Did you find that the cost of getting on a horse plus the cost of being there is at the same level as national debt? And the reward is a few points or no points for class winnings.
Jill Bradley, Las Vegas, NV, told me that at the level of the breed there is more than showing points. He chose a year on his way to show himself in his backyard, the association of his rider, entertained, win the place instead of points and ribbons, and met with interesting people that he did not have to.
There is much to say positively about competitiveness in your local area or region. Let's take a look at the benefits of this process.
One of the advantages is that it is not so expensive at local or regional level. We can use less fuel for horse trailer and horse, truck and trailer is less wear.
Fuel is the price that shows us at every level, but it's huge when we travel 40,000 to 60,000 miles a year or more by pursuing a national title. At the current price of 2 USD per gallon and MPG 10 to 14 miles or less, we can expect fuel to be in our imaging budget at the expense. We also have maintenance and maintenance of the vehicle and trailer including fees for booths, motels, meals and entrance fees. Trailer LQ may reduce motel charges, but in the long run it is likely to cost around the same.
If we showed up at some local regional events, we would greatly reduce these costs. In addition, our husband or other important people and children would come along more often with us and become friends and see the country.
Entry fees are affordable, sometimes less than half of what is worth entering a large breed or circuit. We can learn in more classes, make halter, English and West and have a better trained horse in the process.
Prices are often more than just ribbons or points. In my neighborhood, local saddlers have a small circle of shows where the first, second and third really receive cash prizes plus points at a year's price, where they get even more than a plaque, usually sitting, using a trailer a year and other valuable values.
The competition can be so great, but the judge is usually out of the box and does not have a program. I have seen horses that have ranked well in some classes in some classes. This gives the show the feeling that its horse is worth it, although it is not one of the bloodlines currently in fashion.
Because of the shorter distance to these shows, one can get in the morning and take the horses to the show all day to see and then go home. The horse is more comfortable in its own bed and is equally exposed.
Another benefit is that young exhibitors have a place to improve their skills. As their skills and confidence improve, they can get to better and more competitive horses. They and their parents will buy and have them trained in a local business. Favorable situation for all stakeholders. I saw it in my own barn and so I have many others.
A Short War Story. In the mid-1980s, a young girl, her sister and her father, appeared in one of my open houses. Tiffany was a bit crazy, but she wanted to be with horses. Her sister was interested in learning how to ride and show. But as I approached Tiffany, she just wanted to clean the stalls. So I left her clean stalls. When she got acquainted with the barn routine, she decided she wanted to learn how to drive ponies. We bought her pony and cart and learned to drive. Then she went to the bigger horse and learned how to ride and show. And then her parents bought world class gelds and she went on jumper and hunter courses and competed nationally. She did well, she achieved awards at the end of the year and worldwide titles. And everything came back to starting with something she felt good about.
If you are a trainer or breeder who has different levels of horses in your barn, you can create a market for this animal in your area. Most riders in your area need horses that are well in the area. If it is yours, then you will sell or train more horses. A potential customer wants to see the horse and ride it before buying it. He can not do this if the horse is thousands of miles away unless he has very deep pockets.
Most of all, whether you are an adult or youngster exhibitor, the idea is to have fun with friends. Enjoy the camaraderie that surrounds you, learn from your peers and do not worry, if you or the horse grows up, there is always some class or other horse. In my opinion, this is important for supporting local or regional horses.