It Doesn’t Have to be All or Nothing!

A open letter to horse show enthusiasts

Why do so many people think horse showing is an all or nothing situation?

It doesn’t have to be. Yes we see the folks roll in with their six figure rigs and high end horse with their trainers in tow. There is nothing wrong with that. Good for them! The trainers and coaches play a very important role in the success of this industry. I just want to encourage those who have been sitting on the sidelines because they can’t afford a nice rig, fancy saddle or a coach.

Sandi showing her Machine Made gelding in a Harris Work Saddle. Photo by KY Photography.

Your tack-Yes there are times that I get to show in a fancy saddle because selling saddles is my small business. If I don’t have one at the time of a show I show in a work old saddle. It doesn’t matter. You can still win. Clean your tack up and use what you have. Make sure it fits well. Buy a nice pad to go under it.

Your rig- save your money if you can’t afford a fancy one. My gelding rolls his eyes every time I put him in my small 1995 2 horse trailer. But it has a good floor and breaks. I’d love to have a nicer trailer but then I couldn’t show.

Your clothes- get a nice plain shirt and go to Michael’s. Yes I love the creative work of our horse show seamstresses but if you can’t afford one don’t not show because of it.

Your horse- just ride your horse. Practice more than your competitors. It’s free. Be patient and kind to your horse. When you can, take lessons. Watch videos. Take videos of yourself and critique them. Make things harder at home than at a show. You’ll get there.

A shirt Sandi decorated herself for the second time.

Maybe one day you can have some of those fancier things but don’t sit out because you can’t afford them. When you can afford a few things add to your collection.

You have a passion, don’t waste it. No one is staring at you wondering why you are there. We are happy you are there. Compete at the level you feel comfortable at. There is something for everyone. Walk trot, halter, ranch, reining, English, western all around. It’s what you make it. Just enjoy being out with your horse and showing what you learned together. Enjoy your horsey friends.

I don’t know about you but horses are my mental health. Showing keeps me motivated to keep getting out to work my horse when I’m tired and lacking energy. It is a positive cycle for me.

~ Sandi Hebig (Sandi’s Show Tack)