day only. You will save money on entry fees by only entering a few classes, and save money on the stall as well.
4. If you do choose to get a stall, see if you can team up with some friends to share a tack/groom stall. You can also pool resources so you don't necessarily have to buy everything you need, like grooming and stable supplies.
5. Don't be fooled by the high-priced grooming products! Citre Shine (available in almost any store that carries human hair care products) is the same thing as Cowboy Magic at almost half the price. Suave shampoo and conditioner works great, and you can often get it for about $1/bottle. Those snazzy grooming wipes? Forget them...get a $2 package of baby wipes at Walmart.
6. Carpool! Get a friend or two to trailer with you to split the cost of gas.
7. Learn to sew or buy used show clothes. There are patterns available (try Suitability) so that you can sew some of your own clothes. Alternatively, there are several places on-line that sell used show clothes, and many of these items were only worn a couple of times. Ebay is an excellent source. Ditto for used tack!
8. When I was a kid, my parents hauled me around to shows in a beat-up old truck and trailer. People sometimes snickered when they saw our rig, but they sure didn't snicker when I beat them! An old truck and trailer are better than no truck and trailer, as long as they are safe. Get it checked out carefully to make sure you will not be buried by repair bills.
9. Spend some time and effort to study training techniques and learn to train your own horse, or at least keep up on its training after a professional has gotten it started for you. My horse has never spent more than three days per week in training. Sure, it's taken longer to get us show ready, but I'm a better horseman for it and I'm saving myself about $700 per month in training fees. While it's much tougher to win on a national level on your own, lots of people do it! If you have a quality horse, some talent, and some education, you can get there. Another alternative is to put your horse in part-time training so your trainer rides it three days per week and you ride it the other three days. This is still cheaper than full training, but you get the benefit of professional help.
I hope you find these tips useful! Get out there and have some fun, and I'll see you on the show circuit."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maintain your health during show season

I had an amazing weekend supporting and cheering Maddie on, but the end result of the over the top mommy has been an over the top flu bug I can't shake.  I know this was the first weekend of many to come where we get no sleep and are out in the cold.

What's your tricks for staying healthy while juggling a hectic show schedule? 

This mommy wears out quick and if one schooling show did me in I need to come up with a plan quick before show season really hits us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

1st show done

Maddie has a show under her belt.  This mommy couldn't be prouder of her.  She rocked it!  So much that as soon as we got in the door off to bed she went.  (It was 7:00 pm)

Our first show day started at 4:00am.  Yes you heard that right.  I was super excited for her and didn't even feel it until we were about half way there.  Then I was super tired.  But we kept on pushing through the day and died when we walked in the house.

Maddie was a bit nervous for her showmanship classes and struggled a little.  She walked out after her last showmanship class was over and said I hate showmanship and never want to do it again.  Tell me how you really feel...ugh!

Once it came time to ride she did awesome. I could not have been prouder.  She showed a ton of confidence and handled Indie like a pro.

We made some new friends and even had a few new friends come to support her during her show.  What an awesome day it was for Maddie!

Now to get ready for her next show in two weeks.  We've learned a lot and can't wait for the next big one!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Battle of the white horse

As many of you have seen Maddie has a very white horse.  Indie is a pinto, but it more white than color.  Like 10% color, 90% white. 

Today we are getting Indie ready for his first show by giving him a bath.  We need to get his white, bright white, including his mane.

Here's my challenge for the day:

How to get them bright white and stay that way until tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two days before the first show

Maddie's first show is in two days. I started thinking of all the things we need to get done.  I'm feeling very overwhelmed.  And to think this is just schooling show.  Wait until she has a big show.  So here's my to do check list and things to get together.

-Give Indie a bath
-Clean him up with the clippers
-Get Maddie's tack all together
-Charge camera batteries
-Get extra memory cards in bag
-Put some snack together
-Med's in case Maddie gets a head ache (happens a lot)
-Water buckets
-Grain buckets
-Hay net
-Hay and grain (leaving at 5:30 and he won't eat breakfast)
-Tool kit (in case something breaks)
-Extra clothes
-A blanket (might be cold)
-Cash (if they won't take a card)
-Phone charger (dies way to fast)
-Fuel the truck

I can't think of anything else.  Does anyone have anything they can suggest?  This is our first show and I have no idea what we need to take.

Monday, February 11, 2013

What does it really cost

Last night I was at the barn and a lady was visiting.  She had a "horse crazy" 10 1/2 year old daughter.  She wanted to come by the barn and get an idea of what owning a horse costs.  Our Indie was a bad example of cost because we give him feed and other supplements which are not common in many horses.  She also asked what it would cost to get all set up with a horse from the beginning starting for scratch.  Wow I have no idea.  We haven't started from scratch ever.  I started to run a total in my head and was afraid to give her the number.

Here's what I was thinking:

Horse (for a youth with no experience)- $4,000-$5,000
Saddle- $250.00
Other tack (brushes, pad, bridle, blanket, ect.)- $500.00
Feed (per month)- $150.00
Board (per month)- $250.00
Trailer- $2,500 ish
Misc.- $1,000.00

So the total would be approx. $9,000.00

That can't be right.  Wow!

What do you think?  Does this seem off?  What do you think it cost to own a horse and first and also monthly after you've purchased it?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What's the in style this year

I've almost completed Maddie's first show jacket. I'm to the point of finishing it off.  So here's my dilemma; collar or no collar, cuff or no cuff?  I know show clothes styles change every year and I don't want to have Maddie look like last year.  So I've been cruising websites looking at clothing.  I'm worse off than I was before I looked.  I thought jackets were for showmanship and shirts were for riding.  Everyone on all the sites I've seen are wearing jacket while riding and some have shirts during showmanship. 

Help!!!!  Give me your take on what styles are in.  I could use a little guidance.

Monday, February 4, 2013

First injury

Just got back from our first horse related urgent care visit.  Poor Maddie tore the muscles in front of her rib cage on both sides.  Ouch!  She's working so hard at riding her horse that she just went a little to far.  She didn't fall or get hurt, she just worked her body to hard.  So she'd laid up for a few days and off her horse.  She was in so much pain today she was ok with it, but tomorrow I bet she'll be begging to go to the barn.

I know this is the first of many injuries, but it still really stinks to see your little ones in pain!

Finding the right fit

While most were watching the Super Bowl I spent the day doing everything horsey.  We hit the Wilco sale, had a 4h meeting and then spent the rest of the afternoon evening helping a friend find the perfect horse for her 9 year old daughter.

My poor friend.  She has spent months and months looking for a horse for her daughter.  Its becoming a full time job.  My heart aches every time shes goes to see a horse and comes back finding it was nothing like the person stated.

I know finding the right fit can be a long process.   I went through this with my own daughter and was lucky enough to find a horse to lease that was beyond perfect. But my poor friend just hasn't been as lucky. 

I really want to see her find a horse for her daughter.  So here my cry for help to all my readers.  The list below is what we need.  Please, please don't send her out to look at something that won't work.

-Very, very green rider
-Broke, broke horse
-Proven show history (not just halter as a baby)
-Safe for all ages
-Can be stalled
-Can just be a horse and go trail riding
-Under $4,000.00
-Under 20 years old
-Gelding (maybe mare if shes a good mare, no kick, no bite, good in season)

I look at this list and you'd think it would be easy to find.  But believe it or not it has been a really challenge to find this horse.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wilco Farm Show Days are here

Wilco Farm Show Days are going on right now until the end of Feb.  What an awesome time to stock up on some much needed feed, tack, clothing and other misc horse items.

I'm headed out this morning with my list in hand.  Who can beat a $5.00 bucket or Strategy feed for $16.00 a bag.  I'm also armed with my 40% off coupon ready to jump at the first thing I see. 

Week three is going to bring Maddie some new show jeans.  Buy one get one!  What a great deal!

Whats on your sale list this month?  Are there deals that aren't posted you'd like to share with everyone?

If you don't get the ad here's a link to their website to see all the great deals happening this week.

Happy bargain hunting!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Last night with my friend

Last night I was cooking dinner and the reminder that saturday was the day our old mare was being put down became to much for this mommy to bare.  I finished preparing dinner and told my husband I needed some time at the barn with Copper.  I cried the entire way to the barn.  When I got there at first I couldn't go in her stall.  I just felt so guilty I couldn't face her.  I got my daughters new show horse and rode him bareback around the arena for what felt like hours.  Every time I went around the arena where Copper was I just watched her from the distance.  When I was finally ready to face her I went into her stall and could only say how sorry I was.  I just kept apologizing to her.  I felt like I had failed her.  I felt like I should have done more for her.  I realize there was nothing more that I could do.  When God calls his animals home there is nothing we can do to stop it.  But it still didn't stop the overwhelming amount of guilt I felt. She was just eating her grain and had no idea what the next day held.
Before I left the barn I cut a chunk of her mane and tail off.  I wanted to keep it to make something for my daughter.  It took me over 30 minutes to make the final move towards my car.  I would walk towards the door and turn back.  The last time when I walked back to her stall she was looking at me and I knew it was ok. She just had a look of understanding.
When I got home my daughter and I talked about what an awesome horse she has been.  If it wasn't for our Copper, Maddie wouldn't be living her dream like she is.  Copper has been a huge blessing to our life.  She's been our friend, my counselor, Maddie's teacher, Brysen's playmate and a loyal part of our family.
My dad came and got her this morning to take her to the vet.  I just couldn't do it.  We have to go to the barn today and clean out her stall and get all her stuff together.  It's going to be a hard day. 
A friend reminded me last night that there are horses in heaven. In the book of Revelations Jesus and his army come riding in on horses.  Copper may not be the white horse out front carrying Jesus, but she'll be carrying one of soldiers.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How far to go?

My daughter had the opportunity to ride under an outstanding trainer yesterday.  His training is driven towards the breed show world.  We are so new to showing that it seems crazy overwhelming to me to think about 4 days of nothing but showing.  My daughter is beyond excited.  I want to be excited for her, but I'm worried we are pushing to fast and not enjoying the ride, but fast tracking to the end.
She's going to try her first breed show in March.  Wish us luck!