Showing Alone.

In May I am going to Kyova without a trainer. I used to be at a Morgan barn, but we had to leave. Now I have resorted to a trainer that lives farrrr away. Therefore, I can only go to a couple shows with her and will have to go to the rest alone.

I feel like such a noob. I will have to have my dad come into the ring if I win a class…That’s just embarrasing. My parents aren’t horsey, so I have to do pretty much everything. It’s going to be stressful.

So has anyone had to go to a show without a trainer? Tips? I know I’m going to be embarrassed and look like a loser, since I’m used to being with a show barn. Ahh! (I do like taking care of the horse on my own though. That’s a plus.) xD

Thanks =]

12 Responses to Showing Alone.

  1. colwilrin says:

    Love -eq

    Relax and enjoy yourself. You will not look out of place. You will not look like a “loser.” Many, many people show without a trainer. It is much more common than you think, and moreso with the current economy. I did it for over 10 years. Though I need a trainer now given my other responsibilities and the horse I have, I would not be at all embarassed to have to go it alone again. It can be really fun. You only have your own expectations to live up to, there is no one in your own barn who will gloat when they beat you (not that anyone does that :)), and you aren’t living on anyone’s time schedule but your own.

    On the positive end: You get to bond with your horse as you get it ready, and know that your ride is yours, and yours alone. When you make the victory pass…smile and think “I did it!”

    Good luck, don’t be afraid to ask for help…you will find that others who do not show with a training facility tend to gravitate towards one another and form a network and help each other out. In addition, most of the trainers that I know are more than happy to offer advice or help if asked nicely.

    Morgan show folk are generally really good people who are ready and willing to pitch in when needed.

  2. blondie says:

    I have shown without a trainer for the entire time I have been showing morgans and wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy spending time with my horses and getting things ready on my own, and the victory is so much sweeter knowing that my hard work has paid off. My Mom usually comes into the ring for me, and I am extremely proud, not at all embarassed.

  3. IED says:

    Why on earth would you be a loser?

    I showed my Morgan mare for years by myself, when I was a Junior Exhibitor and doing Equitation (boy did it ever bother trainers when I would win the Eq classes and I didn’t even take lessons… but I digress). It was a LOT of fun and I really enjoyed it. I doted on my horse and probably made getting her ready infinitely more work than it needed to be, but I liked doing it and making her perfectly pretty.

    The one thing I will say is if you’re doing it totally on your own, leave LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of time to get ready for your class. I came within seconds of missing the first class I showed in myself because I had to bathe the horse, groom her, show sheen her, do her feet, tack her up, braid her, change myself, do my hair/makeup, bridle horse, put makeup on horse, finish dressing self, get on without messing self up, and then had to hand gallop to the gate and go right in. ;) If you are bathing, start 3 hours ahead of time – seriously. It’s better to have your horse sit around for awhile than to be freaking out and not having enough time to warm up or prepare properly. You will majorly reduce stress this way.

    That same class, I actually ended up winning and had nobody to come in the ring for me! The ribbon presenter was surprised and was impressed that I did it all myself. They just held the trophy in the office and the photographer kicked up some dirt so my horse put her ears up. No big deal at all. Doesn’t sound like that’ll be a problem if your dad will be coming in for you, though.

    I show with a pretty big show barn now, and although I LOVE showing with them and cheering for everyone else in the barn and having a really great audience/support system, there are definitely times when I miss showing by myself. It’s a REALLY great bonding experience for you and your horse and you will feel really in tune with them by doing everything for them – cleaning the stall, bathing, braiding (if you braid), etc.

    I will encourage you to look out for the details. That, I noticed a long time ago, separates the Amateurs showing by themselves from the big barns. The big barns have the grooming and showring prep thing down pat – the amateurs experiment!! Make sure your horse is immaculately clean, perfectly clipped, make-upped, shiny, your tack is clean and bits polished, hooves like mirrors, tails brushed out (no braid kinks), braiding (if you braid) done well and without lots of fuzzy hairs, your make-up applied well, hair done, clothes fitted and tailored to your body, and your boots are shined. Every little bit counts, and when you present yourself well you will be more confident, too.

    I went as far as showing at Grand National on my own (with the help of my parents, who, like yours, are completely non-horsey). My horse even Top Tenned! So it’s certainly possible to do well even if you’re not showing with a trainer. I almost think it’s MORE stressful to show with a trainer(s) because you’ve always got someone telling you what to do :) and there are expectations too. When it’s just you, it’s a little easier.

    Good luck, and be sure to have fun. I’m sure you will!

  4. Flmorgan says:

    Have a great time. Many exhibitors show without a Trainer or big barn name. In Florida we now have a Florida Owned and Trained class.
    Remember it is not the Trainer [not supposed to be] that wins the class its the horse. Good Luck!

  5. empressive says:

    To par! Everyone here is right. While it is fun to be apart of a big barn you learn a lot on your own. Plus there are always people to help you out!
    Matter of fact I was so nervous in my very first In-Hand class that I dropped the reins. Of course people could have yelled at me while I was in the lineup, but instead quietly got my attention smiled and told me about the reins. Needless I was very thankful and afterwards made some new friends.

    So even when bad stuff happens there is always silver lining. Plus it is a great way to spend time with family. Granted you may have to do everything, but by giving them little things to do you are all working together. Eventually you will become a team. I think the only “bad” thing about having parents around is the bragging rights they recieve because of always being at the shows with you! LOL

    Well good luck and have fun! Oh, and never feel afraid to ask questions! Meet people that way.

  6. jns767 says:

    Love Eq -

    I kind of know how you feel. My parents weren’t very horsey either, so I spent half of my time BEGGING to be at a big training barn and the other half of my time begging for new show clothes and all sorts of horsey stuff, my parents just didn’t get it. I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have a nice show horse and to have parents who atleast tried. I wanted the big show barn, the group of people cheering me on when I did well, the whole shebang. I did get to trailer my horse for lessons at a show barn, but at the shows I was kind of like the low man on the totem pole and rarely got attention from my trainer. There were a lot of other families at that barn, and the trainer just didn’t have THAT much time for me as I wasn’t a full time boarder. In that sense, I felt so good about myself to know that I got my horse ready, myself ready, warmed my own horse up, and then would sometimes beat the kids who had trainers coaching like crazy and doing all that stuff for them. I still met many wonderful people and kept my options open for any future show barn opportunities :). Hang in there – as you can see, there are tons of people going at it w/out the big training barn thing. Enjoy this time you have as a jr. exhib.(I’m assuming you are based on your name) and good luck in the show ring!!

  7. RandyRAMM says:

    You know…… I’m a bullrider, not really into horses, however, if you win a show and you have to have your father come into the ring with you, you just made your fathers day. Win one for your father, makes his day. Geeesh… you know it’s great to just hear your father goes to the shows with you. I would turn it around and use it to motivate yourself. Just my thoughts sorry……

    Randy

  8. StacyGRS says:

    go, have fun, and enjoy! Showing is a privledge that alot would love to have. You might just make some horsey friends that are in the same boat and you guys can help each other out at the shows. In the meantime, I agree with Randy…make your dad’s day!:) And win or not, you won’t look like a looser!
    Stacy

  9. love-equitation says:

    Thanks guys! Yes, I was actually at Nationals semi-alone (long story) and it was really fun. I even got 4th in western jr eq. But now I’m completely alone and a bit worried. Well, actually not worried anymore.. Thanks everyone ;)

  10. empressive says:

    You know what Love-EQ,

    Let people on here know which shows you might be going to (if you are comfortable with that) & I am sure they would be willing to help and cheer you on no problem.

    Regardless, glad that you feel better and I hope you have a lot of fun!

  11. leslie says:

    I bet you’ll be surprised how easy it is once you do it. The real key, as others have said, is just leaving yourself plenty of time to get everything done before your class. And people are always really friendly and willing to help you out if you need it.

    I’m planning on being at KYOVA sans trainer myself. I won’t be alone, but I think it will just be me and one other boarder, and we’re both DIY amateurs. Maybe I’ll see you up there!

  12. love-equitation says:

    Haha maybe! I am going to Wheat State and Nationals with a trainer, and probably Jubilee and a Michigan show alone ;]

    I am doing Youth of the Year at Kyova also =D

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