Online Horse Shows
Hello awesome equestrians of the internet! I am happy to say that I have made it through the Confident Rider challenge. THAT was a challenge! But it is done, and I can get back to my normal schedule of 3 videos and blog posts a week. This is good, because it gives me more time to do something else that I love, which is participating in online horse shows!
Have you ever heard of such a thing? Yes, there are horse shows that are completely online that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home. Have you wanted to go to a horse show with your horse, but then discovered at the real cost of show, and then decided you couldn’t go? Or what if there aren’t any live shows where you live, then what do you do, other than spend a lot of money to drive, and get your horse to the show grounds.
Costs of A Live Horse Show
And lets go over some of the costs involved in going to a live show. First you have the entry fees but that is just one part of the total cost. Then you have to consider all of the other entry fees which are the office charge, EMT fee, grounds fee, stalls for horses and tack memberships and association fees.
And that doesn’t even include the cost to get your horse there. You have your trailer, or the charge for someone else to trailer your horse, the gas, and possibly lodging for yourself. And if you are riding with a trainer, you can’t forget the cost of having your trainer with you for the day.
Even if you go to a small local show, you are still looking at a cost of at least $100.00 for one day of showing.
And then you need to also consider the risks of going to a show. One of the biggest risks is exposing your horse to potential viruses and equine illnesses. And sometimes that risk is just not worth it, in my opinion.
Showing is not cheap. And we all know that our horse hobby is not inexpensive on its own. And then adding in the cost of going to shows and you might need to get a second job to pay for it all. And then try and squeeze in your horse time in top of it!
Viable Showing Options
So if you would like the chance to show your horse, but really don’t feel like the excess cost, or don’t have any shows close by that you could go to, how about trying an online horse show? Have you ever even heard of online horse shows? They are gaining in popularity, and more and more online shows are becoming available as their popularity grows.
Online horse shows offer a unique opportunity for horse enthusiasts. You can show your horse in both photo and video classes online. And not only do you get the chance to show, but you also can earn prize money, and ribbons! (Or rosettes, depending on what you call them!) And most shows have a champion ring as well, so your horse can even earn a sash for his neck, pretty cool if you ask me. And many of the shows also have a league of sorts. Meaning if you enter multiple shows, your points will be added up over the months, and at the end of set time period, you have the opportunity to win even more prizes.
And the best thing about online horse shows is how affordable the classes are, especially the photo classes. And almost every online horse show offers classes for riders, and if you don’t ride but love capturing photos of your favorite horse. So even if you can’t ride for whatever reason, you still have an opportunity to enter some classes, without riding your horse.
One of my favorite classes like this to enter is the best headshot class. Both of my horses enjoy posing for photos, seriously. And I have been able to capture some really awesome photos because of this. In fact, Ethan has won a few first place ribbons for his poses.
Online Horse Show Classes – Not As Easy As You Think
And if you are thinking this is just a photography challenge of getting the best shot, it really isn’t. A lot of the judging is completed just as if you were in a live horse show class. So you need to have a basic understanding of what the class is looking for. Sure, if you have a great photo that will help, but there is some pretty great horse entering these shows. And with more and more exposure, the competition is increasing. But that is what makes this so much fun! It’s one thing to place in a class of 9 entries. It’s a completely different thing to place in a class of 30 photographs.
And I should warn you, just like live horse shows, online horse showing can be addicting!
And once you have had some luck with the photo classes, you can try your luck with video classes. Yes, there are video classes too! A lot of the video classes are dressage tests. But each show seems to have at least 1 or 2 video classes. And the video classes do not have near as many entries as the photo classes.
So if you are really looking to challenge yourself, consider entering a video class. This is my goal over the next several months, to enter at leas a few video classes with both of my horses.
Where Can You Find An Online Horse Show
There are not very many online horse shows in the US yet, but with the trend seeming to grow, I would think someone would produce a website where you can do online showing. I have thought about it myself, and it might be something I tackle in the future. I don’t know, but I think it would be fun to have a US version of the UK shows.
I have had very good luck with a couple of online horse shows from the UK. And I want to share with you some of my favorites, and also some that I am going to be entering soon.
Global Showing offers a varied schedule which will change each month, offering a variety of photo and video classes to suit all competitors and all types of equine whether ridden or non ridden. There will be fun classes and more specific showing classes, plus a starter dressage class each month where everyone is welcome to give it a go, and bitless bridles are also permitted. Included in the schedule are classes for those connected to riding schools and not forgetting our “Just Dog” classes. So hopefully something for everybody to enjoy.
This is by far my most favorite show to enter. The producer of the show is great. You can ask questions, and you will get answers. And I have never had a problem with getting my rosettes. I do have to pay a little more for shipping, because they are based in the UK, but the ribbons arrive quickly, and they are so pretty.
They also offer prize money to each first place winner. So if you enter a few classes, and get first place, your cost can be even less! There is a new show every month too! And the costs for the classes are:
- Photo class entry fee £3.50
- Fun Video £5.00 (Ring 3)
- Dressage £10.00
- Riding School Equitation Video £7.00
- Rosettes 1st-10th place for every class. Judges feedback for all classes if entered via website.
All rosettes will be posted second class. From January 2018 overseas competitors will need to cover air mail costs. USA/AUSTRALIA £5.00, EUROPE £3.50 price may vary according to weight. A Paypal invoice will be sent.
This show is set up so well, and it is easy to enter with the check out basket they have set up. This is probably why this show is my favorite to enter.
I think this was one of the first online horse shows I entered, because it was the first one I found!
The Mane Show was established in 2015 to offer a fun & stress free way to compete your horses and win gorgeous rosettes and prizes without having to go anywhere. They offer a variety of photo and video classes that are scheduled each month and cover everything from traditional showing classes to fun themes and even dressage. There really is something for everyone and every equine.
They even have an everyday dressage series – relaxed rules dressage that allows you to compete online in your everyday tack (and clothes) without the bit/bitless restrictions of traditional dressage.
They too offer rosettes through 8th place for their classes. And the photo classes have an entry fee £3.50 and their video classes for everyday dressage offer rosettes 1st – 6th Place, a prize to 1st place and it costs £11 per class.
I think The Mane Show is the largest online show, with some serious competition in each of their classes.
Their entry system is not as streamlined as Global Showing, but the people who run the show are very good at making sure all entries are managed well. But personally, I prefer how Global Showing is set up.
Online Horse Showing is an online destination where equestrians can compete against one another from the comfort of your own home.
Whether you’re unable to attend real-life competitions due to injury, travel costs, or time constraints – or perhaps you just want to show off your horse within a friendly environment – Online Horse Showing is designed to bring the competition to you, making it super simple to enter and potentially win great prizes.
Their photo classes are slightly less expensive at £3.00 per class and they do have a video class which costs £4.00 per entry.
The entry system they have is very good, and easy to use. They also have a fair amount of entries for each class. The owner, Jasmine, also is very good at shipping out your prizes and every time I have received a package from them, it comes quickly and there is always a candy surprise in the package as well. A thoughtful little extra, in my opinion.
This is another favorite show of mine. Horse Shows Online was set up in May 2011 after an injury to the site owner’s horse sustained required several months of stall rest. In that time, she realized how reliant people are on many factors to go to shows. In addition to injury, there are also rising fuel costs, transport difficulties, loss of confidence, bad weather, shortage of shows, lack of time – the list is endless! Horse Shows Online was set up to allow individuals the opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of competing from the comfort of home simply by submitting an appropriate photo for the class(s) entered. Emma, the site owner strives to provide a friendly and professional service and runs the show as efficiently as possible to ensure competitors gain maximum enjoyment from online showing.
Horse Shows Online is run monthly, and holds a mixture of classes to suit everyone’s tastes. From the more formal showing classes right through to fun/novelty classes. The aim is to provide every competitor with at least one class they can enter in! In addition to the awesome rosettes, competitors also have the chance to win trophies, sashes, and generous prizes provided by our sponsors. But it seems if you win a class, and live in the US, you don’t get the prizes. The top two placings in each class will also be entered into a championship each month to compete for overall Champion.
The entry system for this show is a little more painstaking, because you need to create a Facebook album, and then send the photo URL in, and then you wait to get an invoice through PayPal. But Emma is very good at managing all of the entries she receives, and she gets them uploaded to the website quickly as well. The cost to enter, photo showing classes are £3 and video dressage classes are £10.
And they ship rosettes(ribbons) very quickly too!
Facebook Online Horse Shows
And there are new shows popping up on Facebook too. I have had mixed results with these types of shows, meaning I have entered the show, sent in my money, placed in classes and then never received my ribbons. So I would be a little cautious if entering shows that only have a Facebook page and do not have a ‘real’ website associated with the show. But in case you want to try your luck in the Facebook realm of online shows, some of them are:
- S&P Online Horse Shows
- Internet Horse Showing
- Horse Shows From Home
- Pegasus Online Horse Show
- B&H Online Horse Show
- Equestrian Showing Online
Again, I have entered a couple of these online shows, but did not have a very good experience as far as getting my ribbons, or response time from the people that have created these shows. So my advice to you is if you are really wanting to show online, I would encourage you to go with the shows that have a website attached to them, they have been much more reliable, in my opinion.
And there are a few online shows that focus on the video class, meaning they only offer video classes. This is where I am going to be spending some time in the near future. Because I have done the photo shows, which are great, but I want to challenge myself to do better which is where the video horse shows come in.
Some of the shows are:
Dressage Show Online (Located in the US-YAY!)
Dressage Academy (Located in the US, double YAY!)
And I can’t find anymore, but I’m sure they are out there! If you know of any online horse shows that I haven’t mentioned, I would LOVE to know of them! You can send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment down below. And if you have ever thought about making an online show yourself, it seems to be a good direction to go, and I would love to support you, and have a chance to enter yet another online horse show!
How To Take Great Photos and Videos For Online Shows
If you want to get started with online horse shows, it is fairly straightforward. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment. If you have a smart phone, you can take some pictures. Or if you have a camera, or video recorder, you can do the same.
All you need is a camera, you and your horse and a helper to capture some photos. You don’t need fancy DSLR cameras, or equipment because these classes are not judged on the skill of the photographer, but more on the essence of what the photo is showing.
And if you want to make your pictures even better, you can use free software from places like Paint.net – very easy to use and improve photos. Or online photography software from places like Canva. Both of these options are free. And you can download Paint.net and really have some fun with making your photos even better.
For the video classes, most will require you to upload the video to YouTube, so you will need a YouTube account. This is also free, and after you sign up for your own YouTube account, why not check out my channel, The Budget Equestrian? I would love to have you subscribe to my channel! And once I finally get started with entering some video classes, you can watch my horses in action at our attempts in a video dressage test!
Ready, Set, Show!
Hopefully that gives you some ideas of how to get started in showing your horse online. There are a lot of shows, with more coming available all the time. Hopefully we can get some online shows taking place in the US, like are friends have in the UK. And like I said, I am getting very tempted to host my own online horse show. And I promise, if I do, I will make sure you all find out about it first!