AMHR Nationals Qualification

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Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2008
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Montana USA
So I was reading the rules on qualifying for nationals this afternoon. I am kind of disappointed, here is why:

Each year I get 10 days of vacation from work, no more no less. (Tough deal but work is what pays for the hobby of the horses, feed, care and showing.)

Living in a pretty remote area of Montana we have to travel quite a bit to get to horse shows. By the time we travel a day there and a day back to two shows I have used up 4 days of vacation, this leaves only 6 days to get to and from Nationals and also show. (A 26+ hour drive.)

We have to do at least two shows to meet the 4 judge requirement (and this year our two closest shows would only just allow that and two of the judges at each show are the same) I would really like to do a another show in the Washington, Idaho, Utah area but again it is a two day travel plan. I am not the only hobbyist in the family, my husband also races hydroplanes and we have to add those to the schedule as well.

Why can't qualifications last two years? I wish work had more vacation available but unfortunately it doesn't and if I was to "retire" I couldn't afford to show let alone feed my fur babies.

I want to know what others do to make the locals shows to qualify and also to make nationals when they are working.

How many miles a day are you willing to have your horse in the trailer moving? Do you stop and stable them at all during the trip?
Where in Montana are you?

You could travel to a location that has two clubs, two shows in one weekend--six judges....and be qualified in one weekend. That would solve your travel/vacation time problem ...won't help you this year but would be a thought for next year.

Two words: Brandon Manitoba
We (right now it's granddaughter and I) travel 3 to 7 hours to get to a show. Yes, I am retired and hubby grinds his teeth at the expense but this is what I do for ALL my recreation.

No we don't stable them even for the trip to Nationals (16 hrs). I've found too much chance of "picking up a bug" along the way. We do water if the trip is over 4 hours. We try to time the water with a lunch break for ourselves. I used to feed also but now we are on a different feed schedule so we try to time it to feed just before leaving and then again when we arrive. I've been traveling and showing like this for nearly 10 years now and my horses don't have any trouble. The one time, as I mentioned, was when we stopped and used a barn for them and they ended up with runny noses.
Many people send the horses with a friend or trainer and then fly in to cut down on travel time. Or, don't show every year and swap hobby time spent could be an option, too.

It's not easy, but most people do sacrifice time and/or money to go.

Nationals is a 24-26 hour drive for me one way, too...
I guess what I am saying is there isn't enough time while working to do this. Kind of sad because I would love to go. There is no way we could drive straight through (we are getting too old, and health comes into play as well), it wouldn't be safe for us so we would have to stop somewhere. So figure two days each direction, plus the show is what 10 days long in itself. I just don't know how folks with only 10 days of vacation a year get the qualifications done, and have time left to go to nationals.

It is a time issue, not necessarily a money issue. I could find the money but as long as I work there isn't enough time. I am not willing to quit my job (they are hard to come by here unemployment is 17.9%) just for a horse show.

I would not send my horses with anyone else, guess I am just kind of weird that way. I have done it with biggies in the past and have had some not so wonderful outcomes.

Now if the qualifications were for two years (like in the Arabians) then we could plan for shows one year and then a nationals travel the next year. That we might be able to work.

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