Non-Showing Show Recap

This past weekend I tagged along with my barn to a local schooling show, where we brought 11- yes, you read that right, 11- horses at varying levels. I considered bringing Frankie for the experience but (1) this was a hunter show and I’m trying to get him to be LESS hunter-y, (2) the highest height offered was 3′ and I’d rather build experience at 3’3″ or higher, and (3) um you heard how good he was at Loudoun, right? He’s already figured out his job, we don’t need to put miles on him. Wait also (4) I have no money and am already signed up for a week long rated later in the month hahahahahahahaa cue the nervous laughter.

But because I am a sucker for torture, I showed up at the barn voluntarily at 6am to help the gang out. And despite my profound exhaustion and deepening farmer’s tan, I’m so glad I went!

*side-note: I vote we rename “farmer’s tan” to “ombre arms.” Sounds so much more trendy and cool, right?!

It was a bit of organized chaos getting everyone there- we had a couple of adults who have been through this process before and could be trusted to be in the right place at the right time with the right stuff, a couple of adults who are relatively new to showing and needed more guidance on what to do, and a couple of kids who needed even more guidance.

I got put in charge of the kiddos and OMG I LOVED IT. I’ve mentioned before that I spent a couple summers working at a horsey summer camp and those were the best summers of my life, but let me reiterate: I LOVE little kiddos. Add in big bows and cute ponies, and I’m basically in heaven. So when Trainer asked if I could supervise their warmup while she supervised the people who would be jumping, I let out this weird squealing happy noise and went to collect my pony parade.

First, let me give you a little biography on the pony: Figgy is a 32yo former eventer, then hunter pony, now lesson pony who is literally the best pony in the universe. That wasn’t a typo. He is 32 and still popping over crossrails. He’s probably in better shape than Frankie. And is definitely fancier. He is going to outlive all of us.

He has more ribbons than there are grains of sand on a beach.

We had two little girls sharing him for the show- one to do the walk-trot division, and the other to do the pre-short stirrup division. The warmup for both of them consisted of practicing biiiiig circles and using our corners, remembering to check our diagonals, steering around jumps and other horses, trotting in our two-point, and all sorts of fun little exercises. Despite some horse-show-jitters they were both wonderful listeners!

My favorite moment: when one little girl was about to hop on for her class, her momma asked her what the most important thing to remember was.

“Be safe!”

And what else?

“Have fun!”

That, people, is how you horse-show-parent. Not one mention of ribbons or winning. And when she got a ribbon in her walk-trot class, that beaming smile could’ve lit up the whole show grounds. Her mom and dad were so thrilled and told her how happy they were that she was so focused, that she corrected her diagonal so quickly, that she sat up so tall and kept her heels down. They praised her hard work, not the ribbon. It was fantastic to see that little family having so much fun together- I could write a whole post just on good sportsmanship like that.

The rest of my day was spent grabbing water for people and horses, untacking and loading horses, taking videos of our sale horse going around (if anyone is looking for a fancy chestnut hunter with tons of chrome, we have a gorgeous one!), and whatever other tasks needed doing.

Despite the dramatic caption, I swear I was having fun.

The learning continued when we got back to the barn- Trainer taught me how to unhitch a trailer. I really really appreciated this; she probably just wanted to be done with the day and go home, but she took the time to patiently walk me through a new skill.

I just gotta say how grateful I am to have trainers who are patient and present for all of their riders, fantastic kids who work hard and learn quickly, a community of ammies that support each other, and horses that are healthy and happy to do their jobs. Even our baby OTTB we have for the RRP got great ribbons in the pleasure division!

A little exhaustion and weird tan lines are a small price to pay for having so much fun with such awesome people and ponies.

Do you like to tag along to shows where you’re not riding?

24 thoughts on “Non-Showing Show Recap

  1. Sarah 07/25/2016 / 10:11 am

    I totally went to a show this weekend without my horse. ha. My trailer was there though, because a friend borrowed it to haul her horse. So freaking hot this weekend. Luckily our show was by the river, so there was lots of swimming of horses between classes. 😉


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 10:27 am

      That sounds like the best ever show activity!! Totally jealous of the pony swimming 🙂


  2. Jenn 07/25/2016 / 10:37 am

    You are fully aware that I’m a horse show nerd: I will attend/volunteer at almost any horse show, English or Western, because I really enjoy watching riders of all skill levels. IMO, you can learn something from watching every rider, good, bad or otherwise.


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:09 pm

      Best kind of nerd 🙂 Yesyesyes to the learning opportunities for sure


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:10 pm

      It definitely felt hotter! Luckily I was able to find shade every so often.


      • Amanda C 07/25/2016 / 12:10 pm

        Its sad that we’re getting a cold front tomorrow and it’s only going to be 94. Trade?


  3. SprinklerBandits 07/25/2016 / 11:08 am

    You sound like amazing horse show help!! So glad you were able to get out there. 🙂


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:10 pm

      It was super fun! I’ve had so many people help me out, I like to return the favor when I can 🙂


  4. Stacie Seidman 07/25/2016 / 11:26 am

    Yay! This sounds so fun! Since I board at home and my trainer doesn’t have any other clients, I don’t have much opportunity for this anymore. But now that I have a baby horse, I’ve gone to shows to lesson on him while he’s there… So similar?


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:11 pm

      Close enough 😉 I think it’s really fun to go and experience the atmosphere when there isn’t the pressure to perform


  5. Micaylah 07/25/2016 / 11:34 am

    I love attending shows! And I agree, ombre arms are now a thing


  6. Megan 07/25/2016 / 11:47 am

    love ombre arms. totally going to try and make that fly.

    i love going to shows when im not riding. it’s nice that i can come and go whenever i want, and I love taking LOTS of pictures. and helping! holding a horse while someone runs to the porta potty seems like a small 5 minutes to me but is really big to someone who needs a stress pee 😉

    your story about the little kid was so cute ❤


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:12 pm

      Having been that person who needs the porta potty, holding horses for a few minutes is the least I can do!


  7. Allison Stitzinger 07/25/2016 / 11:53 am

    Dude, those parents should get an award for their horse-show-parenting awesomeness!! What a treat to be able to be a part of that!


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:13 pm

      It was ridiculously wonderful to see such a supportive family in action, they all had so much fun


  8. carey 07/25/2016 / 11:58 am

    I love helping out at shows. I know how much I appreciate an extra set of hands when I’m showing, so I am happy to be that for others. Plus horse shows are always fun to just sit and watch.


    • hellomylivia 07/25/2016 / 12:14 pm

      My favorite part of the day was getting to hold ponies in the shade and watch some rounds go 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership 07/25/2016 / 4:26 pm

    Sounds like so much fun. I love little schooling shows for that purpose. The one I was at recently was great. The one trainer who was standing near me was doing a great job of encouraging her kids to get the courses done and not worry about ribbons. It was good to see.


  10. Monica V 07/25/2016 / 4:40 pm

    I do not like going to shows when I’m not riding, it makes me itch haha. I just wanna RIDE. But I dont mind being the helpful show mom-esque barn friend

    Also, ombre fetch


  11. Demetria Carr 07/25/2016 / 9:22 pm

    Even the car mirror looks sad with the heat.

    Sent from my iPhone



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