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MARCH ??? - outside show or In Unison Farm's hunter pace - check newsletter for updated info.

APRIL 22 - Chattahoochee Hills Schooling Show - confirm with Nikki by April 8.

NOVEMBER ??? - outside show - check newsletter for updated info.

HorseSense show teamWe don't place as much emphasis on showing as some other riding schools -- you don't have to show to get a good horsey education here -- but we do like our students to learn how to make showing a positive learning experience. We focus on sportsmanship, teamwork, preparation, responsibility, and partnership with the horse. Winning ribbons is fun, but it's not the reason we show.

We offer plenty of in-house show experience here at HorseSense to help our students learn these important show skills: all of our day camps end with small shows, and we host one or two large open schooling shows and  mounted games competitions each year. All of these shows are relaxed and informal educational experiences, with a strong emphasis on fun.

outside showGoing to outside shows is a bit more challenging, however. The closest shows to us are well over an hour away, and trailering is always difficult, particularly for more distant shows that require an overnight stay. Correct show apparel is required for all outside shows, including safety vests for eventing classes. We must prepare for every conceivable equine emergency -- including riding apparel, tack, illness, accident, and transporation breakdowns -- and haul it all with us. The commitment of time and money is considerably greater for an outside show experience; happily, the learning experience is always greater as well, and we usually find that it's worth all the bother and expense.

Romeo and Mia - xcountry at Chatt HillsTo this end, however, we require a LOT from our students before we take them to outside shows. Our students MUST take responsibility for preparing for shows themselves-- as opposed to letting their trainer and/or parents do all of the work for them. These are all skills we learned in our years of United States Pony Club -- and boy, are we glad that we did! Nothing gives a kid more confidence than letting them be in charge of their own experience (good and bad) and learning (sometimes the hard way) to be prepared for every show emergency.

2012 boot campWe want our students and their parents to be active participants in show preparation, with realistic goals and expectatations. That's why we require that any student wishing to join the HorseSense show team must first volunteer as a Ground Buddy at an outside show (acting as a groom/helper for the show team). Students who have participated in our Ready-to-Show Boot Camp will also be eligible to join the team, although we recommend that those students have at least one Ground Buddy experience first. This the best way we know to give you the information and tools (checklists!) you need to make showing an enjoyable experience. Inexperienced parents have a lot to learn here, too: we DON'T recommend you rely solely on your child for information about the show process!

If you've never been to an eventing competition before, you can learn about the sport and how to prepare for it by downloading one of our favorite resources: The Starting Box.

In fact, we can all use a reminder before show season begins that the key to showing is PREPARATION!

If you think you'd like to be on the HorseSense show team, start by discussing it with Nikki.