By: Barbara Price
Dear USAWE Members,
March is upon us! And that means horse show season has already begun or will soon. Even for horse lovers who don’t show, or haven’t yet tapped into the horse show scene, there’s still much to appreciate and learn about showing horses.
I’m often asked why show horses … isn’t it enough to ride and enjoy them? Of course, the answer is yes. We all enjoy our time with our horses in different ways. But since show season is here, I thought it apropos to touch on some common and important aspects of why riders show their horses.
To advance and test your horsemanship skills. Preparing for showing often provides a structure and training progression that develops you and your horse. Participating in shows can help evaluate and test the progress you’ve made. One very successful trainer I worked with for years had a sign in his barn that read: “Horse shows are won at home.” A simple but true statement. Success at shows reflects the work put in at home. Those ribbons may only be fabric, but they confirm for riders their hard work at home is paying off.
To develop your horse socially and mentally. Many horses live fairly isolated lives, away from crowds, unusual distractions, and unknown horses. Taking them to shows can help teach them to cope well in unfamiliar surroundings.
To set and achieve personal goals. Showing isn’t all about the horse. Preparing for and competing helps riders accomplish personal achievement goals as well.
The comradery of spending time with other horse people – having fun. I think this is especially true for working equitation, a sport which has been cultivated here in the U.S. to support all riders and competitors!
And while on the subject of showing, I’d like to briefly highlight some information recently shared by Kris Blacklock, chair of our Competitions Committee. This committee, which also includes Jeanne Bond and Sue Watkins, has been very hard at work and does a fabulous job keeping the many aspects of USAWE competitions running smoothly.
- Licensed shows (as of February 2022):
3 Zone Championship Shows – Eastern, Central and Western zones
90 licensed shows
14 cattle trials
- A new Championships page has been created and added to the USAWE website, and includes expanded information and new features. Check it out!
- A GIRA.io Quick Reference Guide and a GIRA.io Show Entries Guide were developed to assist show managers using the GIRA reporting program.
Here’s to a fantastic 2022 show season! If showing isn’t your thing this year, or ever, there are still many ways to join in the fun. Every show needs volunteers with horse experience.
Work hard. Play hard. And enjoy every moment!
With much appreciation,