What I Hope
For many people, the world seems to be considerably completely different than it did at the start of the 12 months. Many stables shut their doorways to anybody aside from these straight concerned of their horses’ care. Others have altered how and when riders can come to allow them to “limp alongside” in the course of the pandemic, attempting to make sufficient to cowl their payments.
With horse exhibits on maintain, I’ve accomplished numerous pondering about why we present. Attending horse exhibits has sometimes been a large a part of our enterprise mannequin, however not a lot that we stay with our “trunks on skates,” going from one present to the subsequent. Frankly, I’m comfortable that now we have had different income streams to assist us get by throughout this loopy time.
I really feel horrible for everybody whose life’s work is exhibiting: the present managers, braiders, ring starters, announcers and judges. Some folks want exhibits so as to put meals on their desk, and my coronary heart hurts to think about how tough this time has been for them.
Why Do You Present?
Why do you present? You reply will depend on who you’re. Do you present to see the place you’re, training-wise? How your inexperienced horse handles new conditions? To journey to stunning locales across the nation? To satisfy up with mates? To purchase or promote a horse? Are you aiming for a year-end award? Or to qualify for a zone or nationwide championship? Do you want the sensation of successful? Do you need to take in the custom or tradition of the equestrian life? Are exhibits the way you make your residing?
I need exhibits to begin once more as a result of I benefit from the completely different days. Up to now, I’ve lamented the merry-go-round of exhibiting – all the time the identical present on the identical weekend yearly. Now, I miss the change from week to week. I’ve realized that each Sunday seems to be the identical proper now, and I do know I want extra variation to really feel energized and balanced. I additionally like working with my college students on purpose setting and exhibits present an effective way to know the way nicely we’re doing in working towards these targets.
What Good Can Come From This Break?
Actually, there could be some good that comes from the hiatus in exhibiting:
Perhaps riders will come to benefit from the studying course of. As a substitute of studying to indicate, possibly they’ll be taught to trip. I hope riders take the time to benefit from the journey, to teach themselves – to be a pupil of the game. We’re by no means accomplished studying about horses, their care and coaching. The language we be taught to talk with our horses can develop into extra nuanced and particular over time. But it surely does take time, and it could possibly’t be purchased. There is no such thing as a substitute for time within the saddle. In the end, work ethic, grit, and love of the horse will convey extra success than a field of ribbons ever might.
I hate to say it, however there are trainers in our business that don’t need homeowners and riders within the barn. They need to meet them on the exhibits as a result of it’s handy. They work to maintain every horse’s coaching in place, and it’s simpler if the rider doesn’t really sit on the horse, to undo all of the hours of coaching they’ve put in. So the horse doesn’t get “used up” or untrained or lose his worth. Is that actually why these riders acquired into using within the first place?
Now, in the perfect case situation, riders are going to the barn to trip. Perhaps they’re fortunate sufficient to groom their very own horses. That method, they’ll study their character, and develop a watch to note when one thing – a shoe nail, a puffy fetlock, some hives – doesn’t look proper. Even when they’ll’t go into the barn, possibly they’ll spend sufficient time using their beloved companions to forge a deeper bond, recall why they fell in love with the game, and discover sufficient problem within the day-to-day coaching at house that exhibiting doesn’t must be the centerpiece of their efforts. Hopefully they’ve a coach that may help them nicely at house.
I’d like to see “B” and “C” exhibits make a comeback. As soon as we’re allowed to interact in exhibits once more, how many individuals will need to leap on a airplane or keep in a lodge? I ponder if delivery right into a present and dealing off the trailer, like days passed by, would be the “new” method?
I’d wish to see extra divisions that run on at some point. What number of riders do C-rated divisions (Youngsters’s and Adults) and unrated divisions that might go on at some point? What number of people who present at rated exhibits really want to indicate over two or extra days? Promoting stalls is a big method for present managers to usher in income, however is that the easiest way to serve exhibitors throughout this time?
Perhaps rated exhibits will discover new methods to be related to the rider simply beginning out, who desires the advantages of doing rated exhibits, however wants a secure, handy, and reasonably priced choice. Proper now, the selection is between paying numerous charges and being compelled to steady in a single day, or un-rated exhibits, that are cheaper and method simpler to get out and in of on a single day. Is there a approach to fill within the hole? How can somebody searching for state or zone factors keep nearer to house and decrease their time on the present grounds? For somebody who firmly believes within the even enjoying discipline that rated exhibits provide – the stewards and guidelines, in addition to the drug testing – is there a approach to serve them by rated exhibits that gained’t require stabling?
I hope present managers are fascinated about the worth exhibitors get from exhibiting, and that we will have in depth conversations about our sport and what actually issues to riders.
I additionally hope that the USHJA can step into the highlight as the academic group it was meant to be. That is the time for trainers, riders and homeowners to be safely shepherded into a brand new period of using and coaching – and exhibiting. I’m all the time amazed at how many individuals assume the USEF and the USHJA are one in the identical. They aren’t. They serve very completely different roles. There are such a lot of applications that the USHJA presents, designed to fulfill the wants of its members, whether or not they be professionals, amateurs or juniors. Check out their web site and discover a program that fits you and your horse’s wants.
If exhibiting – and factors and cash gained – isn’t on the forefront proper now, then schooling’s time has come. Getting again to fundamentals and shoring up the inspiration of the home that’s our using schooling system generally is a fantastic consequence throughout this extraordinary time.
Assist Your self
Listed below are some issues you are able to do:
1). Recall what you’re keen on about using when it doesn’t contain exhibiting. We’re constructing programs from previous championships to maintain expertise sharp – riders of all ranges can profit from this, even when it’s simply poles on the bottom. We’re additionally doing a little various things, like studying dressage assessments to work on precision and accuracy.
2). Discover new sources to be taught extra. There are such a lot of digital studying applications now – judges evaluating rides, digital exhibits, on-line coaching applications – discover one which pursuits you and dig in. Try USHJA’s Horsemanship Quiz Problem; it’s an amazing program.
3). Attain out to indicate managers close to you to ask how they’re dealing with new protocols to maintain their exhibitors secure once they begin holding exhibits once more. Supply recommendations. The squeaky wheel will get the oil. Many voices united can have a big effect.
4). Your horse is probably going appreciating the break in exhibiting. Discover time to trip out of the ring or hang around with him within the discipline. Your relationship with him will flourish.
Enjoyment and schooling. Let’s get probably the most out of our valuable time with horses, whereas staying wholesome in a sport that serves all of us.