By: Corinne Schnur
We all have our horse show pet peeves…these are mine. I’m sure everyone can relate to more than one on this list.
Well no surprise here, it’s probably on most everyone’s list. I understand it costs money to put the shows on, but why all the “extra fees?” Office fee, drug fee, trailer fee (since you didn’t get a stall!), number fee, administrative fee (how does it differ from the office fee?) What you think will be a fairly inexpensive show ends up not so much.
Perhaps I’m showing my age by saying if it isn’t between 65 and 78 degrees it is either too hot or too cold to horse show. And rain, forget it!
If the show starts at 8 a.m., I have to be up before 6 a.m. This is just too early because the prep the night before is exhausting! And for me, the worst part are shows that go late into Sunday evening – then the long drive home, unpack the trailer and horses and get to bed for work the next day. Of course, my classes always seem to be the last ones on a Sunday…
This is definitely a valid complaint. There are very few arenas that I would say are exceptional. I don’t like when it is too deep, or too hard, or lumpy and uneven - good way to twist your ankle during showmanship.
- BACK NUMBERS
Speaking of showmanship, I really despise when people put their back numbers on the small of their backs. It is a back number, not a butt number! Put it on your back. That’s really all I have to say on that.
- RING HOGS
Ring hogs come in different varieties. You have hogs that just longe to death (see also my song “Why You Gotta Longe to Death
”, a parody of Taylor Swift’s song, “Mean”). Then, you have the jump hogs that ride in front of a jump you’re trying to school, or the trainer who ignores your request and continues to send their students to the same jump over and over again. You also have pattern hogs – those who set up cones and practice in prime ring space – and get angry when you ride through! I’m all for trying to steer clear, but sometimes there is only so much you can do!
- FOOD BOOTH
Why is it that when you don’t have any cash, the show has a great food booth, and when you do have cash all they have are hot dogs? Oh, and if you’re going to have a food booth, spring for Heinz ketchup. I live in Western PA, for crying out loud. Your food booth will make more money if you spend the extra 57 cents and buy Heinz. Trust me. And no worries if you skimp; I travel with my own Heinz ketchup.
- HAND GALLOP
When patterns call for hand gallop, let’s see a hand gallop! This typically is not an issue at hunter shows, but at open shows and AQHA, I personally find it to be a joke. Standing up in your stirrups (that are probably 3 holes too long) makes it near impossible to achieve a good two-point position, and posing by tipping your butt out and pushing your hands forward, is not a hand gallop. At least show a change in speed/stride during that part of the pattern.
- POOR JUDGING
It’s not about who wins, it’s about placing the horses fairly. I totally understand the judges cannot see everyone at all times and some people get lucky by having a bad moment that the judge doesn’t see. And, unless you show in contest classes, you’re paying for someone’s opinion and everyone has their own tastes. However, my biggest beef is poor judging during pattern classes. These are classes that the judge has to watch each individual. When riders go off pattern, or have a major mistake (missed lead, diagonal, etc.) they should not place over riders that had a clean go. Oh, and one more thing: Just because a horse is the tallest in the ring doesn’t automatically make it a good mover. I commend AQHA on this point; I think the judges are doing a great job rewarding movement over size.
- CHATTING UP THE JUDGE
Number one on my list is when trainers and exhibitors find excuses or use every free moment to go chat with the judge. I have not and would not approach a judge during a show about anything. Most association rules even tell you this is unacceptable, and I personally find it quite distasteful.
So these are my biggest pet peeves; please comment below with yours. Happy horse showing to all (as long as it is 75 and sunny!)
About our guest blogger:
Corinne Schnur is all-around competitor, competing in AQHA breed shows, mini-trials and hunters. Corinne is a Carousel Horse