Dear everyone, Please stop doing these eight things at horse shows
Show season will be starting soon in some parts of the world. Let’s work together as equestrians to make 2018 the best show season ever. There are numerous things that riders and other horse show attendees do at shows that drives everyone a bit nuts. These things aren’t covered in rulebooks and if you are guilty of any of them, make 2018 the year that stop annoying your fellow competitors.
1) Letting your bratty dog run loose in trailer parking – Leashes and crates are not that expensive and even if your budget is really that tight, you can tie your dog up with a horse’s lead rope. No one wants your dog romping around the parking lot. It disturbs other dogs who are tied up. Your dog can spook horses when it is loose. It can get run over by a truck/trailer. And worst of all, I have even had dogs relieve themselves on my grooming box.
2) Passing too close in warm-up – Cool, your horse is bomb-proof enough that you can zoom all over the warm-up without a care in the world. Unfortunately, many other riders are sitting on feral and timid beasts that get upset when you encroach on their space. There is ALWAYS enough room in warm-ups to pass with enough space that wouldn’t make it possible for someone to whack you with a whip. So use this space and if you really get stuck in a situation where you might have to pass closely, take a pull and switch to a slower gait than a near gallop.
3) Parking like you showed up to the event half in the bag – Seriously, this can be a real problem at events with limited parking. When you pull into an event there is usually a logical parking system going on, follow it. Don’t just park wherever you feel is the easiest or closest to the amenities. Be courteous and rational when selecting your parking space.
4) Leaving your naughty horse tied to a trailer and unattended – At nearly every horse show, someone’s horse runs around the event like a raving lunatic because its owner left it tied and unattended in the trailer parking lot. This is clearly unsafe for everyone, including your horse. If you have to leave to go check scores, get lunch, etc. then consider having someone else from your barn supervise your horse or load it back onto the trailer where it is less likely to escape.
5) Sitting on your horse like its a couch in the most obscene place – First of all, your horse isn’t a couch and if you are waiting for your ride time and it is going to be a while, consider getting off. Secondly, if you must use your horse as a Lazyboy then please park it somewhere out of the way. Out of the way is not right where the bit check is, the in-gate, the middle of warm-up and so on. Ask yourself before you halt for a substantial amount of time, “Will I be in anyone’s way here?” If the answer is yes, then move.
6) Hogging warm-up jumps for excessive amounts of time – There are never enough jumps in a warm-up ring for each rider to have their very own. We have to share. Sharing is not taking one or multiple jumps and setting up exercises using placing poles, that no one else wants to jump. Remember, other riders are there for the same reason as you. Be courteous.
7) Throwing hissy fits – No one cares that you had five rails and now you are distraught. If you are that upset then go in your trailer tack room and have your meltdown, get it together return composed. Everyone at a horse show is struggling to some extent and chances are another rider is having it worse than you. Acting like a brat in public makes people think less of you and ruins the atmosphere.
8) Riding out of order when you don’t have multiple rides – There is nothing worse than being perfectly warmed up for your ride time, only to have another rider go early and bump you back. Sure there are instances when some people have multiple rides at an event and this is a necessity. If you are not going to miss your next ride, then chill out and wait for your own ride time. Likewise, be organized and don’t miss your ride time and then have to go later. Perhaps, invest in a good old-fashioned wristwatch so you can keep track of your times.
What things would you like people to quit doing at horse shows? Email them email@example.com.