Does your horse enjoy going to shows? Or just accept it?

Discussion in 'Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions' started by ACinATX, May 9, 2018.


How does your horse like going to shows?

  1. Loves it

    5 vote(s)
  2. Likes it

    3 vote(s)
  3. Accepts it

    8 vote(s)
  4. Dislikes it

    0 vote(s)
  5. Other

    0 vote(s)
  1. ACinATX

    ACinATX Full Member

    Mar 31, 2018
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    Quick question, if you don't want to read through all the explanation below. Does your horse enjoy going to horse shows? I mean the whole thing: travel, stalls, busy atmosphere, competition? Or does he merely accept it? Or actively dislike it?


    Long explanation: last month I bought this random young (5.5 years old) pony. He is a really sweet boy and my intention was for him to be a pet that would be ridden (let me just admit this: by me, not my child) on trails, maybe low-level dressage and jumps. Basically just having fun. Plus just spending time hanging out.

    Now I'm being told by multiple trainers that he is potentially an AA-level show pony. I am still not entirely clear on what that means, except that he could go to shows I guess. With 100% respect to people who show their horses, I just don't get it (seems like a whole bunch of different types of stress rolled up into one giant ball of stress) and I really have no interest in showing him (plus there probably isn't a division for middle-aged novice women who ride ponies LOL). But, I'm wondering if HE might enjoy it, and if I might consider maybe letting some extremely well-trained and respectful kid take him on a half lease and show him. But only if the pony would really enjoy it.

    My pony is smart, inquisitive, confident, calm, loves attention, loves people, and loves being in the middle of things. On the other hand, he does tend to be a little spooky around sudden loud sounds and movements like doors opening and closing. He has an alpha personality and sometimes bites and kicks other horses.

    Probably what I'm going to end up doing is, if his current trainer really thinks he has it in him, have her take him to a small, local, low-key show and see how he does. If he doesn't actually enjoy the experience, I will not pursue it any further.

    But I'm still curious what other people think about if their horses actually ENJOY this.
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

    Mar 21, 2008
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    according to the AC I have used with great success in the past, "April doesn't mind shows, but its an awful lot of work".

  3. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Coal likes it but thinks it is a lot of work, and he doesn't like going if he's not ready to win.

    Jesse thinks it is fun, but he wants to be good.

    Willow loves it. Loves being in the show pen. She is better at shows than at home.

    Demi hated it. She thought she was the best prettiest thing no matter what and didn't need any one to tell her any different.

    Really though... if YOU don't want to show... who cares if your HORSE wants to show? Horses live in the now. He won't be out there in the pasture, longing to be be at a horse show. Shows are a racket... and one that keeps trainers making money and relevant. If your trainer is pressuring you to show and you have no interest? Politely decline. If your polite no doesn't sink in... find a new trainer. Horse showing IS stressful. It is a racket. I enjoy it, and my kids enjoy it, but it isn't the end all be all of horse ownership. It isn't for everyone.
  4. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2012
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    Fergie likes gawking at everything, and likes all the horses around..doesn't really enjoy being stalled, and if everyone she knows goes to a class and she stays back, she gets upset.

    Much like she is at home...
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  5. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

    Feb 18, 2014
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    My pony is your typical kick along harry lesson pony that needs a ton of leg and kinda flops around the ring with beginners. However, take him to a show and he will go in and win the hacks against much bigger, fancier horses. His ears are forward, he's striding out (One time I got complaints about him being too forward at a show...that's a first lol) and I think he enjoys it.
    SiouxRider21 and Alsosusieq2 like this.
  6. TBLove

    TBLove Full Member

    Mar 18, 2015
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    My horse thrives at shows, hes actually a better ride at shows than he is at home.
    He struts right up the trailer and right into the ring with a certain confidence about him. He tries harder , listens closer, jumps better.
    We do dressage (3rd level) and jumpers (1.2m currently).
    I ship out for hacking as well, as that's so important for them, and I honestly think he gets disappointed it isn't a show venue when we unload. :wink:
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  7. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    When we started showing, Brandi went from, “Nope. Not getting on the trailer. No.” To, “THEY’RE HOOKING UP THE TRAILER! LET’S GO!!” And actively trying to lead *me* towards it.

    I think that speaks for itself.
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  8. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2016
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    If you don't like to show, don't. Horses don't pine for things like that, although there are horses that are born to and thrive in them.

    Shows IMO are for the owners and riders. They are a lot of fun, but they're a lot of work and expensive also. Easy decision to me as you aren't interested. Your trainer just wants to make some extra $$ and your horse probably is qualified to show. It's your choice.
    Ms_Pigeon and mooselady like this.
  9. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

    Sep 1, 2010
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    Waylon has only been to one but I want to say he enjoyed it. He was happy to sit at the trailer during down time and happy to stand nearby when our turn was up. We may be going to a bigger show in june that will require stalling and stuff so we will see :)
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  10. spec

    spec Full Member

    Feb 10, 2016
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    My mare genuinely enjoys showing I think. She travels around the ring with her ears pricked, taking in the atmosphere, but trying her best to be a good girl. Loves the attention, being all fussed over and groomed. LOVES her hay bag (lol). I try to make shows a pleasant experience for her by not making her exert herself too much, I reserve conditioning and practicing for home only.
    However, she also LOVES the pasture and LOVES her grain and LOVES her pasture mates.
    Therefore, she could honestly care less if she’s in the pasture or in the show ring. Your horse might have potential, and if you feel like you’d enjoy hearing of his success, do the lease thing. I can also see how you would want to have him shown to greatly up his price tag should you ever decide to sell him.
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.

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