Stop Showing

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Kelly

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When should people stop showing? I thought this might be kinda fun, funny, and truthful all at the same time. If you have any tips on when people should stop showing or when people should change their focus back to the horse and the fun of the sport, please post them here.


* If you aren’t having fun anymore!


*When you look down on and roll your eyes at someone who is soooo excited to get a 6th place ribbon.


*When a complete stranger tell someone their hat (or any attire) is inappropriate for a class. I mean seriously! You can obviously tell the person has a little tiny bit of horse experience, I mean, seriously have you seen her tall boots! And then to lecture her on how inappropriate her hat is…don’t you think she knows her cute little hat isn’t really considered “English”… have you ever considered that she probably doesn’t care what you think and she knows if her horse performs perfectly and better than everyone else in the class that she will win, cute little hat or ugly helmet. Maybe she doesn’t want to wear a big ole bulky helmet or hunt seat cap because it is ugly, she would rather wear a cute little hat, plus it is probably a whole lot funner for her….. if you don’t think funner is a word then think again you fun suckers! 🤣🤣LOL Haven’t you heard that ole saying, “I don’t need to hear your opinion of me” or something like that LOL LOL 🤣🤣



*When you see the adult costume contest class and think, what’s the point? I’ll tell you what the point is people, it’s to have some FUN!


* When someone tries to convince you to send your horse off to a trainer.… Not everyone wants to send their horse off to a trainer. Maybe she enjoys doing all the training herself, maybe she doesn’t care if her horse isn’t perfectly trained, she knows her horse is perfectly trained for her. If anyone needs to send their horse to a trainer, please send them to me! I specialize in training them to give kisses and hugs. You can also sign them up for a “serious snuggle session”!! ♥️♥️
 

MaryFlora

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It has been about 10 years since I’ve shown, in large part because there just aren’t any in central MN. Even the open shows that used to have halter, showmanship, and costume just aren’t “here”. I so enjoy reading about the shows you folks take part in, and wish I could be there!

Your post, however, brought back one memory, from about 13 years ago, that just made me sad at the time. ‘Chucky’ a sweet little AMHA sorrel and I attended our first show together in a town near the Minneapolis area. We were as buffed and polished as possible. It was fun and we tried several classes. I believe we took 6th in halter and I was so tickled. The previous owner of ‘Chucky’ came over and spent about 10 minutes telling me that Chucky always placed much higher when they showed him and I just didn’t have rhe right technique. ☹

Right behind her came a wonderful man who said he was a licensed judge and my little guy, in his opinion, deserved higher but judges all come with opinions, not my ‘fault’. Bless him.

His kindness helped me move past that encounter and be proud of not only my little buddy (which I was) but to also keep some faith in myself. I think if anyone is showing and goes home with a heavy heart after doing their best, it is time to reward yourself with a sabbatical and just love up your herd and be kind to yourself. 💞
 

JAX

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People give me tips all the time and I appreciate them even if I don’t agree with them. I figure that they are just giving me their opinion on how I could place higher. Again I just look at it as they are trying in their own way to help me in case I want to place higher. Some of those opinions I learn from and some I simply do it my way.
 

Marsha Cassada

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A challenge now is knowing the appropriate class to enter. Dapper Dan and I tried our luck several years ago. We did not choose the correct driving class for our "style". Afterward, I was told I should have entered a different class. When we showed before, a mere 4-5 years earlier, there were only two driving classes--pleasure and roadster. (Well, I knew Dapper Dan and I were not going to do roaster!) There were several more driving options, which I did not understand at the time.
So, reading the rule book, and understanding classes is important.
We retired, rather ungracefully, from the showing lists and now just enjoy casual jaunts in the countryside together. I do rather miss the folks I met at the shows, though.
 

Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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if you don’t think funner is a word then think again you fun suckers! 🤣🤣
Kelly, if I were there with that new person with little horse experience and I saw them being fun-sucked, I'd have jumped to their defense!! 😠😆😠

*Don't they know new people are welcomed, celebrated, and encouraged?
*Don't they know that if we criticize, and newbies never become oldies, our industry will die?
*Don't they remember what it was like to just have the pure JOY of showing with their horse?
*Don't they know some people don't see trainers as the be-all and end-all of horse show people?

I agree Kelly, that when it's not fun anymore it's time to stop showing. If all you see when you look in the barn are *clients*, and your goals focus on *who has the best chance of winning*, maybe it's time to take a long look in the mirror and reassess yourself.🪞

Here's a big ol' "you go, girl!!" hug for that sixth place ribbon celebratin', neat yet different hat wearin', adult costume class enjoyin', tiny little bit of horse experience person. I love them!!
 

LostandFound

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I think that a lot of the problem is that shows are stressful. So what one person means as a helpful or innocent comment doesn't come out quite that way with the strain in their voice. And what another person might hear as a helpful or innocent comment filtered through their own strain and stress sounds harsh and negative.
 

Becmar

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I showed dogs for year. Never horses because I... well... showed dogs so it was always the same political set of rules sometimes. Especially when you started winning over big name handlers/ or dogs and you were a nobody.

It's not that they are fun suckers... but they just don't know HOW to give their advice. Most people in the horse shows are very friendly and want to help always. Again it's the way they help.... fun is in the eyes of the person doing the showing. You are always going to run into those people who make remarks or are rude. You need Thick skin.....

I do know from showing dogs that it sometime is hard to watch someone who atleast does not try to fit in with show movement or dress code (I showed in a dress yick!!) or handle their dog the way they should to be showing them or presenting them to the judge. I helped many new people after I showed for a while. They feel for you and want to help you.. When I started showing I tried very hard to do what others did. Worn a dress, placed my dog in the correct stops, presented and moved them the correct way. I wanted to have fun but fun is sometimes winning also..to advance your animal in experience and rating along with your wonderful day with your animal.

I hope I have not hurt anyone's feeling with this reply. Showing different to each person. It's like anything else if you have no fun.. stop showing.
 

Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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Yes Becmar, I agree with the points you and LostandFound made. They are all valid.

I, too, showed dogs. I worked as an Assistant Handler in an all-breed kennel. I didn't care for showing in a skirt and blouse either!

During my almost 4 years I saw and heard quite a bit about politics. We showed up and down the East Coast, every weekend except for about a month just after Christmas holidays. I learned about being a gracious loser AND winner. I learned about some of the "why's" of how dogs were placed. The BEST thing my Professional Handler taught me was to always show my dog to it's best advantage. Even if it wasn't the current fashion, I needed to look at my dog objectively and groom and handle it to accentuate it's good points.

One of my best experiences was when I handled a pet** to fill a class of English Cockers to make a major. Imagine all our surprise when she took the class, and Best of Breed, for three points!! Fortunately, the owner of the dog we were trying to finish was also the breeder/owner of the dog I was handling. Since I wasn't trying to win, I had fun just stacking her how I thought she'd look good. I played with her in the lineup. I was relaxed, and all this translated down the lead to a bright-eyed, tail wagging dog who'd "never looked better" according to her owner.

I say all this to remind all of us that, for some, showing is part of their livelihoods. For the rest of us, it's an enjoyable hobby. We should support each other, help each other when we can, accept help when it's offered, and live by the Golden Rule. If we presume the best intentions during our interactions, that'll be what we get. If someone isn't particularly pleasant, maybe our own niceness will convict their hearts later.

In the end, we go home with our beloved animals. We had fun being a team. So, we'll keep showing in spite of Negative Nelly.

Okay, off the soapbox now 😂 Someone else may have a turn.

**Pet, in the dog show world, is a sometimes derogatory way of referring to a dog that lacks either the conformation or the show spark to be a show-quality animal. For a true blue breeder, it's a term of endearment for the majority of animals that their kennels produce, and is a source of pride. 💙
 

Kelly

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Okay, off the soapbox now 😂 Someone else may have a turn.

Soapbox! Soapbox! My turn, my turn LOL LOL 💕💕


Ok, ok… so I might have left out a few important details of that day. Important details, so important that I emailed the show manager, the President, VP, and Judge Committee of AMHR! 😇

Let me tell you what happen…. Got your popcorn?? 🤣🤣

I was anxious and nervous as I waited for my turn in the showmanship class that show morning. I was up next when this man, who I believe introduced himself as Dave, was trying to tell me that my horse had dropped. Then without introduction or permission, this other “Dude” is grabbing my horse in the face to correct this issue. As any owner would be, I was dumbfounded, completely speechless, and couldn’t believe that someone was handling my horse, roughly in my opinion, without my permission. Then he was gone without so much as an explanation of what he was doing. My horse is already head shy and his rough handling was not appreciated nor did it help my horse in any way. Right after this incident I didn't have time to regain my composure before it was my turn to show. Not exactly a pleasant experience. As soon as I am finished with my presentation in front of the judges while others are still presenting their horses, ”Dude” comes back over to me and finally introduces himself as a JUDGE. A JUDGE! He then proceeds to tell me that my hat is inappropriate and he doesn’t want me showing up at Nationals looking like that. I politely tell him that I won’t be going to Nationals and that this is just FUN for me as it should be for everyone and furthermore, I think my hat is cute! This did not set well with me all. Imagine the feeling of adrenaline running through your veins after a confrontation and then trying to compose yourself afterwards in an unfamiliar environment. Yes, not enjoyable nor productive for me or my horse.

You know as well as I do that nobody has the right to touch, grab, or handle anyones horse without the owner's permission. Judges are highly respected and held to a very strict standard that all of us show patrons look to for guidance. The knowledge they have, experience, and enthusiasm for the breed is something we all appreciate and try to emulate. This type of behavior is just not acceptable and it is downright inexcusable, in my opinion.

What I have a problem with is the rough handling of my horse then for the JUDGE to seek me out of the crowd to criticize me.

Luckily the show managers hubby was standing right there and totally agreed with everything I said. He also agreed that “Dude” should NOT have handled my horse and was very surprised by that.


I do know from showing dogs that it sometime is hard to watch someone who atleast does not try to fit in with show movement or dress code (I showed in a dress yick!!)
I am not a “cow gal” type person. I’m more classic/english attire kinda gal. When I use to compete (and win… ok, now I’m just bragging LOL ♥)…with my biggie, the cowboys would always tease my, in a loving kinda way, about my attire. I always wore my English helmet, sometimes Dressage saddle, sometimes western saddle with bluejeans tucked INSIDE my cowgal boots. Yep, the cowboys would tease me ever so sweetly. I NEVER took it negative and ALWAYS understood that I looked different than them.…but they respected me because my horse was well behaved, I was very strict with my horse, plus we won a whole bunch of blue ribbons 😍

Yes, I agree, it is sometimes hard to watch those western folks and their attire… oh wait, you mean me, because I don’t wear what everyone else is wearing… western attire… and I NEVER will. 🤣🤣 It just isn’t me.

Even though this Judge was a complete A$$, he won’t get me down nor discourage me. I mean, we got 2nd place out of a large obstacle class, so I am very proud of my horse and hope to continue to grow with my 2 year old!

I only show for fun. I read the rules for the classes I'm entering and try to follow them. Then I have fun.
Yep, it’s ONLY for FUN for me too ♥♥ And I try to follow the rules too… the dress code is usually for both Western and English attire. I choose a more English attire which isn’t very common. And I ALWAYS have FUN ♥️♥️
 

LostandFound

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That was truly a bizarre experience. I have never had a person touch my horse, or seen a person do it to anyone else's horse in all the shows I've been to. I would tend to wonder if he was just a random mentally ill person and not an actual judge. If you do know for a fact that he is a judge, I would report him for touching your horse at the least.
 

Taz

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Or a random mentally ill judge 😂. I had clients at a schooling show many years ago and was asked if I would judge the afternoon classes because the judge was so drunk she could barely stand up.
You did the right thing to contact everyone, he had no right to do any of that. I'd be tempted to whack him if I saw him coming near my horse again but I seem to be getting less mellow in my 'old' age instead of more.
By the way, I thought your hat was great!
 

Becmar

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Soapbox! Soapbox! My turn, my turn LOL LOL 💕💕


Ok, ok… so I might have left out a few important details of that day. Important details, so important that I emailed the show manager, the President, VP, and Judge Committee of AMHR! 😇

Let me tell you what happen…. Got your popcorn?? 🤣🤣

I was anxious and nervous as I waited for my turn in the showmanship class that show morning. I was up next when this man, who I believe introduced himself as Dave, was trying to tell me that my horse had dropped. Then without introduction or permission, this other “Dude” is grabbing my horse in the face to correct this issue. As any owner would be, I was dumbfounded, completely speechless, and couldn’t believe that someone was handling my horse, roughly in my opinion, without my permission. Then he was gone without so much as an explanation of what he was doing. My horse is already head shy and his rough handling was not appreciated nor did it help my horse in any way. Right after this incident I didn't have time to regain my composure before it was my turn to show. Not exactly a pleasant experience. As soon as I am finished with my presentation in front of the judges while others are still presenting their horses, ”Dude” comes back over to me and finally introduces himself as a JUDGE. A JUDGE! He then proceeds to tell me that my hat is inappropriate and he doesn’t want me showing up at Nationals looking like that. I politely tell him that I won’t be going to Nationals and that this is just FUN for me as it should be for everyone and furthermore, I think my hat is cute! This did not set well with me all. Imagine the feeling of adrenaline running through your veins after a confrontation and then trying to compose yourself afterwards in an unfamiliar environment. Yes, not enjoyable nor productive for me or my horse.

You know as well as I do that nobody has the right to touch, grab, or handle anyones horse without the owner's permission. Judges are highly respected and held to a very strict standard that all of us show patrons look to for guidance. The knowledge they have, experience, and enthusiasm for the breed is something we all appreciate and try to emulate. This type of behavior is just not acceptable and it is downright inexcusable, in my opinion.

What I have a problem with is the rough handling of my horse then for the JUDGE to seek me out of the crowd to criticize me.

Luckily the show managers hubby was standing right there and totally agreed with everything I said. He also agreed that “Dude” should NOT have handled my horse and was very surprised by that.



I am not a “cow gal” type person. I’m more classic/english attire kinda gal. When I use to compete (and win… ok, now I’m just bragging LOL ♥)…with my biggie, the cowboys would always tease my, in a loving kinda way, about my attire. I always wore my English helmet, sometimes Dressage saddle, sometimes western saddle with bluejeans tucked INSIDE my cowgal boots. Yep, the cowboys would tease me ever so sweetly. I NEVER took it negative and ALWAYS understood that I looked different than them.…but they respected me because my horse was well behaved, I was very strict with my horse, plus we won a whole bunch of blue ribbons 😍

Yes, I agree, it is sometimes hard to watch those western folks and their attire… oh wait, you mean me, because I don’t wear what everyone else is wearing… western attire… and I NEVER will. 🤣🤣 It just isn’t me.

Even though this Judge was a complete A$$, he won’t get me down nor discourage me. I mean, we got 2nd place out of a large obstacle class, so I am very proud of my horse and hope to continue to grow with my 2 year old!


Yep, it’s ONLY for FUN for me too ♥♥ And I try to follow the rules too… the dress code is usually for both Western and English attire. I choose a more English attire which isn’t very common. And I ALWAYS have FUN ♥♥
Kelly there will always be those who won't help and don't want you there. Just do your thing girl. If you don't want to look like the rest.. don't. Just an observation as to how to fit into the ring show world. There are lots of things you can do with your minis other than showing. But I'll be there to cheer you on and help you always! Becky
 

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