Showing/competiting alone, tips?

lucky7

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15 May 2011
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598
So i have my first show this year in a couple of weeks, planning on going alone. I am hiring a trailer for a few months! Never been alone before as normally always go with my friend and we split diesel costs, anyhow shes too busy to do much this year. I love prepairing for a show!! Also planning on a few dressage outings, fun rides and a days XC and theres a big agriculture show in august too.
At the first show there is a prelim i want to do, senior ridden class and the ridden mountain and moorland.
Does anyone else compete alone? And do you have any tips to make life easier?!

Thinking of taking a flask with me and some food as figured it will be difficult to grab a burger or a cuppa with a horse in tow!
 

kinnygirl1

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2 September 2011
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I used to take Stanley to dressage alone. Dressage is a good one to start with cos it's pre booked so you don't have to leave horse and trailer to enter when you get there. A packed lunch is a good idea, maybe a cool box for cold drinks if it's hot. Take your car key off your key ring and make sure whatever your wearing...jodhpurs or show jacket has a nice secure pocket to pop it in so that you can leave your car and belongings secure. I always found other people are usually happy to hold horse for a couple of minutes whilst you pop to the loo or similar but my advise would be to make sure you go before you leave to reduce risk of needing whilst out! Good luck.
 

Carlosmum

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16 August 2010
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Make sure the organisers know you are alone & leave an emergency contact number with them, should something awful happen.
I am almost always on my own. I find it works best if your horse is happy to stand on the trailer while you go to secretary's etc.
Not so good if you forget to pick something up or perhaps forget to put your spurs on, no-one to fetch anything so a quick trip back halfway across showground this morning for me ;)
 

J&S

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17 June 2012
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Apart from all other suggestions, I am going to say that taking something that will act as an adequate mounting block is a good idea. The trailer ramp never seemed quite high enough and if there is no one to hold the off side stirrup for you and you have a clean, shiny, (slippery ) keen pony/horse you want to be able to hop on neatly and easily. They always grow and inch or too when they are out!
 

peaceandquiet1

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16 May 2010
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I used to compete alone all the time and you get into the way of it. Don't be afraid to ask someone to hold your horse if you need the loo etc., as there is usually someone who will oblige. Dressage is the easiest as you don't have to walk the course.
 

Nativelover

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16 May 2015
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Rossendale, Lancashire
I used to do a lot of showing on my own,
It's a great tip for you to make sure the secretary/organisers know your on your own. A well behaved pony is a must, and be organised. I had a box for inhand and a box for ridden all sorted the night before do I didn't forget anything.
For classes where it's necessary to strip, I used a stand on tack box and I'd take it to the ringside before I got back on (after warming up). There's always nice people who will hold your horse or watch your tack box while your in. I had many grooms offered to me and I was always grateful. Always take some bottles of water in the tack box and sweets or mini wine bottles as treats for helpers.

Also if your ridden class immediately follows your inhand class, make sure the stewards know you need to go and put your saddle on etc and you'll defo be in the class. I had this problem once and was literally screamed at by the secretary, in front of the whole showground. Even though I had told the steward. It was mortifying and they let me in late, came second and was scowled at by everyone. I left quickly and never returned!!!!!!
 

lucky7

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15 May 2011
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598
Good tips here, thank you!
No inhand classes or courses to walk thank god! The only thing i will need to find is a kind person to call my dressage test as i can only remember one!! I have booked my dressage online and left a note for the secretory what ridden classes i am doing so to try not to clash with dressage times! My daughter is desperate to come along, so is coming with me, she's 11 and will be a big help!!
 

mainpower

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30 May 2008
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Biggin Hill
I'm nearly always alone, sometimes my OH comes but he stays in the Land Rover asleep, or wanders off to the nearest pub!
Definitely take food, and a handy bucket for a wee as sometimes the loo is miles away, and they're often a bit grim!
If it's hot, I hang my jacket on the outside of the trailer so I can warm up in shirtsleeves and then grab it without dismounting.
Hopefully your horse loads perfectly?
I prefer going alone as don't have to hang around waiting for other classes to finish, or nanny clingy horses, but it is nice to share the costs!
 

EBHouse

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26 May 2016
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115
Definitely let the organisers know, and make sure you have someone you can call should something awful happen and you can't drive home.

However I would be wary as the following happened to me not too long ago -

I came off xc and broke my ankle, horse disappeared into the distance and I was unable to get up to follow. It took half an hour for the jump judges to figure out how to use the radio to call in for someone to come and get me... Fortunately someone I knew who was there to watch someone else recognised my horse who was running loose around the lorry park, and also knew which trailer was mine. Fortunately she was able to catch him and cool him off/take studs out/settle him. Whilst the organisers knew I was there alone, the jump judges who were unable to use the radio couldn't let them know someone had fallen and so noone knew the horse was mine.

Fortunately I knew someone in the area who could tow who was able to stop by and take my horse home. My own car was left at the venue for weeks! My friend and saviour ended up taking me to A&E.

A bit of a horror story I know but as a result of it I will never compete alone again. If my friend hadn't been there by chance I don't know what would have happened to my poor frightened horse.
 

molly7886

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15 June 2008
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301
Location
surrey
I always compete on my own but I'm lucky enough to have a saint of a horse who I can leave on lorry/trailer while I collect numbet/go to loo/eat etc. However I do always put a note on entry form that I'm alone with emergency contact.
also plan to put laminated contact sheet on lorry windscreen/ramp with contact details just in case anything should happen while I'm not in view.
other than that be well prepared with times/route and kit to avoid any last minute stress when there's no one to help you
 
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