Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com

I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year for the Show Industry

I hope everyone had a good holiday season. I'm ready for the New Year, because the last one had some real low points.

There is no doubt that the economy, war, and massive bailouts for Wall Street and the Auto Industry are going to hurt the horse world. It's costly to show, travel, train and even purchase a good horse. Those of you that train for a living will probably lose some clients, and not find new ones. Those of you planning to start training for a living probably need to reconsider, unless you can go out and win a very big competition in your first year, or you get one of those deep pocketed clients that has a lot of money and little sense, and you're willing to take the one as a bonus for putting up with the other.

My question to readers is:

How are you going to continue showing?
What economies will you practice?
Will you travel less?

The really bad side to the downswing in the economy is that it makes cheating more appealing, and more prevalent. People will *need* to win in order to make their bills. It won't be a case of someone just wanting a pretty blue ribbon, it's now a case of being able to pay the feed bill.
So horses will be started younger, training techniques will be harsher, drugs will be used more, anything that gets a horse into the top ten will be done, just so trainers can make a living. There will be less shows for judges to judge, which means that back scratching on that front will reach epic heights.

What can we do? Because if we don't do something we're not going to have a stable show industry in five years.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I seem to be first. I did not mean to be, however. I think it means that I must be a really boring person for staying home on New Year's Day and spending time on the computer. :)

So, I'll be the first to answer the questions.

"How are you going to continue showing?"

Frankly, I'm not. It's for several reasons. I don't have a horse to show, and I don't have the money to go out and get another horse for it. While my husband's horse is by far show quality, he just isn't my horse. Plus I'm just not interested in showing right now. We don't have a gaited horse show series here in AZ, and while I worked my ass off to get one going, there just isn't enough competition to fund an entire show. I can always go out of state, but I don't want to spend the money on gas and lodging to haul my horses out of state right now.

While I will always support the sound TWH show industry, I want to change my discipline and go into dresage and gaited dressage. So, I'm breeding my mare who has a show-quality gait but not a show-quality look (ha ha) to get me a gaited draft cross. While he grows, I will lose weight and take dressage riding lessons. My long term plan is to spend my money on quality training and to take my time with my foal.

"What economics will you practice?"

My money will go to dressage lessons and breeding my mare. I focused on finding a local stallion and will do live cover to save costs. I plan to go to a couple of shows this year and volunteer. They're out of state, but I will drive my little Toyota Matrix to save money on gas. Flying and renting a car will cost too much. Plus I hate flying. :)

"Will you travel less?"

Yes, for the above reasons. That means in state and out of state.

There you go! I'll be interested to see what others write.

Nicolle said...

No showing for me either in 09. But that has nothing to do with the economy. The deal with my husband was that I could go hog wild with shows in 08 (including a trip to world) but then I had to take a couple of years off in order to get some work on our house done.

Next month captain moves from a show barn to a recreational barn and I can't wait. I think he will enjoy the break as well.

Fortunately both my husband and I work in recession proof industries so our economics won't be hit too much. some of our friends aren't so lucky though.

PaintCrazy said...

We've only been showing for a couple of years and it was just my daughter. This year I'm going to do a couple of classes too. Mostly because the horse we have is so dead broke that I can handle him much better than our younger, less trained boy. I am however looking for all used show clothes and we are going to show on a different circuit with lower fees. I'm also buying a very used horse trailer with LQ so we don't have to get a hotel or take two trucks and two trailers (one is a camper).

It's not going to be easy. We are going to focus on multiple judged shows and skip the smaller ones. No open shows. Bigger bang for the buck I guess...

20 meter circle of life said...

Will I continue to show- yes, but I am going to have to focus on either breed or open shows and not do both,I am leaning towards breed. The are usually only one day and I can get my scores for regionals, actually I already have the scores as AHA scores in Dressage are good for 2 years.
Ecomics- save where I can.
Will I travel less- oh yes, although I am lucky and we have a strong circuit within 35 miles of my home so I can drive abck and forth unless fuel goes to 5.00 agagin, then its haul, do my 2 rides and haul home!!

an American in Copenhagen said...

The crumbling economy is a good opportunity for those of us not being hit so hard to pick up some really nice quality horses at really low prices. Perhaps that means there will be some turnover on the show circuits as well.

Over here Icelandic horses are hugely popular. Not many show and those who do are usually worth of featuring on this blog if you know what I mean. Rather, the majority of the demand is from weekend warriors who just want a sane, un-bouncy mount to trail ride on. I think there's also an element of "magic" associated with Icelandics the way many people in the US are with Arabs. But I digress...

Prices have been insane until recently because demand was higher than supply. Now (I think a combo of both the market finally getting saturated and the econing slowing down) most of the commercial breeders are downsizing in a big way and many of the small/backyard breeders are selling their non-breeding quality horses (who were bred in the past because demand and prices were so high). Also, Iceland has been hit incredibly hard by the crisis and the high end market is being flooded by new top quality imports as well. No one is giving their horses away but at least they are going for rasonable prices and buyers have a lot to choose from.

I hear that similar things are happening in the US so perhaps some of the people who are able to upgrade to a show quality horse will get into the game and help turn the ship around.

ZTIG said...

Well we don't show...mainly due to disgust with that section of the industry, and until the 2/3 year old classes get changed I will not be showing.
We took last year off from doing LD rides and may come back this year and do some. It will depend on where we wind up moving to I suspect. If we find a good place with trail access so we don't have to trailer out to much to train, then we will probably hit a few LD's.

huh said...

With luck I will get to two recognized events this year and some schooling shows. That's all I ever can afford anyway, so if gas prices don't skyrocket again, it will be cheaper this year than last year, actually! ;)
I'm on a shoe string budget anyway, so there aren't really any economies I can make. If board goes sky high or I get some huge vet bills, showing will be out but if I have a usual year it will be usual showing- a few inexpensive local schooling shows, mini-events and maybe a recognized event or two which I have been saving for since last year. :)