By CHRISTINE RIVLIN – The pros and cons of showing:
Pros of showing:
For me the benefits of showing outweigh not showing so my opinion might be slightly biased. I think going to the shows is the best way to get feedback as to if your training program is on the right track. I try to move each horse up a level each year. Keeping that in mind helps me keep my horses on track as I go through the season. I try to show a level below where I am training so when I take my horses out I am confident they are more than ready for the highest test of each level. My show season starts the end of January and ends the middle of October at our regional championships. From the end of October until our first show at the end of January, I spend the time training the horses to be ready for the next level by the first show the end of January. I try and give them about a week off after our regional championships; so the horses have a little down time. I tend not to give them a big break since many of the horses, especially the upper level ones take so much time to get fit. It is hard to let them have any significant time off without losing conditioning. I also consider this a benefit as they tend to stay in a very structured, consistent training program which allows me to monitor their fitness level.
Cons of showing:
Showing can take a considerable amount of time and money depending on how many horses you own, where you live, and the number of shows you have or need to go to. If you choose to try and qualify for regional championships, there are certain minimum qualifications you have to meet in terms of scores and number of shows you must attend to qualify. If you have to travel a considerable distance, this can mean the expense of gas, hotel, food, not to mention the entry fees, which for a multiple day show can easily and quickly add up to several hundred dollars to close to a thousand depending on how many classes you enter and how many horses you have. There is also the added expense if you don’t own your own truck and trailer to have to pay a professional hauler. There is also the expense of yearly memberships for you and your horse which can also add up into the hundreds . There is also the time factor to consider, especially if you have other family obligations. Most, if not all of the shows are held over a weekend and sometimes the longer shows begin on a Thursday and go through the weekend. My clients and I try to plan as far in advance as possible to figure out which shows we will attend so they can all make the necessary plans with work, family and financial expense.
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