Do you want to show?


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Teenage girl smiling with a blue ribbon and her horse

I couldn’t have said it better.

I have one student, we’ll call her Starla (because that is her name), who is particularly quotable. Every so often, as I explain a new concept to her, she digests it, and then will repeat it back to me in words far more clear and concise than I could ever have come up with. Her latest gem came when we were discussing showing.

Me: “Have you thought about starting to show?”

(At this point I am bracing myself for the way this conversation usually goes. It usually involves a great deal of me trying to get over a mountain of low self-esteem, fear, self-effacement, and a lifetime’s worth of being told that modesty and not blowing your own horn are virtues, to find out if my rider really would, in her secret heart, like to show horses.)

Starla: “Yes. I think it’s a perfect chance to showcase all my hard work.”

Me: “!”

That, my dears, is exactly what showing should be. It’s a chance to show yourself and the world the results of all your hard work.

So… when?

I usually pop the big question: “Do you want to show?” when I feel my student can safely handle a horse in the intense, exciting, and sometimes stressful (but fun!) atmosphere that is part and parcel of the horse show experience. If I think you can make it around the ring safely without endangering yourself or the riders around you, I’m going to encourage you to think about showing.

Notice what I didn’t say there?

I didn’t say anything about being good enough to win. You do not need to be good enough to win in order to show. In fact, the chances of winning your first few times out against seasoned competitors is relatively small no matter how beautifully you ride at home. Each show you compete in will show you where the holes in your training are. Second place out of two might feel lousy, but if it drives you to get your butt in the saddle more often before the next outing, that loss will be the direct cause of your next victory.

Ribbons cost about $1.20 each.

If you want a blue ribbon, they can be bought very cheaply. If you want a ribbon that has real value, plan on trying and trying and working and working and then going out and trying again. Then, when you get that first blue, it will be priceless.

Our next show is going to be a small, local affair on July 21st.

It’ll be a nice relaxing intro before we hit the class A shows later this year.

Want to go?

Give me a buzz and we’ll talk.

~ Cara

214-724-8527 or