I'm a little late on this one... and I do have a show summary and videos from the March schooling show coming soon! I just fell behind and I'm trying to catch up! :)
This theme was suggested by Vanessa Viola. She'd like to see any tips I have about being efficient in regards to showing. Since show season is already upon us here in the north, now would be a good time. So let’s kick this off!
#1 - Schooling Shows
Some people thing schooling shows carry a negative stigma, like you're at a schooling show because because you can't afford a USDF show, or you're not good enough for a "real" show. Such BS! Schooling shows are a great way to practice and give you that "expensive" show experience at a bargain price. The only thing about schooling shows is that most of the judges are L judges or not rated judges at all so the judging can be a little inconsistent. Try to find the L judges that have the best reputations in your area when choosing a schooling show.
I love schooling shows. I use them as practice shows and as soon as I decide I'm going to one, I start reading the tests that I want to do. I try and do the same tests at a schooling show that I'll probably be doing at a recognized show. I print out the tests and keep them in my purse, so if I have a few minutes in the doctor's office or waiting for the kids, I can get it out and have a quick look. I always use a reader, but it's nice to know the test just in case.
Most schooling shows are casual, so you can wear a sweater or nice shirt, and paddock boots with half chaps and breeches. I do braid for schooling shows, just so I know how long it will take me to braid at a recognized show. I also keep track of how long it takes to tack up, and how long I warm up. Then I asses the weather, my horse’s attitude, and how he acted in the test to determine if my warm-up was too long or too short. If I have two tests in a day I time the warm-up again, because usually I need less time to warm-up for the second test.
For all shows, I always put the bridle number on the same side of the horse's head that I'm going to turn at C for the first movement after the halt. For example, if I'm going to turn right I put the number on the right side of the head. This is helpful if you have a total brain fart after your salute and your reader has already read the first movement. You can just look down and figure out which way to turn, and hope that you catch up with your reader before the next movement!
I also think schooling shows help motivate you and your fellow riding buddies. They are a low-stress and low cost way to set a goal and work towards it. Then you can get a few people rounded up and go to the show together. That way you have built-in hay haulers, horse helpers, and readers. Everybody helps out, and everybody wins (figuratively, of course!).
So when is your next schooling show?
Our New Girl
17 hours ago