Better weather is on the horizon, literally. This time of year, it seems the repetitive cold and snow storms are relentless. It’s as if winter is giving it’s all and pounding us with everything it can throw at us before it finally subsides until it disappears for about 8 months or so. But I know eventually the temperature will rise, and the snow will be replaced with afternoon thunderstorms.
And while I am daydreaming about riding in my own arena, and what the summer will hold, I have decided to make the most of this summer with my horses. So two of my co-workers, Lynda and Vickie and I have taken the plunge and decided to join a riding club in our area.
I want to show. And eventually I want to show at the bigger shows in my area. But if I want to be successful at the larger shows, I need to start with the smaller ones first.
Remember I shared with you my first horse show experience? Well I really don’t want to repeat that again as an adult. And I’m a planner more than anything. Which is why I want to go have Ethan do his show debut at a friendly and smaller show before investing a lot of money and time into the bigger shows.
Finding A Riding Club
I am so lucky to have a riding club in my area. And there is safety in numbers right? Which is why I asked my friends if they would want to join up with me. Being horse crazy women, of course they said yes. And we planned for the first meeting of the year. And while we were planning on going to the meeting, I did a little research on the club.
The Parker Trail Riders is a nice size club and they are growing. They are branching out from just summer shows and trail rides to now having shows in the winter time as well. Every month beginning in May and running through September they have a pleasure show, a gymkhana, and a trail ride every month. Oh, and of course they have a monthly membership meeting too.
And some of the benefits of joining the club is having a cap on how much you will spend at the shows for entry fees. I think they cap it at $85.00 per show. And of course they have ribbons, and daily hi-point awards for each show, and they also have a banquet at the end of the year for year end awards.
What I love, probably because I’m an adult now, at their meetings they have guest speakers. And the speakers share valuable information with the club members. It’s like you are getting a small classroom education at each meeting. And of course they also have giveaways. What better way to entice people to come to a meeting than give something away right?
And they are very organized, which again is a plus for me. They have a website as well as a very active Facebook page. So I can go back through all of the photos of past shows and check out the competition! I know, I am very competitive. And remember, I’m a planner so I like to see what the shows are all about before I venture to the showgrounds with my own horses.
The First Meeting Of The Year
And in true Colorado winter fashion, on the night of the first meeting, it snowed. And while typically when it is snowing when I leave work, I go straight home. No dilly-dallying when the snow is flying. I want to go home and that’s it. But no, not today. I had committed to going to this meeting, and I was going.
So while Lynda and Vickie went out to dinner, I made the most of my time by going to a thrift store and look for treasures. I did find a couple of nice shirts and they were half price, so that’s a double win. And while I still had about 30 minutes before the meeting tarted, I got there early and waited. I love to people watch, and pay attention to what is going on around me.
And when I got to the Pace Event Center, I found the room and walked in. It was so cool. This first meeting of the year was to discuss the upcoming shows, and they had brought in a speaker who runs a local consignment tack store. They had all kinds of tack laid out with signs that said legal for show, or illegal for show. They also had show outfits all ready to go, so if you wanted to buy one there, you could!
There weren’t a lot of people present, maybe 30 or so. But all of the people that were there were just like me. They love horses, and they love being with people who love horses. They were all very friendly, and easily approachable.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
And not only did we get chances to win some really cool horse stuff, but we learned about what they have planned for the upcoming show year. The consignment store owner talked about tack that is legal vs. illegal for showing in their pleasure shows, and a rep for Equipride was there and shared information about Equipride. Which was really interesting, especially when about two thirds of the people there gave their own testimonials about how great a product it is.
And of course, I had to try it. So this past weekend I went and bought my own Equilix for my boys. They seem to like it, more on that later.
And then they shared a new idea for their show season. This year they will have ribbons and trophies for their classes, but they are also giving competitors the option to have a prize instead of a ribbon. Not only did they show what the prizes would be, but then they started giving them away! They had a lunge line, a portable bridle rack, a grooming kit, a pop-up bucket and grooming kit with a collapsible bucket, and other things too that I can’t remember.
And while we didn’t win any of the future prizes, Vickie and I both won a Parker Trail Riders hat! (Sorry Lynda) Lynda didn’t win anything this time. But there is always next month!
Finding Like Minded People
While the giveaways were fun, the information shared was even better. And seeing that there are other horse people out there that are just as passionate about their horses as I am was the icing on the horse treat!
This is why I really joined The Parker Trail Riders. To be with people who think like me. And being able to find ‘grown-ups’ that love horses just as much as the teenage group is very exciting. Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there, and find a group of people who share your same values. But when you do, put yourself out there, and find a group of people you can relate too, well, it’s just amazing.
I am so happy that I joined this club, and I can’t wait to see what the summer holds. Hopefully I will have lots of photos to share with you of our show experiences. And then I can replace the memory of my first horse show with memories of my adult horse show experiences. Time will tell, but that is what I am hopeful for this summer.
So come on good weather! Let’s get this going now! I can’t wait to get out there and work with both of my horses in preparing them for going off property. Who knows, maybe I will have some tips that may help you reach your own goals.