Why horses? a page for parents . . .
Why go to horse shows…
Welcome Horse Show Parents to your special page! This page is designed to make your job a little easier. We hope you find this information helpful and remember if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
The role of Horse Show Mom and Horse Show Dad is one of great importance. Your support and encouragement will demonstrate to your child that their hobby is important to you. They have worked tirelessly to get to this point and you are there for them once again as their biggest fan.
The benefits to showing horses are not just in the obvious fun and pageantry. Horses and horse shows specifically teach many lessons that will carry over into your rider’s personal and professional life. Watching your child’s transformation from the timid beginning rider to a show ring ready competitor is a sight to behold. But, aside from the showiness of it all, are the life lessons and the bond that is born between horse and rider.
Problem Solving, Patience, and Particapation
Horse showing teaches your rider to problem solve and think through issues when they arise in the ring and in life. Every athlete goes through a slump - your horse may not be performing up to par, increasing difficulty in patterns may be unsettling, there might be a mismatch between your skills and that of your horse or any number of other problems. To horse show successfully, you have to learn to solve those day by day, issue by issue. Horses, like people, have good days and not so good days. A gifted rider will be bonded to their horse and know when to push and when to take it a little slower for the greater good. Patience and understanding are two skills that will serve the show rider well. This is a hands on sport and participation is another key to your child’s success. If your child does not participate on a regular basis, their ability to be successful will be compromised.
Determination and Perseverance
It will take a lot of hard work to horse show, whether your child is an entry level rider or a national competitor. To have success even once in a while takes determination and practice, to qualify for a national show takes even more. It means getting up at 4:30 am to be in the ring by first light, cleaning tack, and practicing patterns. It means long hours at the barn and riding many horses- not just the show horse. Sometimes your child will ride two horses when the schedule allows. That same determination and hard work will teach your rider how to stay focused to achieve A's in school and the ability to volunteer with a can do attitude.
Goal Setting and Planning
Setting goals is an important life skill and horse showing gives your child so many opportunities to do just that. Setting goals like qualifying for certain events, getting in the ribbons, winning a class, or riding through a difficult pattern will allow your child the opportunity to learn all that they can achieve. We will meet together to set annual, individual and overall goals so that we have adequate time to practice to reach for those goals. Your child will learn to plan his or her time around horse showing, school and social events, and we will make choices as a team. Your child will learn about fitness, preparation and remaining healthy so that they are fit to show. All show riders learn they can achieve goals sometimes and at other times we have to amend our aspirations. Showing horses teaches how to adjust to life in so many ways.
Packing and preparing to hit the ring takes a great deal of planning. Remembering everything, getting dressed, remaining calm and collected – it’s a tall order but certainly attainable. Everything has a place and must be organized if you want to horse show without chaos. We at RBS are strict about organization and cleanliness in the barn area and there is no place for sloppiness at the show. A good lesson that can also be applied at home! Think of the lists, the planning and packing, unpacking and then repacking if you help out at the barn. Show clothes, hair nets, derbies, gloves, and other key items have to be packed. School work has to be organized with homework and tests managed for a show schedule. Your student rider’s grades must be kept up while showing horses again providing an invaluable time management lesson.
Responsibility and Sacrifice
There are numerous responsibilities in caring for a horse that totally depends on humans for his care. Scheduling lessons, practice riding and readying a horse for the show ring all take time and are great experiences in responsibility. If your child cannot ride regularly, their skills will diminish along with their confidence. Making sacrifices so that your child has adequate time in the saddle will be required if success is expected. You would not expect your child to be in a play without first rehearsing their lines and similarly horse shows also require that time is spent practicing and honing their skills. Being responsible and having your child attend lessons when scheduled will ensure they do not fall behind in their work. We will not allow your child to delegate all of the grooming, tacking and care of the horse to the trainer and the grooms. Remember part of this should be about horsemanship so being responsible for your horse is a great life lesson.
Confidence and Poise
Horse showing will teach your child how to be a gracious winner and how to lose with dignity. It is about learning a pattern and riding through adversity; think of an outdoor show in the wind, rain, and mud. When your child gets his or her show horse to do what they want and their efforts are rewarded with a win, it will build tremendous confidence. Losing with dignity and grace teaches poise and sportsmanship. Not every ride will go perfectly and many of the real lessons are from the rides that do not go your way. Losing teaches your child how to manage his or her emotions and stay on track to attain their goals. The ability to control one's emotions is a lesson that will serve your child well for not only the show ring, but in life.