This past Saturday was the final CUET Horse Show at Saddletree Stables. What a beautiful day it was, despite the mid-90 heat in September. We hosted a series of 6 horse shows this year to raise money for local Campbell University's Equestrian Team. These were open schooling shows, which meant anyone could come show in them, they included classes from western to english, jumping to dressage, and they were low key enough that you didn't need expensive show clothes to come participate. The great thing about these shows is that they are home shows. Despite the occasional trouble with putting on a home horse show, I encourage you to do so if you have the facilities. The benefits far outweigh the stress.
First off, it offers your students the opportunity to show without the hassle of hauling horses off site. Additionally, both your horses and riders are already comfortable and familiar with the ring, so there is no added stress of going to a new place. It is a great way for students to experience their first horse show.
I had a student showing for the first time, and she did great! For one, she was comfortable in our ring and that made her confident, and for two, she was riding Misty. I'm sure you have had a horse like Misty in your life. She is a show pony turned school pony with a heart of gold. She knows nothing of those sometimes nasty ponies you see on YouTube. She carries her riders around and shows them the ropes, and by golly, she enjoys it too! She especially loves all the grooming and pampering that comes with horse show day.
My students did well, and since the day was going so great, I took the opportunity to show in a few classes myself, on a horse I had never ridden, in a division that I usually wouldn't compete. I rode another instructor's mare in the Dressage Suitability division, and what do you know, we did great! We placed high enough in all of the classes to bring home the division championship.
Sometimes it is important to remember why you love this sport. Every once in a while, ride or show just for the fun of it. Take the stress and the months of training, and put it aside for just a day. You were probably a little girl or boy that would have loved to have a Misty in your life. Don't forget that.