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Show Saver Tips

How to keep costs low for the horse show.

If you’re like most people, you’ve been affected by the “credit crunch.” Everyone seems to be trying to save money at the moment.

Going to a horse show can be an expensive day out, and your parents may cut some of your show outings. Although not showing as much as you used to may be frustrating, you need to remember that owning a horse costs money--and money is tight right now for many folks.

That’s why we’ve come up with some easy ways to cut your showing costs. Share these tips with your parents and, you never know, when they see how much money you plan to save, they might add another show to your schedule!

  1. Stick to local shows. Attend events that only last one day so you don’t need to rent a stall. Tie your horse to the trailer with a hay net between classes.
  2. Pack your own food for the day. Show food can be expensive (and bad!) so bring a cooler full of healthy food and drinks. Skip the sodas and stick to water.
  3. Stick to schooling shows this year. They can be more fun than recognized shows and they tend to be much cheaper to enter.
  4. Learn to braid. Don’t pay someone to braid your horse. There’s no reason you can’t braid a horse by yourself. You just need someone to show you how to do it and you need to practice. The same goes for grooming. If you’ve got two hands, you can groom your horse or pony yourself!
  5. Once you become a fabulous braider, offer your services to other people at shows. You can make $40 or more for neck braids!
  6. Share a trailer with a barn buddy. Don’t pay your barn’s shipping service to transport your horse to the show. Offer to pay your pal half of her gasoline costs. Or if you have a trailer, take a horsey friend along and ask her to pay half of the gas costs.
  7. Buy “gently worn” show clothes. If you ride at a barn, don’t be too proud to wear other people’s old show jackets, shirts and breeches. Showing clothes are expensive and you’re probably still growing. You can also look for showing clothes at consignment stores. Make some money selling your outgrown gear if it’s in good shape.
  8. Take good care of your tack and show equipment to make sure it stays nice and lasts longer. Clean your tack after each ride and store it somewhere dry and safe.
  9. Stay away from the trade stands. You know you’re not safe around all of that cool horsey gear. None of us are!
  10. Volunteer to ride other people’s horses at shows and get them to pay the entry fees!
  11. If your horse must stay overnight at a show, find out if you can bring your own bags of shavings for the stall.
  12. Share your horse with a pony pal at a show. Each of you can enter a few classes (don’t wear out your horse!) and she can help you share the costs.
  13. Ask yourself if you really need to take your trainer to a show. Trainer fees can be expensive. Maybe you can warm up by yourself at a small event.
  14. Enter fewer classes at each show. This will make your horse or pony happy! You don’t really have to do 10 classes a day, do you?
  15. Practice riding bareback and enter every “Sit-a-Buck” class you can find!



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