Does everyone compete?

Cutgrass

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Another thread got me thinking about this. If you look at social media, you'd think everyone takes their horses out and about regularly, shows and competes.

I'd always assumed that most people didn't actually do this, and happily pottered around their local area. What does everyone think the reality is? I realised I may just ride on a particular inactive yard. People ride out loads but outings, especially competitive ones, are still infrequent.
 

milliepops

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In normal times I would be out most weeks either to arena hire or a show, in 2019 I had 2 horses competing regularly so twice weekly trips out were fairly standard.

I've been on busy yards where there are other people like me regularly boxing off for things and others where I'm the only one.
I'm now based on site with my trainer which means I don't have to travel for lessons and my horse is in between levels so we are waiting until we are ready to come out at the next level before competing again.
Part of that is because there are limited opportunities at the level I was competing at before so I've not been massively keen to cover old ground.
 

AFB

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A handful - I'm out and about regularly but mostly to clinics/facility hire etc., rather than competition.

I think I did 3 in 2019, 1 in 2020 and so far this year 1 with 2 more booked in.

Before that I didn't have transport so I went to our local RC shows every month through summer as it was hacking distance and my only option for something away from home.
 

Orangehorse

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I used to, a lot, but since horse and I have got older we don't compete any more. Other things started to get in the way and suddenly it didn't seem to matter any more.

I think the last time I went to a show was a Veteran Class about 4 years ago.
 

CanteringCarrot

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We'll probably get 3 in this year, possibly 4.

We go to the odd clinic or lesson maybe once a month, if that. Otherwise there is a trainer at our home stable, good facilities for riding, and good hacking too.

It's sort of half and half with the liveries (15 of us). Some are starting to take more interest in competing but really, only 3 others have their own transportation (one doesn't compete, one doesn't anymore, and the other does). So there's that too.
 

MuddyMonster

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I'm predominately a leisure rider :) I love hacking & am lucky enough to have great hacking, so we regularly do 3 hour plus rides including pub or picnic rides and hack to meet friends etc. I have lessons at home semi regularly and hoping to make it monthly.

The clinics or competitions I've done have either been on a yard I'm a livery on or been held somewhere I can hack too. I'm now within a fairly easy hack of a place holding more clinics and facilities to hire, so looking forward to using those. I've also recently started doing a few things online more regularly & think I could get more into online dressage and regular Trec classes online, especially over winter.

I don't really keep tabs on what others do on my yard, so unless it's someone I see regularly and talk to (and they tell me they are doing X) I have no idea!
 
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LegOn

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Yip! Pre-covid I would have been out most weekends - showing, showjumping, working hunter, hunter trials, whatever was on - we would head off! We come nowhere but I love the day out and practicing what I've learnt in lessons out in the 'real world'! If I'm not competing I would still go and have lessons or book something fun to do - just schooling or riding out. I like getting out & about with my horse & coming home with some nice photos!
 

Hallo2012

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out 2 weekends a month competing, once a week hacking or to the gallops, once a month to trainer and maybe another clinic or something in between :)
 

Fern007

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I'm out most weekends trying different things. I also box to woods to hack. I prudent do quite as much now as I did pre-covid . The other issue I'm struggling with this year is the heat. It makes me feel awful so will possibly not do much now until end of August competing wise but will still do lessons and woods.
 

AUB

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No, I hate being judged and I just want to enjoy my horse. I would like him to eventually do a PSG or even a GP test but I don't plan to do that in front of a judge, just my trainer.
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Exactly this. I take my riding seriously. But my goal is to ride a GP at home on a rainy tuesday evening in november, not all dressed up on a sunday. I want to be the best rider I can be and make my horse the best she can be, but I don’t really care how we score against others. I ride for me and the joy it gives me.

So I rarely compete, because I just can’t be bothered.
 

Tarragon

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I go to the breed show once a year because I want to meet the people and the ponies. I stress about it weeks in advance.
But - I mean - getting your pony all polished up and yourself in show gear that has to stay clean, wearing a jacket when it is blistering hot or not wearing a waterproof when it is pouring down, all that standing around for 5 minutes in the ring - it isn't for me. Boxing up for an EGB pleasure ride (5 mins prep for 3 hours in the saddle) is much more like it.
 

dorsetladette

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I used to be out every weekend in the summer and sometimes mid week too. Having had to concentrate on my career a bit has put a hold on that, then covid hit, now my older lad isn't up to lots of schooling so competing with him is out. Baby is only 15months so a few in hand classes here and there but I won't be out competing properly with him until 2024. my livery boxes out to places 4 or 5 times a week some weeks as we don't have facilities and she has a young daughter who show jumps.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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I don't have my own but in the past have done the odd test at the riding schools just for a bit of fun, a rosette and to see what comments we got from the judge. Outside of RS I only really have a couple of horsey friends and they compete. I think I let it get in the way of me enjoying my lessons at times because I devalued what I do as 'just' RS stuff. That said, every time I've gone along to see them compete and seen the nerves that come with it or felt the sense of relief that it's not my name being called into the warmup, it shows me that I'm quite happy doing what I do! Maybe that would change if I had my own but tbh I think I'd just be overjoyed to have a good hacking companion that I could continue my lessons with just for fun and fitness.
 

marmalade76

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I used to, but not anymore, last time I went to a show was 2018 and just did a couple of showing classes. I've alway thought that I've wanted to get back into competing regularly since having children (eldest is 15) but it has never really happened - not enough time, poorly horse (soundness issues, cushings), not the right horse, etc and now I have to admit that it's too late, I'm past it now. The only thing I have managed the last 3/4 years is a couple of hours out hunting on the odd day and that's mainly down to that fact that it's on my doorstep.

I've only ever competed unaffiliated and have noticed a massive change over the last 15/20 years. Back then, shows would run all day, sometimes even until dusk with many entries and winning wasn't easy! In more recent years, there's been barely enough entries to fill the places and picking up a rosette is considerably easier so my conclusion is that most horse owners do not compete anymore.
 

RHM

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I aim to go out every other weekend competing. A mix of dressage, SJ and Hunter trials. All at a relatively low unaffiliated level. I have lessons every week at my local trainers yard and box out to XC lessons/clinics too. I think one of the reasons I do so much is that my other horse went lame 5 years ago and I couldn’t afford two until this year so I am making up for lost time!
I am on one of the biggest yards in the area and I am the only person out this much. Two others go out maybe once a month to local dressage but the others just hack or have lessons with YO. I would definitely say it’s decreasing, when I had nothing to ride it seemed everyone was out and about!
 

Widgeon

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We get out and about plenty with the trailer, but for hacking, pub rides, organised group rides, meeting up with friends etc. Not competing. I don't fancy the stress and expense and my idea of a good day out is exploring the countryside with at least several hours in the saddle. Each to their own though! Personally I get plenty of satistfaction from successfully dealing with livestock, obstacles, rough terrain and all the many other things that life throws at you when you're trying to have a nice relaxing hack.
 

milliepops

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although I enjoy going to shows it's not really about the competition for me, I'd be as satisfied going to a test riding clinic with a qualified judge. I do a fair bit of test riding at home but an independent set of eyes gives me valuable feedback on my training and technique. Riding a shortarse waspy welsh cob at FEI levels means you're not really headed for greatness, prize-wise, but I can still get a lot out of the scoresheet.
 

GinaGeo

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I enjoy competing. But I'm finding more and more that I enjoy it as part of the process of producing horses.

My young horse will be going out competing fairly regularly once I'm happy that he's ready for it. As that's the stage he's at. We will be doing a bit of everything.

The established horses compete very rarely. Mickey might do the odd Eventer Trial because he enjoys it. But I'm not interested in jumping him week in, week out at the same height just for the sake of it. Solo goes out to do his Side Saddle, but that is to qualify for the National Champs. And he will compete at the National Champs because it's a brilliant weekend and we're still learning and progressing.

He could go out and do Dressage at the level he's at quite easily. He's an easy horse to take out and ride a correct test on and I love working him. But he hasn't got a change, finds the concept mind bogglingly stressful and whilst endless trainers have all declared that they'd be the one to get them sorted and only resulted in it being more of an issue - I've taken a step back and decided it isn't worth it. But going out and riding at the same level with no progression doesn't interest me, so we don't bother. I will continue to school him onwards to a higher level, but not for competition.
 

atropa

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Yes, I love it.
Used to do a lot of SJ and arena eventing with my WB back in 2016-2017, she was the first horse I was ever able to get out and about on and I loved the buzz.
Then switched to endurance, dressage, showing, SJ, camp, beach hacks, new place hacks, polework lessons etc with my ISH in 2018-2019.
Obviously a big break last year and only just started going out the last couple of months with my native. So far since the start of June we have done a fun ride, in hand show, XC clinic and dressage, going to a jumping lesson this weekend and another fun ride at the end of the month.
I only ever compete at very low, unaffiliated levels due to nerves and complete lack of rider talent but outings in the trailer are for me the ultimate reward of horse ownership.
I started out with having to hire transport, then was able to borrow both trailer and car, then bought a trailer and had to borrow car, now have my own set up capable of towing 3.5T so am enjoying using it to the fullest.
I'm on a big yard with good facilities and most people have access to transport with a good handful of us out regularly.
I also compete in online dressage which is just as fun.
 

fidleyspromise

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Not anymore although friend got a lorry so we plan to join the riding club soon.
My social feed is full of me hacking and walking out with my horses. Today I took the retired one a walk in hand. I post a screen shot of our route plus a couple of photos as when they come up in memories they make me smile.
 
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