HORSE SHOWSâ€¦ how much is too much showing?
Take our quiz to determine if the price you're paying is too high!
Just as the show season is moving up to full speed and you recognize your ratings are up there in the race for Hi Point the long weekends and endless training is causing you to revisit your choice of chasing after points. Before you throw the whole plan out to regain what was once known as a life or you spend another weekend moaning the work and frustration of spending so many hours out of your week, take a moment to browse through our list of questions to re-evaluate the value of your show experience.
1. Do you feel like you have no life outside of the show ring? Are you feeling like you'll never have a weekend free again and do you wonder what it must be like to sleep past 5am on a Sunday morning? Chances are great you'll never know once you've been bit with the Hi Point bug when the familiar justification of "just one more show and I'll assure my place at the top" becomes your battle cry.
2. Does you horse lack the enthusiasm that he once had when he saw the trailer roll around the barn? We put our horses through a good deal of stress when going to and through a show. At some point the fun disappears and the horse just shuts down.
3. How much does showing take away from your quality of life? Think of all the family and friends that are left behind. If your friends and family are involved with the show and you enjoy the social interaction then you can void out this bothersome consideration.
4. Are there other things you want to be doing? Closely examine why you're showing and whether it's worth giving up other things that help you to feel fulfilled.
5. Do you plan on establishing your name in the horse industry? If this is what you wish to do vocationally then it's of course part of the package and lifestyle plus finding out if you can do it 24/7 is quite necessary.
6. Are you having to mortgage the family dog to stay in the running? Are you doing without or perhaps even taking on debt to continue your show schedule? If so you might want to re-visit the early question on why you're doing this and what difference will show success mean to you.
7. Are old friends turning away or trying to avoid a conversation with you because all you can converse about is horse related? I actually had this happen to me where I found myself having to work at not talking too much shop around others that didn't share my illness.
There is a solution to all of these concerns and it doesn't involve the discontinuance of showing. Instead it only means that you don't chase the points. I know this is easier said then done. Of course you want to sign up for the year's Hi Point because how would you feel if you didn't and you scored so well that with a limited number of shows you could have won it regardless? No, the answer is to be disciplined enough to not follow the standings, live your life, go to a select number of shows that works with YOUR schedule and simply let the cards fall where they may.
I used to have a teacher whose favorite saying was; "one hundred years from now will any of it matter?" If you find yourself torn between running for the roses and having a life you may want to ask yourself this question and may the "horse" be with you in all your endeavors.