Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Follow-up Thoughts on Show Costs

Thanks for all the great comments - I figured rather than reply to each one I'd just do a quick "post script" of sorts on some of my thoughts.

My first thought:

this was toally worth it.

Yes, the cost is crazy, but I had so much flipping fun I can't stand it.  I know plenty of people who can spend $5k a week on a vacation, and since this was basically a 3 week vacation (in my mind at least... The Boy might beg to differ...) it doesn't seem that out of line.

You can definitely spend way less than that on vacations, but horses are kind of like fancy spa resorts in terms of high upfront cost, high add on's and people who are crazy addicted to the process :)  They are definitely not the vacation equivalent of camping.

Certainly most of my friends would think that spending this amount of money to basically get dirty and sit around all day trying to keep shavings and manure out of your hair and sandwich while you eat a quick lunch on your lap is, well.... insane.  But it sounds like fun to me that's all that matters :)

The biggest paradigm shift of the show was definitely the option of showing up 15 minutes before you get on.  It's a total perk, although not one I totally took advantage of since I just *like* being early and part of the getting-ready process.

I still reveled in it.  Even when I showed in the first class of the day at 8am, there was literally no reason to be on site until 7am.  If I was grooming and braiding myself - I would have been there at 5:00am to feed, clean, braid and panic a little (and then try to feed and clean myself in the last 5 minutes).  Instead, I strolled in at 7.. said hi to the mare... polished up my boots... drank my latte and slowly got myself ready.  Even though it was still kinda of an early wake up call (not complaining), I found that every time I threw my leg over the mare I was calm, happy and well fed.

Previously I often scrambled on in a slight panic still buttoning my shirt up and trying to pull gloves on.... I can't imagine that helped the mare's nerves at all...

Anyway, thanks again for all the good comments - I find the business side of horses moderately fascinating, and I sort of geek out on what makes big shows (and barns) tick.  I'll try to keep this thread going this summer as we experience our first entire season with a full service barn attending a variety of shows and events.


  1. Althoughough most aspects of the hunter show world do not appeal to me (what's so bad about ride times and pre-registration??) I'll admit that having someone at shows to do the 'grunt work' and even to tack up and prep the ponies does sound mighty appealing! Glad you enjoyed yourself, and that the baby cooperated ;

  2. Loved these series of posts and appreciate the true cost analysis. Takes the guessing out of it for others :)

  3. I admit I read your cost breakdown literally while I was at WEF surrounded by everything luxury horse and thought, "Yup, that's about right." If I could afford to do the full service showing experience, I would! I think you really get to concentrate more on your riding and don't have to worry about your horse colicing or being nervous or rubbing his braids or who knows what. It's a luxury for sure, but we only live once and if you can do it... enjoy it!

  4. All of us bloggers ride and show on a budget (some have bigger budgets than others, but still!) and I've really enjoyed hearing about your experiences at big shows. It's a goal of mine to one day to HITS/WEF so it's been great to hear about it first hand!

  5. That sounds right about in line--I've heard to budget about 5k for a week at an A show. :-/ Not in my immediate future, but good info to sock away.

    I totally loved this entire series. Thanks!

  6. Gosh that sounds amazing. One of my least favorite things about shows is the waking up before the sun rises in order to feed, clean, dress and panic, lol.


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